Pokemon Go hysteria doesn’t seem to be diminishing just yet, and if it maintains even a fraction of its popularity for the next few months, you know who’s going to come knocking? Hollywood. Despite its lackluster track record of adpating video games into hit movies, you know there’s someone out there itching to cast Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in a 2-hour Pokemon Go movie. Yawn. Why not just give the people what they want: a Pokemon TELENOVELA. Seriously, telenovelas last three months, not 120 minutes, and that’s the perfect amount of time to join Ash, Misty and Brock on a series of over-the-top adventures filled with battles, chisme and betrayal. “Cazadores De Pokemon y Corazones” sounds like a good title, right? So, who would we cast in the novela?
Let’s start with Team Rocket. The villain you love to hate, Jessie, would be played by “Rebelde” veteran Dulce María.
CREDIT: Credit: The Pokemon Company International and Televisa
Gael García Bernal could make a triumphant return to telenovelas by playing James of Team Rocket.
CREDIT: Credit: The Pokemon Company International and Warner Sogefilms
Who could bring Brock to life in a novela? Tyler Posey of “Teen Wolf” fame.
CREDIT: Credit: The Pokemon Company International and MTV
The Pokémon franchise is one of the biggest and most important ones in the world. Including video games, TV series, movies, card games, collectible cuddly toys and even clothing, the Pokémon empire’s profits amount to billions of dollars annually. With more than 800 species of Pokémon, the work for Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri has taken inspiration from various cultures around the world to invent each of the “pocket monsters,” and some were inspired by Latin America.
Nintendo and the Pokémon Company have published well over 50 different Pokémon games.
#DidYouKnow the original DMG Gameboy can play most GBC games If it has a clear cart it won't work but black cartridges and all the pokémon games minus crystal work perfectly just without color Making it the only console to be forwards compatible. pic.twitter.com/9Z1FcCFnQr
In the two decades since Pokémon first came to be, Nintendo has released over 50 games set in different worlds —featuring hundreds of unique monsters.
Currently, there are 722 official Pokémon that have been confirmed by Nintendo.
The nearly 800 monsters, draw upon the folklore from various cultures. Mawile, a fairy/steele-type monster, is loosely based on the Japanse legend of the Futakuchi-onna, a demon woman with a second mouth hidden in the back of her head, for example.
While some Pokémon are tied to myths, others are grounded in real-world cultures.
In particular, there just so happen to be a handful of pocket monsters with direct links to Latin America. Some of them are super cool and some of them are…well, pretty racist. But they’re all a part of the Pokémon legacy and you should know all about them.
In typical Pokémon fashion, it’s difficult to tell what Ludicolo’s supposed to be exactly. It’s a pineapple. It’s a duck. It’s a man wearing a poncho and a sombrero who likes to sing and dance? At best, Ludicolo’s supposed to be a tribute to Mexican Mariachi. At worst, it’s just offensive. You decide.
Sigilyph is a flying/psychic Pokémon first introduced in the Black and White games. Unlike most Pokémon, Sigilyph isn’t based on a specific animal, but rather a drawing of one. The monster’s design is inspired by the Nazca Lines, a set of artistic geoglyphs etched into the earth of the Nazca Desert in southern Peru.
Hawlucha is definitely part of the Pokémon wall of fame. It’s a fighting/flying hawk-esque creature with an affinity for airborne wrestling moves inspired by lucha libre. Whereas Ludicolo came across as a slightly-racist reading of a cultural tradition, Hawlucha’s characterization tends to be much more respectful and celebratory. Also it’s just cool.
This Pokémon is inspired by the axolotl, the amphibian endemic to the Mexican Basin, who can regenerate its own body. The Mexican-inspired monster is blue, and has a pair of antennae on its head —which are a clear reference to the gills of Axolotls.
Rayquaza is a mixture of several mythological beings, but we gotta say that its resemblance to Quetzalcoatl is pretty evident. This is one of the most powerful Pokémon of the franchise’s universe, and there’s a colorful version in the Pokémon Go video game.
For foreigners, the cactus is a very Mexican element, and Maractus is a Pokémon-cactus, its bright colors are reminiscent of Mexican culture. In addition, it shakes what would be its hands as if they were maracas, another very “Mexican” element for people —hence the name mar(acas)(ca)ctus.
When the first Pokémon games were released, Mew was something of an urban legend. When Mew’s existence was finally confirmed and the Pokémon was made available to the public, we learned that Mew was the original Pokémon from which all others descended.
In the first Pokémon movie, Mew’s described as being a psychic capable of learning all moves and transforming into other Pokémon. It’s also explained that researchers looking for the elusive monster eventually (and unknowingly) discover it in the jungles of Guyana. Ancient Guyanese cultures, it’s implied, encountered Mew often enough that they incorporated it into their local mythology, a concept that’s worth pointing out considering that Mew’s known for rendering itself invisible.
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And no, we’re not talking about ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’, that’s a different Versace-themed glamorous murder-mystery. This time, the Italian fashion house, known for its drama and campy decadence, produced a whole bite-sized Telenovela featuring its holiday 2019 collection. Think Veronica Castro in the 80s; big perms, bold statement jewelry, betrayal, murder and tax evasion. Not even Telemundo could’ve thought of a more twisted and fabulous story.
Versace’s Holiday Saga is a tumultuous and OTT Telenovela.
The concept was first ideated in collaboration with the American artist Sarah Baker and the UK art and fashion journal; Baroness Magazine. The six-part micro-telenovela includes all the traditional elements of Latino soap-operas that we’re all too familiar with; such as a filthy-rich family who owns an over the top mansion, a greedy antagonist (usually a sexy female), the wronged husband, the ingenue and the sketchy accountant.
The protagonist, Angelina, is a rich business woman who is suspected of having committed a crime.
Constructed as a series of letters written by the protagonist to Donatella herself, the story follows Angelina (played by Baker), the CEO of Narcissist Records who has been accused of stealing the smash hit “Spritz Me With Your Love” (lol), from an uncredited writer.
In telenovelas, people return from the dead, blackmail each other and plot the protagonist’s demise, and Versace’s version isn’t short of all that drama.
The writer of the song is in fact Angelina’s boy toy, “Angelo,” who —in true Telenovela style— appears to have mysteriously died after falling off a cliff. Angelina, suspects that her archenemy The Baroness—Angelo’s wife— played by top model Helena Christensen, is to blame.
If it all sounds twisted, over the top dramatic and just all around extra; wait until you see the visuals.
The 6 mini-episodes not only feature fabulously dressed models clad in all Versace outfits, but also a huge assortment of random Versace-emblazoned items. There’s Versace silverware, a Versace pool float, a Versace volleyball, a Versace ash tray, Versace martini glasses, and the list goes on.
By this point, if you grew up watching Telenovelas, you should know that nothing is as expected.
Telenovela plotlines are a twisted business. If you’ve watched classics like ‘La Usurpadora’, ‘Los Ricos Tambien Lloran’, ‘Rubi’, or ‘Maria Mercedes’, you’d know better than to assume that things will follow their natural course. In Versace’s story; Angelo is of course, not dead. The accountant is plotting to frame Angelina and marry her daughter —the ingenue— to keep Narcissist Records for himself. Angelina had an affair with her frienemy ‘The Baroness’s’ husband Angelo, and The Baroness is actually… drumroll please… an undercover spy.
You can watch the six-part series on Versace’s holiday campaign website.
Versace unleashed the first full episode as well as a director’s cut on their Youtube channel. The Italian house’s complete 6-episode soap opera, is available to view for free in the form of a ‘Versace Holiday Saga’ on the brand’s website.
There will also be a print edition of the story.
The actual print edition of the art and fashion magazine ‘Baroness’ will feature the story alongside an accompanying editorial shoot —which seems to be even steamier than the video clips.
Donatella’s take on the classic soap-opera has all of our Telenovela-loving hearts, obsessed.
Versace knows the importance of spectacle and drama. Donatella embraces over-the-top luxury and this tongue-in-cheek take on the campy Telenovela, is evocative of the 80s and 90s classics, us Latinx millennials, grew up watching. Angela and The Baroness might as well be characters in ‘Maria Mercedes’ or ‘Los Ricos Tambien Lloran’ and we can’t stop watching. It’s ridiculous and we’re sure you’ll love it, too.
As ridiculous as the narrative might seem, The Versace Saga gives us every single thing we need out of a Telenovela: sex, scandal, intrigue, decadence and sisterhood.
After the unravelling of the scandalous lives of the female protagonists, the campaign teaches us an important lesson in empowered sisterhood. Dismantling the misconception of ruthless powerful women in popular culture as spiteful, Angela and The Baroness actually patch things up and work together to unmask the real villains; Jacob and Angelo.
In this project, Baker and Donatella aim to subvert the judgement of ‘passional’ soap-star females fueled by theatricality. Instead they celebrate sisterhood by wrapping up the story with a collaborative female effort to overthrow the pangs of blackmail and deceit.
The holiday campaign features Versace Cruise 2020, and a wide selection of the brand’s famous medusa, emblazoned on household items. The collection is now shoppable on versace.com
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