La leyenda del Charro Negro
La leyenda del Charro Negro (in English: The Legend of The Black Charro) is a 2018 Mexican animated action-horror-comedy film, produced by Ánima Estudios.
|La leyenda del Charro Negro|
Theatrical release poster
|Spanish||La leyenda del Charro Negro|
|Literally||The Legend of Charro Negro|
|Directed by||Alberto Rodríguez|
|Produced by||Fernando de Fuentes|
José C. García de Letona
|Written by||Alberto Rodríguez|
by Ricardo Arnaiz
|Music by||Leoncio Lara|
|Edited by||Alberto Rodríguez|
|Box office||MX$100.8 million|
The fifth installment of the Leyendas series of animated films and directed by Alberto Rodríguez, the film's story is focused on the "Charro Negro" historic figure, but also references story elements from the past installments.
The film was released in Mexico on 19 January 2018, opening to a commercial success. The film has grossed a total of $100.8 million pesos (est. US$5.3 million), making it the highest-grossing film in the Leyendas. It is the final film in the series to be directed by Alberto Rodriguez.
In an unknown location, the Aztec indigenous spirit Xochitl is taken hostage by a shadowed figure on a horse. She is held taken to a door by a familiar henchman. The henchmen leaves her there and she is taken away by a mysterious creature with a mask.
Picking up from the events of Chupacabras, Leo and his brother Nando are returning home to Puebla. Along the way, Leo encounters the Charro Negro who confuses him and results in a girl being cast into the underworld. To undo his mistakes, Leo enlists the help of his friends.
- Benny Emmanuel as Leo San Juan
- Eduardo España as Evaristo
- Mayte Cordeiro as Teodora
- Erick Elías as Charro Negro
- Herman López as Alebrije
- Emilio Treviño as Fernando "Nando" San Juan
- Andrés Couturier as Don Andrés
- Annie Rojas as Xochitl
- Óscar Flores as Rupertino
- Andrea Arutti as Beatríz
Development of the film took place for two years and has wrapped in September 2017, with 300 filmmakers involved. The film was long rumored since the release of Momias in 2014, and has even been believed to be the next film after (Chupacabras was the true successor and released in 2016 before Charro Negro).
The "Charro Negro" figure was considered to be included in the franchise for a while. In an interview with Proceso, director Alberto Rodríguez said that the company Ánima Estudios has been working on the Leyendas films for 10–15 years, leading up to Charo Negro, with the same team of "different abilities". "[W]e have been working for ten years in these films, [and] we already understand each other very well. Our production structure is very solid, the artists understand the needs of the project," added Rodríguez.
For the "Charro Negro" figure, the filmmakers has considered including him in the franchise for a while. Rodríguez called the figure a "very powerful and seductive character", making the character "dangerous". "It's interesting how Leo San Juan, our main character, is going to deal with this dark and powerful force," said Rodríguez. The filmmakers wanted to give the figure a more 'Mexican' taste to match the national cinema's 'golden age' by giving him an attractive personality and arming him with golden spurs. "It's a historical character," said Rodríguez. "We have it in the psyche of the Mexican. We have it very present. [..]It is these people who exploit the needy, and I believe that the Mexican people have suffered a lot from that, from people who are constantly oppressing them."
Alberto Rodríguez, who has also co-written the past installments (excluding Nahuala), has penned the script and story with David Israel. "It was what I wanted to tell and we hired David Israel to write the script for us," Rodríguez said. "At the beginning[,] it was a lot of anguish when creating these feature films, now I have a lot of fun."
The film is animated in flash animation. Director Alberto Rodríguez stated that the process was "difficult", calling it a "complex process". "Animation is a very complex process that requires too much knowledge, not only at the level of the animators but at the level of the production structure," he said.
As the previous installments' current voice cast reprise their respective roles, among the newcomers is Erick Elías as the voice of Charro Negro. Elías shared his experience on working in the film, stating that he's satisfied with the work, despite some difficulties in developing a matching tone for the character. "[I]t is a pride that I have been invited to be part of this [made] by Mexicans, for Mexicans[.] I feel identified with everything that happens with this Leyenda," he said. "I faced great difficulties because I had to give him that personality only with his voice," he said. "We had an arduous table job with the director, finding the "norteño" tone with that serious accent. To achieve it was a very fun and complicated process, but in the end I liked the experience." Elías had previous voice-acting experience prior to Charro Negro, including that of the Spanish-dubbing versions of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and its sequel both produced by Sony Pictures Animation. Elías said his voice work experience in Charro Negro is "different" from his dubbing roles Meatballs films. "It was very different for me," he said. "[I]t's completely different from what I had done in dubbing, [which is] another process, because here I was given the freedom to create this [C]harro and I'm happy, I think it's going to be fine." Elías also stated that the film has made him 'happy' since his work in an animated production has helped him reunite with his family. "I was flattering that they called me for this, [and] I really like that my daughters are part of something I do[;] not many times I can bring them to the movies and this can be seen," he said at the premiere at the Cinépolis Oasis Coyoacán theater.
Alberto Rodríguez said he was also satisfied and shared the same difficult but satisfying experience with working with Elías. "We looked for a lot of people, but he gave us that malice that we wanted to impregnate the character because [he] is evil, [and] is possessing the manipulative tone as a particular smirk that gives an ideal scorn to act. We found the balance to be very bad and very nice at the same time," said the director.
The film was released theatrically in Mexico on 19 January 2018, unlike past installments which were released on an October. It was originally planned for release in December 2017.
On its opening weekend in Mexico, the film opened at #3 behind The Commuter and The Shape of Water, earning at least $29 million pesos (approx. $1.6 million USD). The film moved up to #2 behind Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water, earning at least $24 million pesos (approx. US$1.3 million) and grossing a total of $63.4 million pesos (est. US$3.4 million). On its third week, the film moved back down to the #3 rank grossing $12.29 million pesos ($0.6. million USD), bringing a total $82.39 million pesos (est. US$4.4 million) with a total of 1.9 million viewers. To date the film earned a total of $100.8 million pesos.
The film has received a limited theatrical release in the United States on 23 March 2018, distributed by Pantelion Films and Tribe Releasing. Eduardo España, the voice of Evaristo, said that he was "very happy" about the film's U.S. effort due to the empathy of the Hispanic viewers, and said that "values and roots are reinforced with humor and endearing stories."
Awards and nominations
|2018||15th Premios Canacine||Mejor Película de Animación
(Best Animated Film)
|La leyenda del Charro Negro||Nominated|
|2019||61st Ariel Awards||Mejor largometraje animado
(Best Feature Animation)
|Alberto “Chino” Rodríguez||Nominated|
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