Cinco de Mayo is a colorful commemoration of Mexico’s victory in the Battle of Puebla (1862) over the Second French Empire. We like to celebrate this day with animated movies and series that beautifully capture the vibrance of Mexican culture and characters and bring to life some uplifting stories inspired by pop culture and Aztec mythology.
Here we list some of our favorite animated titles to watch on this Cinco de Mayo. Let’s dive right into it.
Coco is about a young boy named Miguel who wants to wants to be a musician despite his family’s disapproval. The film is inspired by the Day of the Dead, which is a holiday tradition observed in Mexico. It’s believed that people who have died come from the Land of the Dead to visit their relatives on this day.
On the Day of the Dead, Miguel finds a guitar belonging to a deceased musician. As he strums it, he becomes invisible to everyone. He also finds that he can see and interact with his dead relatives who are visiting from the Land of the Dead. They take him back to the Land of the Dead with them and he discovers that if he doesn’t return to the Land of the Living before sunrise, he will be stuck there forever.
In the Land of the Dead, Miguel learns about his family’s legacy and history with music. We can’t give away any more without spoiling the movie, but it’s a beautiful and heartfelt story that’s fun for the whole family.
Maya and The Three
Maya and The Three is a limited animated series set in a pre-colonial Mesoamerica mythical world. It’s about a princess named Maya. The series centers around a prophecy that says that a mighty eagle and three courageous jaguars will defeat the gods of the underworld.
Maya’s family believes that the prophecy is about Maya’s father King Teca and her three brothers. Maya wants to be a warrior too but her parents want to raise her to be the Queen of Teca. They tell her that she can’t be both. However, when it turns out that the prophecy was not about Kind Teca and his three sons, Maya realizes she’s the mighty eagle and goes out looking for the three warriors who will her help defeat the evil gods.
The series has interesting and complex characters that blur the line between good and bad. It’s also filled with some very impressive action, especially in the fights with Hura and Can (Gods of Wind and Storm) and Cabrakan (God of Earthquakes) who is voiced by none other than Danny Trejo.
Maya and The Three is an experience you’ll never forget. It’s longer than a movie with 9 chapters, but you’ll be hooked by the end of the first episode.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Most movies we see use or build upon the techniques gradually developed by other filmmakers throughout the history of cinema. But every once in a while, a movie comes out that attempts something entirely new and does it so well that it changes the way films are made forever. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is one of the most recent examples of such a movie.
Miles Morales is an Afro–Latin American kid who gets bitten by a radioactive spider, giving him powers similar to those of Peter Parker along with invisibility. The movie drops him in the middle of struggles with his family, an identity crisis among several other spider-people, and a supervillain willing to risk the existence of the universe to get what he wants.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is animated in some fresh new ways that make it look fantastic. With its sequel coming this June, Into the Spider-Verse is a must-watch right now.