Niña Repelente

Faithful to my self-proclaimed duty to bring to you all the latest YouTube sensations in Andalucía, I present to you the series of animated shorts “Niña Repelente” (Obnoxious Girl). The creators are from Camas, which makes “Niña Repelente” the the fifth-most memorable product hecho en Camas, after Real Madrid and Spain defender Sergio Ramos, legendary bullfighter Curro Romero, the incredibly Spanish ham and pork chop “serranito” sandwich, and, of course, my girlfriend.

The “Niña Repelente,” named Margarita (meaning “daisy” in Spanish), is the stereotypical bratty girl. While her trademark obnoxiousness is universally understood, her language and the situations she encounters are very much rooted in the popular culture of working-class Sevilla. Though a cartoon, this series is at heart a work of poignant realism. Beyond just the simple plots — a cousin’s first communion, an afternoon at always-crowded Matalascañas, grappling with the now mandatory digital television apparatus — the series bubbles over with subtle touches of authentic Andalucía. The leg of ham hanging on the wall, the ubiquitous container of instant hot chocolate on the kitchen table, the painting of the Vírgen del Rocío above the sofa, the exact kind of frumpy that the woman in the apartment across the hall is, even the cheap white-washed architecture of the barrio bajo apartment building are all perfectly rendered to place Margarita in a very concrete time and place. In fact, even the concept of Margarita’s character, a young child who is astutely cynical and (colloquially) eloquent well beyond her years, is an unmistakeably Andalusian trait, known as marujo. This term is often used in reference to children whose behavior is more influenced by their grandparents than their parents (Andalusian family relations is a whole separate post, when I get around to it), but Margarita, in spite of her rocky relationship with her grandmother, is most definitely una maruja.

This cartoon is not a tourist’s romanticized version of Sevilla. In fact, it’s quite the opposite; with an unemployed father,  a depressed, pill-popping mother, and an ugly menace of little girl, “Niña Repelente” accomplishes what the realism had first set out to do in Spain following the artistic movement’s emergence in the 19th-century literary scene: it defeated the staleness and implausibility of romanticism. It may not be prettier, but reality is certainly funnier.

The sensation is only six episodes old, but many more are soon to come.

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~ by lincolnbrody on April 28, 2010.

6 Responses to “Niña Repelente”

  1. la consha la mejó!!

  2. I can’t seem to fully load this post from my iphone!!

  3. This series is well written and it’s the funniest I’ve seen in a long while. I live in Florida, U.S.A; let me know when the newest chapter is available!!!

    • hi julia, thanks for the comment. since i’ve posted these, there has been a 7th episode. there were also a couple christmas specials they did, i didn’t post, but you can find these all on youtube.

      lincoln

  4. Margarita means “daisy” in Spanish, yes. But the name of the character has not a special significance in the plot. Margarita’s the Spanish form of the English name “Margaret”.

  5. whoa that looks hilarious… i wish i could understand more than every 4th word.

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