Más y Menos – Guatemalan Cartoon Characters!

masymenos

Last night my 12 year old begged me to watch a cartoon called Teen Titans Go! with him. Honestly, I’m not at all into super hero stuff so this show didn’t appeal to me at all, but he promised me this particular episode had two characters who only speak Spanish. (He knows how to get my attention!)

I ended up really enjoying the episode and the characters named Más y Menos. The episode had an impressive amount of Spanish in it and some good lessons for kids built in. Here’s a clip of the twins Más y Menos making and serving tamales to their friends.

I later looked up more information online, and as suggested by the mention of “tamales de Guatemala” in the episode, the twins are in fact supposed to be Guatemalan. (Although they’re voiced by Chicago-born Freddy Rodriguez whose parents are Puerto Rican.)

Anyway, I thought it was really awesome to have some Central American representation in a popular cartoon and I hope the creators make Más y Menos regular characters.

My only suggestion to the creators: When the characters say “¡Los Tamales de Guatemala!” you see and hear mariachi. While mariachi can be found in Guatemala, that’s obviously more of a Mexican thing. It would have been awesome if instead you had used some traditional Guatemalan marimba music like this:

The use of Mexican culture subbed in for other Latin American culture is something you see often in television and movies. Mexican culture is more familiar to audiences in the United States so I think that is part of why it happens, but when characters are not Mexican then you’re doing a disservice to both the Mexican culture and the true culture of the character. I’d like to see Hollywood break away from that so audiences can have a more diverse experience and expand their knowledge of cultures throughout the world. Subbing in Mexican culture for every Latin American culture only feeds into the wrong belief that “All Latinos are the same.”

As Más y Menos say, “Para crecer como una persona, necesitas que abrirte a nuevas experiencias.”

You can watch the full episode of Teen Titans Go! featuring the characters Más y Menos here and on Cartoon Network.

2 thoughts on “Más y Menos – Guatemalan Cartoon Characters!

  1. I found your blog a couple of days ago, and immediately got hooked. I was born in a little town on the foothills of La Sierra Madre Occidental in the state of Jalisco, and my wife (actually just live with her, but to me a paper is a paper is a paper, so she is my wife) is from the state of Guerrero. We met 10 years ago and fell for each other, and here we are. Before all of that, I’d been in relationships with people from El Salvador (Usulutan) besides other central american places. I know many people from several countries, and we are great friends as long as El Tri (My first team) and their home teams are not involved. The real problem is when The US team plays against them, cause I root for “Los gringos” (my second team). Needless to say, the call me all kinds of names because of that. I have a “mexicana” friend that lives in California and she’s married to a gringo, so I’m passing on your blog to her, I know she’ll love it, and also, I have several nieces and nephews that are married to gringos, so I know they’ll love it too. With my Californian friend we have a Facebook group called “Nuestro Recetario” which is about food 100%, and I know you’d love to see the diversity in regional foods we get to share. There are mostly mexican people there, mostly “comayes” and just a few “compayes” cause you know culturally, as some of our hispanic mother would say: “Los hombres en la cocina huelen a caca de gallina” so most men don’t think of cooking as a manly thing, but some of us don’t have a self confidence problem and don’t care what people say, we just cook. Needles to say, it is something amazing to be able to conquer the cultural differences between people form different places, even in the same language, same country, so I can imagine having to do it with someone from different countries and languages. If you’d like to be part of our “Nuestro Recetario” let me know. BTW, I looked up Carlos’ blog and loved it too.

    • Hi Panike! I imagine the place you were born must be incredibly beautiful. I’ve only seen photos of the region but would love to visit there someday, (La Sierra Madre, Jalisco, all of Mexico.)

      I share your complex situation when it comes to fútbol. Some of my Salvadoran friends get a bit irritated when I root for Mexico, even when they aren’t even playing El Salvador jajaja. Ah, soccer rivalries. I typically root for the US 1st, El Salvador 2nd, and Mexico 3rd – it’s tough when any of them play each other though – it’s like choosing a favorite among children.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and for spreading the word about my blog. (I’ll let Carlos know you liked his blog too. He hasn’t updated it forever!)

      The Facebook group sounds really great and I love that the men aren’t intimidated by cultural tradition. My husband Carlos has shown an interest in cooking and has allowed me to show him a few things, but his mother always teased him or my sons if they so much as helped me chop some vegetables, so it’s a difficult thing to overcome for some guys… To me cooking is a survival thing that all humans should know how to do so I’ve taught my sons as much as they’re willing to learn.

      I look forward to seeing you around. Thanks again for the comment and saludos to your wife!

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