La leyenda de la Nahuala

La Leyenda de la Nahuala is a 2007 Mexican animated horror comedy film released in theaters on 1 November 2007 in Mexico. It was the fourth animated feature film in Mexico to be released, and the first to be exhibited in DTS. The film was a box-office success on its opening weekend, grossing a total of $42.2 million pesos (US$4.03 million). It was produced by Animex Producciones and directed by Ricardo Arnaíz.

La Leyenda de la Nahuala
Directed byRicardo Arnaiz
Produced byJean Pierre Leleu
Ricardo Arnaiz
Screenplay byOmar Mustre
Antonio García
StarringFabrizio Santini
Bruno Coronel
Ofelia Medina
Germán Robles
María Santander
Luna Arjona
Andrés Bustamante
Jesús Ochoa
Rafael Inclán
Martha Higareda
María Teresa Cordeiro
Manuel 'Loco' Valdés
Pierre Angelo
Music byGabriel Villar
Distributed byGussi Cinema
Release date
1 November 2007
Running time
84 minutes
Box officeMX$42.2 million
(US$4.03 million)[1][2]

It was later released direct-to-video in the United States in 2008.

The success of the film has spawned into a franchise, which were all produced by Ánima Estudios.


The movie takes place in the year 1807 in the city of Puebla, New Spain. Leo San Juan, a shy 9-year-old boy, lives with his grandmother and his older brother Nando. Leo is constantly frightened, due to the legend of the Nahuala that Nando told him about. The legend speaks of an old abandoned house, in which "La Nahuala", a witch (who is actually a cook that was possessed by a spirit on Dia de Muertos), lives. 52 years ago, this witch took control of the spirits of 2 little girls, Xóchitl, a servant girl, (pronounced So - CHEE - til), and Teodora, the daughter of the rich couple that owned the mansion. These two little girls are still locked up in the old house along with la Nahuala to this day. Now, la Nahuala is looking for a third spirit, because if she manages to get it on the Día de Muertos, she will obtain all the necessary power to eliminate all of the inhabitants of the city. Pl While Leo is on an errand, Nando teases Leo about being scared and tries to get him to enter the mansion. However, his plan backfires and he ends up getting taken by la Nahuala, and it's up to Leo to rescue him. To do this, he must face all his fears of the Nahuala and enter the haunted house that she inhabits. On the way, Leo receives help many characters, such as his grandmother, who is revealed to be one of Teodora's friends from when Teodora was alive and had escaped from La Nahuala in 1755, Xóchitl, and Franciscan Friar Godofrello. Leo finds some peculiar and quaint characters on his adventure, such as an alebrije, some sugar skulls, and a Quixotic Spanish ghost in an armor. La Nahuala is at first helped by a man named Santos, who believes she is his mother. In an unexpected turn of events, Santos finds out that La Nahuala is not actually his mother and therefore begins to help Leo. Towards the end of the film, Leo faces La Nahuala and manages to destroy the source of her power. As Santos cries for his mother, the ghost of his mother, who actually turned out to be the woman cook the Nahuala possessed 52 years ago, appears and takes Santos into heaven with her, finally reunited. At the end, Friar Godofrello's ghost (who met an unfortunate demise while battling the Nahuala) gives Leo a cross, and with this he will fight all the monsters mentioned in legends from Mexico. Then, a year later, on Día de Muertos, all of the characters whom Leo has met celebrate, and the friar gives Leo his next mission, which is defeating La Llorona.[3][4]


  • Fabrizio Santini as Leo San Juan
  • Bruno Coronel as Fernando "Nando" San Juan
  • Ofelia Medina as La Nahuala
  • Germán Robles as Fray Godofredo
  • María Santander as Toñita San Juan
  • Luna Arjona as Nana Dionisia
  • Andrés Bustamante as Don Andrés
  • Jesús Ochoa as Santos
  • Rafael Inclán as Alebrije
  • Martha Higareda as Xóchitl
  • Mayté Corderio (as María Teresa Cordeiro) as Teodora Villavicencio
  • Manuel 'Loco' Valdés as Lorenzo Villavicencio
  • Pierre Angelo as blind man
  • Verónica De Ita as Sra. Pérez
  • Ginny Hoffman as Sra. López
  • Carlos Segundo as Sr. López
  • Gabriel Villar as Gaznate seller
  • Grecia Villar as Fray Sinfonolo
  • Jorge Alberto Aguillera as Himself (voice)


The film was released on October 31, 2007 in Mexico. In the United States release, the film was rated PG "for some scary images, language, thematic elements and rude humor" by the MPAA.[5]

Box office

The film opened #1 at the Mexican box-office, earning $15,832,363 pesos ($1,479,685 USD). It is one of the most successful releases in Mexican cinema history.[6]


This Mexican animated horror comedy film was produced by Animex Producciones in Puebla, Mexico. It uses a hybrid of 2D and 3D with Adobe After Effects (visual effects and compositing), Adobe Photoshop (background art), Autodesk Maya (computer animation) and Toon Boom Harmony (traditional animation).

Awards and nominations

2008Ariel Award[7]Best Animated Feature (Largometraje de Animación)WonRicardo Arnaiz[8]
Best Original Score (Música Original)NominatedGabriel Villar


After the success of the film, a sequel, titled La Leyenda de la Llorona, was released on October 21, 2011.[9][10] The third film, titled La leyenda de las Momias was released on 30 October 2014 in the 4DX format.[11] Both of the sequels were animated and produced by Ánima Estudios.[12]

A fourth installment, titled La Leyenda del Chupacabras,[13][14] was released on October 14, 2016 in the United States and October 21, 2016 in Mexico.[15][16]

The fifth installment, titled La Leyenda del Charro Negro. was released on 19 January 2018.[17]

The trilogy has also been adapted into a Netflix original series, titled Legend Quest, which was released worldwide on 24 February 2017.[18]

See also


  1. "Mexico Box Office April 25–27, 2008 (check "Gross-to-Date")". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  2. "La Leyenda de la Nahuala (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  3. "La Leyenda de la Nahuala.". Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  4. "Musicacine, la Web mas completa en entretenimiento.". Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  5. La Leyenda De La Nahuala (2008) film rating |
  6. "Mexico Box Office, November 2-4, 2007". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  7. Soares, Andre. "Ariel Awards". Alt Film Guide. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  8. "Ariel para 'La Leyenda de la Nahuala'". YouTube. Google. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  9. "La Leyenda de la Llorona". Pegs Magazine (in Spanish). 30 August 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  10. "Anima Estudios nos traerá La Leyenda de la Llorona Leer Completa en: Anima Estudios nos traerá La Leyenda de la Llorona - Anime, Manga y TV". ANMTV. Retrieved 13 February 2014. External link in |title= (help)
  11. "La primer película mexicana en 4DX será animada". Chilango. Grupo Expansión, S.A. de C.V. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  12. Anima Puts ‘Momias’ into Pre-prod (EXCLUSIVE) | Variety
  13. ¡Adivina Quién Soy! La Leyenda De...(¡Haz Click!) - YouTube
  14. Ánima Estudios on Twitter: ¡La próxima película de la saga de Las Leyendas está en camino! Esperen más noticias a través de nuestras redes.
  15. ""La leyenda del Chupacabras" atrapará cines de México el 21 de octubre". unomásuno. Grupo unomásuno. 8 September 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  16. "La leyenda de 'El Chupacabras'". Univision. Univision Communications Inc. 8 September 2016. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  17. Ánima Estudios on Twitter: "¡Los rumores eran ciertos! Próximamente descubrirás cómo Leo San Juan se enfrentará a esta siniestra Leyenda." (in Spanish) Accessed on 5 April 2017. Twitter.
  18. Wolfe, Jennifer (20 February 2017). "Anima Estudios' 'Legend Quest' Debuts on Netflix This Friday!". Animation World Network. Animation World Network. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
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