Disney Trying to Trademark "Día De Los Muertos" (Updated)

El Día De Los Muertos may be a Mexican holiday that traces back to the Aztecs, but Disney would like to give the silent treatment to those 2,000-3,000 years of cultural tradition and co-opt the phrase for its own greedy gringo purposes: On May 1, Disney filed 10 applications for various trademarks relating to the phrase "Día De Los Muertos." And, hey, why not—the Aztecs never bothered to trademark it.

Disney, you see, would like to be legally entitled to the phrase because Pixar has something in development called "The Untitled Pixar Movie About Día de Los Muertos" from the makers of Toy Story 3. Since this is nation built on cultural theft, the Mickey Mouse Legal Department proactively imagined all the licensing and merchandizing opportunities and sponsorship deals that would accompany an animated movie about a Mexican American holiday that remembers dead people produces sugar skulls. Consequently, the corporate behemoth applied for all the standard character marks that could be associated with the branded term. (Their 10 trademark applications cover everything from backpacks to gum to mac and cheese.)

Twisted X Brewing Company applied to trademark "Cerveza de los Muertos" in 2010, back when they were called Barbed Wire Brewing Company, but were ultimately unsuccessful.

It's unlikely Disney will be granted the trademark. Then again, they are Disney and they own childhood, so you never know.

Update 11:14pm EST: Deadline Hollywood reports that Disney has issued a statement saying they plan to withdraw the trademark applications.

[Phoenix New Times // photo via Sugar Skull Creations]