El Americano: The Movie

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El Americano: The Movie
Directed by Ricardo Arnaiz
Mike Kunkel
Produced by Gerry Cardoso
Phil Roman
Alex Flores
Michael D. Olmos
Edward James Olmos
Screenplay by Ricardo Arnaiz
Richard Pursel
Phil Roman
Story by Ricardo Arnaiz
Dulce Belchez
Fernando Lewels
Starring Rico Rodriguez
Edward James Olmos
Argelia Atilano
Cheech Marin
Kate del Castillo
Paul Rodriguez
K. C. Porter
Erik Estrada
Adal Ramones
Gabriel Iglesias
Don Cheto
Hector Suarez
Lisa Kudrow
Pierre Angelo
Music by Leoncio Lara[1]
Distributed by FilmSharks International
Release dates
  • 28 August 2015 (2015-08-28)[3]
Running time
98 minutes
Country Mexico
United States
Language English
Budget $4 million[4]

El Americano: The Movie (simply known as El Americano) is an upcoming 3D Mexican American computer animated film produced by Animex, Olmos Productions, and Phil Roman Entertainment. It is directed by Ricardo Arnaiz and ex-Disney animator, Mike Kunkel.[5][6][7][8] The film features an ensemble voice cast of mostly Hispanic American and Mexican actors led by Rico Rodriguez, Edward James Olmos, Cheech Marin, Kate del Castillo, Paul Rodriguez, Gabriel Iglesias, Erik Estrada, and Lisa Kudrow.[9][10][11] The first major animated co-production between studios in Mexico and the United States,[5][12] it is also the first international and CG production for Mexican animation studio, Animex.[8][11][12]

FilmSharks International announced that they have acquired the film's international rights.[12] Distribution in Mexico and the United States will be announced later,[13] and will be distributed independently.[4]

It is set to be released in theaters in the United States on 28 August 2015.[3]


The film will follow Cuco (Rico Rodriguez), a carefree Mexican pre-teen parrot, whose quest is to venture to Hollywood and enlist the aid of his favorite hero in order to help his father, Gayo (Edward James Olmos) and protect his circus family from the threat of Martin Kingfisher (Cheech Marin) and his henchmen.[4][14][15]


English cast[4][edit]

Spanish cast[edit]

^* Those cast members will also voice their respective characters in the Spanish-language version.[4]



Production began on January 2011 when director and Animex founder, Ricardo Arnaiz, became interested in doing an American co-production after the box-office disappointment of Nikté,[4] knowing that U.S.-produced films do better at the film market.[4] The idea of the film's plot was brought up when he visited the United States and met producer Garry Cardoso, who brought up the idea of birds, traveling from Spain to Mexico.[4] Arnaiz insisted to change the setting to the United States.[4] “I said it would be great to make them go from Mexico to the United States, so we started from that,” said Arnaiz.[4] “We were very careful to be respectful of both countries. We wanted to tell a story about how borders are just a line on a map and when you are honest and you do things the right way there are a lot of possibilities out there for everybody.”[4] He later met actor Edward James Olmos, when he found that Olmos was "a hit".[20] After reading the script, Olmos agreed to join the film's production team and voice cast.[6] Olmos was a fan of La Leyenda de la Nahuala.[4] “We’re delighted to be working with Edward James Olmos and his production company here in the US. It’s a story we have been working on for the last three years and we feel we have a really strong team in place to execute this film scheduled in 2013.”[21]

"At the opening of the FICM to present the progress of this project is important because Animex [was] born in Puebla 13 years ago, and is the fourth film and will for many more, with El Americano, we ventured to U.S. and we want to impact [a] Hollywood film [...]"
— Ricardo Arnaiz[22]

On 26 September 2013, the film was presented at Ibero Puebla, revealing new screenshots and clips.[23]

Edward James Olmos will serve as the film's executive producer.

During production, Edward James Olmos had recorded his voice before the animation process.[24] As a result, many cast members were required to act out their roles before recording their voices.[25]

According to director Ricardo Arnaiz, it is the most expensive film from Animex Producciones and the first to exceed over $29 million pesos.[20]


The visual effects and animation production were done by Boxel Studio in Tijuana.[4][26] Additional animation and crowding was handeled by Cutting Edge Productions in Philippines.[4] In an interview with Andres Reyes Botello, founder of Boxel Studios, Ricardo Arnaiz initially stated he originally intended to produce the film in traditional animation,[26] but Edward James Olmos insisted Arnaiz to use CG animation at the best chance of the film's success.[4] "Back then, he was explaining to me his situation with his 2D animation studio and his curiosity about making El Americano into a full 3D CGI production," said Andres Reyes Botello. "From there, we instantly got on to a good relationship and started working on the development for the characters and environments, doing some animation, lighting, and rendering tests for this film."[26] Arnaiz doesn't have much experience in CG animation and has decided to partner with Boxel Studio, which primarily focuses on animation for video games and promotions.[4] “They were very creative, they had a lot of knowledge and I said: ‘Would you be interested in doing a movie with me? I don’t know anything about CGI, you don’t know anything about making movies — let’s combine and create this thing together,” says Arnaiz.[4] For assistance, Arnaiz has tapped animation veteran Raul Garcia, and Mike Kunkel, who is Arnaiz's personal friend and longed-hoped to work with him, and brought them to Boxel Studios.[4] “They taught everyone how to make animation, Hollywood style, and in Mexico, we taught the Americans how to do it with low budgets,” said Arnaiz.[4] A total of 25 animators have worked on this film.[4] Arnaiz has stated that the development of the film was challenging.[4] However, the film was finished on time and on budget.[4] “The biggest challenge was to get it to the level that everyone was hoping for us,” said Arnaiz. “They thought at first that we were going to go to like a direct-to-video quality at the most, and once we showed them some clips they were really excited about it.”[4]

Development for the film finished on August 2013.[20]


On 17 April 2013, actress Lisa Kudrow has joined the voice cast as Lucille in both English and Spanish versions.[27][28] She is the only non-Hispanic cast member.[27] To prepare her role, director Ricardo Arnaiz helped Kudrow with her emphasis in her Spanish for her lines.[29]


The film premiered at the Morelia International Film Festival on 22 October 2013.[30][31] The film was originally scheduled for a tentative September 2013 release, then a Summer 2014 release.[14][32] It is set to be released around August 2015, in 1,200 theaters across the United States.[33][34]

The film later had its U.S. screening at The Strong National Museum of Play theater in Rochester, New York on 15 March 2014.[32] It was shown in both Spanish and English.[32]

The film is was presented at the San Diego Comic-Con International on 25 July 2014.[35] The title of the conference is "Big Ideas for Movies: Crossing the Borders with Mexican Animation".[35]

It had an advanced screening at the 22nd Annual San Diego Film Festival on 14 March 2015.[36][37][38]

The film's first official trailer premiered on 30 April 2015 in both English and Spanish with a confirmed release date of 28 August 2015.[3]

The film is set to have its world carpet premiere on 14 May 2015 at the Regal Cinemas L.A. Live Stadium 14 theater.[39]


Leoncio Lara will compose the film's score, and performed by the Orchestra of Puebla.[40][41]


The soundtrack features 12 original songs written and composed by various Latin artist, and three score pieces composed by Leoncio Lara Bon. The album features the song "Hasta el Cielo Alcanzar" (film's main song) written and performed by six-time Latin GRAMMY nominated Aleks Syntek. The album also contains songs by La Arrolladora Banda Limón, Los Tucanes de Tijuana, 3Ball Mty. featuring Don Cheto, Amanditita, Duelo, Horacio Palencia and many more. The Soundtrack is produced by Gerry Cardoso.


  1. ^ Twitter / LeoncioLaraBon: Pronto a grabar la musica de ...
  2. ^ Cardoso, Gerry. "Anahuac Films". California Film Foundation. California Film Foundation. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "EL AMERICANO: THE MOVIE New Trailer". Desde Hollywood. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w McLean, Tom (21 February 2015). "Hometown Hero". Animation Magazine (Animation Magazine). Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Olmos Productions and Animex Join Forces on “El Americano: The Movie”
  7. ^ El Universal - Espectáculos - Edward James Olmos apuesta por historias con mensaje
  8. ^ a b "Presentan "El Americano: The Movie", coproducción México-EUA | Diario Rotativo". Diario Rotativo. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  9. ^ Presentan “El Americano: The Movie”, coproducción México-EUA - Yahoo TV. Yahoo! TV. September 26, 2013
  10. ^ El Americano Features Impressive Latino Cast - Latin Gossip
  11. ^ a b Seigh, Steve (1 January 2015). "Ink & Pixel: Special Edition: 2015 Animation Preview - Movie News". JoBlo.com. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c Hopewell, John (13 May 2014). "FilmSharks Snags International Rights to Animated Feature ‘El Americano 3D’". Variety. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  13. ^ Kay, Jeremy (21 May 2014). "El Americano scores sales through FilmSharks". Screen Daily. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "El Americano The Movie, se estrena este verano". 28 January 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "El Americano: The Movie - LatinoLA". LatinoLA (LatinoCities, Inc). 
  16. ^ Paquito - EL AMERICANO - Facebook
  17. ^ Cuco - EL AMERICANO - Facebook
  18. ^ Martin - EL AMERICANO - Facebook
  19. ^ Garcia - EL AMERICANO - Facebook
  20. ^ a b c Cataño, Paulina (27 September 2013). "52 millones de pesos, el costo de El Americano: the movie de Animex". Diario Matutino. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  21. ^ Raymundo, Neil (2 May 2012). "Olmos Productions and Animex Team Up for El Americano: The Movie". Toon Barn. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  22. ^ El Americano: The Movie, la nueva cinta de Animex (in Spanish) Retrieved January 2, 2014. September 27, 2013. Claudia Cisneros
  23. ^ El Americano - The Movie presentation
  24. ^ Destaca película tijuanense en el Festival de Cine de Morelia
  25. ^ "EL AMERICANO - Edward James Olmos recording his voice (look in the description)". Facebook. Facebook, Inc. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  26. ^ a b c Rompiendo los límites con MODO en El Americano: The Movie
  27. ^ a b Huerta, Cesar (17 April 2013). "El Universal - - Lisa Kudrow se hace friend del cine mexicano". El Universal. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  28. ^ Lisa Kudrow hablará en español para la película El Americano
  29. ^ Conferencia de Prensa Festival de Cine de Morelia | Press conference at Morelia Film Festival (skip to 36:24)
  30. ^ Rosas, Gerardo (22 October 2013). "Se presentó en el FICM la película "El Americano" / Morelia / Noticas - Marmor Informa - Noticas en Michoacan". Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  31. ^ "'El Americano' to play Mexico film festival". 19 October 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  32. ^ a b c Rhinewald, Shane (19 February 2014). "See the Rochester Premiere of El Americano: The Movie At The Strong Museum on March 15". Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  33. ^ Hopewell, John (20 May 2014). "‘El Americano 3D’ Kicks Off Pre-Sales at Cannes (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety (magazine). Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  34. ^ "El Americano, primera coproducción animada de E.U. y México, llegará en 2015". El Diario. 20 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  35. ^ a b ""El Americano: The Movie" del Director poblano Ricardo Arnaiz tendrá presencia en "Comic-Con" en San Diego, California, E.U.". Diario Momento (Editorial Alatriste SA de CV). 19 June 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  36. ^ "AMC Theaters: El Americano (SDLFF)". AMC Theaters. AMC Theaters. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  37. ^ "El Americano, Advance Screening". 2015 San Diego Latino Film Festival. San Diego Latino Film Festival. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  38. ^ "Official SDLFF2015 Film Line-Up, Schedule & Special Guests!". San Diego Latino Film Festival. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  39. ^ EL AMERICANO THE MOVIE Red Carpet Gala
  40. ^ Movie: El Americano | Edward James Olmos | OlmosPerfect
  41. ^ Olmos and Animex Join Forces on El Americano The Movie | AWN | Animation World Network

External links[edit]