Wearing an over-sized yellow sombrero and yelling "¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Andale! ¡Andale!," Speedy Gonzales raced straight into the hearts of viewers when he debuted in the 1950s. But with recent news that an animated film featuring "the fastest mouse in all of Mexico" could be on the horizon, we wondered if the little Mexican mouse has a place in an industry that's trying to eradicate Latino stereotypes.
Speedy Gonzales may have been a mouse with a heroic heart, often helping his fellow mice in need, but his exaggerated thick accent and portrayal of Mexicans eventually caused Cartoon Network to take the show off the air in 1999.
"It hasn't been on the air for years because of its ethnic stereotypes," Cartoon Network spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg told Fox in 2002. "We have such a huge library, I think we intend to go with popular shows that aren't going to upset people. We're not about pushing the boundary. We're not HBO. We have a diverse audience and we have an impressionable audience."
But Goldberg also noted that Speedy remained widely popular in Latin America, with many Hispanics having grown fond of the mouse over the years. And on Monday, Deadline exclusively reported that the Looney Tunes character is being considered for a Warner Bros. animated feature film with Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez voicing the mouse.
“In Mexico we grew up watching Speedy Gonzales,” Derbez told Deadline. “He was like a superhero to us, or maybe more like a revolutionario like Simón Bolívar or Pancho Villa. He watched out for the little people but with a lot of bravado and a weakness for the ladies. I’m really excited to be bringing this character to the big screen. And besides being Mexican -- my full name is Eugenio Derbez Gonzalez and I have big ears. The casting couldn’t be better.”
The response to the possible movie has been mixed, so we want to know: Do you think the Mexican mouse is suitable to star in a film in the 21st century? Vote in our poll below!
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