Maya Works Its Magic in Mexico

It’s a big week for Mexican feature animation as production begins on director Ricardo Arnaiz’s new project, Maya. Produced by actor Bruno Bichir and pop singer Emmanuel for Escarabajo Producciones, the toon has a $3 million budget, which is slightly larger than average for a Mexican project. Mike Kunkel (Tarzan, Hercules) is in charge of animation supervision. The voice cast has not been announced.

Slated for a fourth-quarter 2005 release, the animated feature has strong ecological themes and is set in the Mayan civilization before the arrival of Spanish conquistadors. Based on an original idea by Arnaiz, Maya centers on a little Mayan boy who lives in the mystical classic period of the region. Escarabajo Producciones is in talks with Altavista Films and Tabasco Films about the project. Maya follows in the footsteps of November’s Anima Estudios’ Magos y Gigantes, the first full-length animated feature to be produced in Mexico in nearly 30 years.

"Although it’s a Mexican movie, it’s a story to be embraced by every country," Arnaiz told Animation Magazine in April. "It has universal elements and concerns and is set in a different and fantastic world that happens to be part of Mexican and Central American history and folklore–full of color, nature, magic and beauty."

For more info about this exciting new project, visit www.animex2d.com.mx.