Stephanie Beatriz, Yalitza Aparicio and Kate del Castillo Give a New Meaning to ‘Jefa’ in this Animated Film
The vibrant animated short film “Elefanta” is an ode to Latina empowerment. Born from the creative minds of Mexican producers Olga Segura and Monica Ramirez, founders of The Latinx House, the short film features a stellar cast.
Actresses such as Stephanie Beatriz, Yalitza Aparicio, and Kate del Castillo make up the cast of “Elefanta.” The short film reimagines the popular rhyme “Un elefante se balanceaba.”
“Un elefante se balanceaba (columpiaba en México) sobre la tela de una araña, como veía que resistía fue a llamar a otro elefante…” The nursery song is known throughout the Spanish-speaking world.
The classic lyrics tell the story of elephants constantly balancing on a spider’s web. It’s an unexpected metaphor for the strength of community unity. This time, sixteen influential Latinas lend their voices to the animated elephants, affirming the power of cooperation and shared success.
An incredible cast
Stephanie Beatriz, best known for her work on “Encanto,” voices one of the main characters. Her voice opens the narrative with words of empowerment and aspiration.
The voices underscore the universal message that unity — or rather, the spider’s web — is stronger than it seems.
The cast also features the voices of Karla Souza (“How to Get Away With Murder”), Erendira Ibarra (Sense8), Jessica Marie Garcia (“On My Block”), and Natalia Reyes (“Terminator”).
Also participating are Paulina Davila (“The Deal”), Leonor Varela (“Cleopatra”), Jeimy Osorio (“Fast Five”), Mabel Cadena, Michelle Rodriguez, Tayhana, Mare Advertencia, and Charly Gynn.
‘Elefantas,’ a tribute to Latina unity
“My best help has always been the women. There has always been a woman who has helped me a lot. So I’m very grateful to all the women. And I think these kinds of movements are the ones that are going to unite us and really make something. You know, a noticeable change,” the Mexican actress told the AP.
The creators have acknowledged the project’s significance. The typical narrative, they say, frames others as competition, an unhealthy perception they aim to dismantle with “Elefanta.” The tale serves as a strong reminder that unity and support strengthen the community web.
“For many, the song is a childhood memory passed down for generations. But, we found a deeper meaning,” Segura and Ramirez wrote on the short’s official website. “We realized there was a message to be pulled from the song that we needed to translate for our community, especially when collaborating and building together. When one Latinx person holds power, they should help bring another Latinx. For our community to level up, we must support and lift up each other.”
A collaboration to empower Latinas
Beyond its impactful storyline, “Elefanta” also shows the significance of collaboration. The project, a labor of love three years in the making, was developed in partnership with Justice for Migrant Women, WarnerMedia 150, and the AT&T Foundation.
In a testament to the power of the community, numerous Latina actresses came together to voice the elephants embodying diverse roles — from science to law, medicine to space travel — emphasizing the collective strength in unity.
Ultimately, “Elefanta” sends an empowering message to Latinas and beyond — together, we are stronger. And with the Latina population projected to constitute 25.7 percent of the U.S. female population by 2050, the call for representation in animation — and all media — is more pressing than ever.
As we move forward, projects like “Elefanta” are vital reminders of the power of storytelling in promoting unity and empowerment within and beyond the Latina community.
“Elefanta: Que Ninguna Se Quede Balance Sola” is now available in English and Spanish on Spotify, YouTube, and all music streaming platforms.
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