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Pet Sins April 2001

Latino Characters in American Animation

Latin Americans in U.S. animation have a long history. Old "classics" include Warner Brothers' Speedy Gonzales and Zorro (the 1980s release). Speedy Gonzales is a Mexican mouse with a big sombrero. The Zorro cartoon, like other films about the Zorro character, is based on a novel by a non-Latino writer.

Warner Brothers' 1990s Zorro cartoon series significantly darkened the skin of the hero and his friends. But other later Zorro cartoon incarnations reversed the trend.

Another long-lived Latina cartoon character is the light-skinned Carmen Sandiego, a master criminal. The Carmen Sandiego cartoon series has its own popular product line.

In the 21st century, Latino characters are gaining more visibility in children's cartoons, as networks recognize the demographic shift in the United States:

New Cartoon Show with Latino Characters to Air in Nickelodeon (Baja.com)

Cartoon Network Creates Series Based on Mexican Icon: Santo (Hispanic Wire 2007)

Some cartoons with Hispanic characters