Toro is the story of a cow who wants to run like a bull in Pamplona.
Author: Andrew Avner
Narrators: Brad Raider, George Spielvogel, Malili Dib, Yolanda Corrales, Leila Cohen, Andrew Avner
Length: 2 hours and 57 minutes
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Released: Jun. 26, 2020
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
ToroA story that evokes beloved films such as Babe and Ratatouille.Alicía Catalina Cortés is a fast and fiery Spanish cow who desperately wants to run with the bulls in Pamplona – but since she’s a cow, tradition forbids her to partake in the fiesta of San Fermín. Through her journey, Alicía learns that to be noble and brave, she must follow her dream and her heart, even if it means defying tradition.Toro is set in the colorful backdrop of Pamplona, Spain during the fiesta of San Fermín and the running of the bulls, famed as one of the most exhilarating, dangerous, and spectacular events around the world.
Andrew Avner graduated with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television. After working in Manhattan with Academy Award-winning producer David Brown, Avner relocated to Los Angeles to develop his own original material. He’s currently writing and producing short films for The Walt Disney Company while penning his next novel.
Brad Raider (Narrator) Brad Raider is an actor, filmmaker, and meditation teacher living in Los Angeles. In addition to Toro, he’s voiced video games, cartoons, and industrials. His award-winning feature film, Kensho at the Bedfellow, is streaming free on Amazon Prime: https://amzn.to/345rhXD.
George Spielvogel (Don Murciélago Cortés, Jesús de los Jabalíes, Montie, Junior, Slim, Santiago, The Veedor, The Ganadero, Gallito, Zurito, The President of the Bullring) George Spielvogel, also known as MC Whack, has been performing for audiences since childhood. While still in his early teens, he starred in a touring children’s theatre group and went on to earn degrees from both the Meisner Studio and the Strasberg Institute at New York University. Spielvogel was the creative producer on the hit staged parody Point Break Live. He continues to produce independent content and work as a voice-over actor in Los Angeles.
Malili Dib (Alicía Catalina Cortés) Born in Puebla, Mexico, Malili Dib was discovered by producer Pedro Torres, who cast her in the popular television series Mujeres Asesinas. She soon went on to land a major recurring role in the Mexican version of Gossip Girl. After graduating with honors from the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City, Dib relocated to Los Angeles where she currently resides. Her film credits include Melancolía, co-starring Alessandra Rosaldo and Plutarco Haza, Your Iron Lady, co-starring Victoria del Rosal and Yul Bürkle, Valentina by up-and-coming director Jorge Xolalpa Jr., and The Restoration by award-winning Peruvian director Alonso Llosa.
Leila Cohen (Condesa Maria Del Toro, Doña Madonna de Doñana) Leila Cohen left Brazil when she was eighteen and bounced around the globe before settling down in Los Angeles. She received a degree in Performance and Visual Arts from Brighton University and went on to train at Central School of Speech in Drama in London and Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City. Cohen recently completed a Film and Television Screenwriting Comprehensive at UCLA and co-founded a production company with her sister, aptly named Cohen Sisters Productions.
Yolanda Corrales (Young Alicía, Waitress from the Basque country, Rosalita) Yolanda Corrales is a Spanish actress based in Los Angeles. Her career began as a professional dancer in the Royal Conservatory of Madrid. Eventually, she traveled to Mexico to work on acclaimed television series such as Juana Inés, José José: El Príncipe de la Canción, and Luis Miguel: The Series. Corrales has also performed in theatre and film and has appeared in more than one hundred commercials around the world.
Andrew Avner (Diego Del Toro, Don Julián Hernández, Billy Ray, Municipal Veterinarian, El Miguel)
INTERVIEW WITH ALICÍA CATALINA CORTÉS
- Where and when were you born?
I was born in the province of Seville just before sunrise.
- Are you right- or left-handed?
As a bovine, I’m left-horned. Almost every cow or bull uses one horn more than the other, and that horn’s called the master horn.
- What is your hair—I mean, what is your coat color and eye color?
My coat is gray like my father’s hide, and my eyes are brown.
- Are you optimistic or pessimistic?
- How do you measure success?
- How do you measure failure?
- Do you tend to argue with people, or avoid conflict?
(Antagonistically) What are you insinuating? Are you calling me irascible? (Smiling) I’m only joking. (Laughing) Let’s just say I’m not prone to shy away from conflict.
- What is your most treasured possession?
My cowbell’s my most treasured possession. It once belonged to my mother, who I never met. But I was named after her, and I’m told she was much like me.
- Who’s the funniest animal you know?
Jesús, the hog. Hoofs down, he’s the funniest animal I know.
- How do you deal with stress?
I run. Running helps clear my mind and dispels my stress.
Theme: To be noble and brave is to have the courage to follow your dream and your heart.
Alicía’s Outer Conflict/What She Wants: She’s a cow who wants to run with the bulls in Pamplona—but it’s the running of the bulls—not the running of the cows. Due to Spanish tradition and her overprotective father, Alicía’s forbidden to partake in the encierro, which is the running of the bulls. Instead, she’s expected to go along with a prearranged marriage to Don Julián.
Why Does She Want to Run? Not only is Alicía a natural sprinter, born nimble with talent and passion, but the running of the bulls is a way for her to prove herself noble and brave to her father and finally gain his respect and approval. Furthermore, it’s a way out of her prearranged marriage to Don Julián.
Alicía’s Inner Conflict: Through her journey, Alicía struggles to balance her personal goal (running with the bulls) and her relationship with Diego. At what price is she willing to run with the bulls? In order to achieve her personal goal, she deceives Diego. As she grows close to him and their romance blossoms, she’s forced to rethink her priorities. Ultimately, her internal struggle is one of personal ambition versus love—to balance a sense of self and a sense of togetherness.
Lesson Learned: Alicía learns that to be noble and brave is to have the courage to follow her dream and her heart. She realizes that her relationship with Diego is more important than her personal goal of running with the bulls. Ultimately, love is triumphant, and Alicía is willing to sacrifice her life to save Diego.
How Alicía’s Story Relates to the Theme: The theme is what Alicía learns through the course of her journey. By following her dream she’s led to follow her heart. By following her heart, Alicía goes on an odyssey of self-discovery, whereby she learns what is truly important—love.
Audience Relatability: Everyone has a dream. Everyone wants to love and be loved. We all try to balance a sense of self with a sense of togetherness, personal goals with relationships, business with family, selfishness with selflessness.
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