The series follows the antics of the titular half-brothers as they learn to get along while unraveling the mysteries of the quirky little town of Monte Macabre, where they are spending the summer with their grandmother. Each episode will introduce the boys to a new myth or legend while featuring authentic storytelling and inclusive characters.
The series is the brainchild of Diego Molano, who first thought of the premise back in the early 2000s, when he was finishing up his education at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
“‘Victor and Valentino’ was my senior thesis, but it actually didn’t start out as a show. I turned it in as a video game,” Molano explains. “It was a kind of cooperative game where each little boy had different abilities and you had to do stuff to get to the goal.” He ended up working for an architecture firm at the time, but continued developing the characters. “The idea never really died in my head.”
Eventually Molano found himself in California, interning at Titmouse, and he decided to dust off the idea, but as a TV show. “I spent some time developing it into a pitch bible and I pitched it all over the place,” he says. “I ended up going with Cartoon Network because they offered a lot of creative freedom. They’re allowing me do the show that I want to do, which is not what other places offered.”
Telling these particular stories his way is very important to Molano because it represents the Latin culture, something he says that’s been done very little in animation.
“In animation, Latino representation has been very low,” he says. “I can count on my fingers how many Latino shows there’ve been. It’s cool to have the opportunity to make one, and to do it in a way where it shows our ancestry because of the myths. It’s just cool that I get to make the show that I wished was on TV when I was a little boy.”
Molano extends that diversity into his creative staff. “Yeah, absolutely. Because America’s diverse, I want the show to be as diverse as possible.”
The show has a wealth of myths and legends to pull from, Molano says. “It’s based on Mesoamerican mythology, which includes the Aztecs, the Olmecs, the Toltecs, the Zapotecs, the Mixtecs, the Incas and the Mayans. I’ve never seen that before. Growing up, that’s what fascinated me.”
One legend that hasn’t made it to the show just yet is that of Quetzalcoatl. But Molano says it will be coming soon.
“The god Quetzalcoatl has a lot of really cool myths throughout Mesoamerica,” explains Molano. “And what I like about it is the idea that he’s a creator god, but he’s also feathered serpent. He’s also a god of wind, a god of corn, a god of the people — he created people. He’s a god of abundance, and food and love and art.” That’s a lot to play with, he says.
Molano, who was one of Variety’s 10 Animators to Watch in 2018, notes that both the rambunctious Victor and the more serious Valentino are aspects of himself as growing up, so it’s not much a surprise that he voices Victor in the series. The added plus is that the series is voiced in both English Spanishs. And his hoarse voice proves it.
“Victor’s based on me as a kid and so is Valentino. I know Victor better than anyone, and I figured, why not voice Victor,” Molano explains. “I know Spanish, so why not voice Victor in Spanish as well.”
Every episode is available in Spanish on the CN App and On Demand. Cartoon Network exec produces the series.
The series premieres with four episodes at 9:30 a.m. ET/PT simultaneously in the U.S. and Latin America on Saturday, March 30.
“Victor and Valentino” come full circle today, March 26, however, with the debut of the “Victor and Valentino” game on the recently launched Cartoon Network Arcade app, free to download in the App Store and on Google Play. The game is called “Monster Kicks” and allows players to use the boys’ soccer skills to fight supernatural monsters. Fans also can collect the first sets of figures of the main characters and the mythical creatures introduced in the premiere episode with the new app.