Pantanal (telenovela)

Pantanal (telenovela)

Infobox Television Soap Opera
show_name = Pantanal

caption = Main title card
alternate_titles =
genre = Telenovela
creator = Benedito Ruy Barbosa
senior_cast_members =
country = BRA
num_episodes = 216 [ "Pantanal" (1990) -] ]
executive_producer =
head_writer = Benedito Ruy Barbosa
distributor = Rede Manchete
run_time =
network =
first_aired = March 27, 1990
last_aired = December 10, 1990
official_website =
imdb_id =
tv_com_id = 0142045

"Pantanal" is a Brazilian telenovela which aired for 216 episodes from March 27, 1990 to December 10, 1990 at 9:30 PM. Produced by Rede Manchete, the series was set in the Brazilian Pantanal region.

"Pantanal" is one of the best known "ecological" or "environmental" telenovela, a small sub-category of the genre whose purpose is to dramatize, and hence raise audience awareness of environmental degradation or deterioration. [cite book
last = Caesar
first = Terry
authorlink =
coauthors = Eva Bueno
title = Imagination Beyond Nation: Latin American Popular Culture
publisher = University of Pittsburgh Press
date = 1998
location =
pages = Introduction
url =;cc=pittpress;rgn=full%20text;idno=31735055592517;didno=31735055592517;view=image;seq=0015;node=31735055592517%3A7
isbn = 082294085X
id =
] The series was written by Benedito Ruy Barbosa and directed by Jayme Monjardim, Carlos Magalhães, Marcelo de Barreto, and Roberto Naar.


"Pantanal" brings to the screen a visually lush and enticing product in which traditional telenovela storylines and plot-devices are wed with cinematic audiovisual techniques that make the production look more like a movie than a television program. It is this visual appeal, coupled with the introduction of female frontal nudity to Brazilian prime-time television that allowed TV-Manchete to dominate the audience share in this prime-time slot for the first time, overcoming perpetual ratings leader TV-Globo. [] While the unusual storyline, special effects and erotic nature of the novela certainly attracts the attention of viewers, it is the location that truly makes this production stand out in the crowded telenovela line-up. Typically, the majority of telenovela productions are filmed indoors, in order to streamline production schedules and minimize costs. For example, TV-Globo’s scripts are habitually located in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, [ Article on "Pantanal" -] May 9, 1990 (Portuguese language).] allowing them (as is common practice throughout the industry) to use stock exterior footage of the city to complement the majority of the scenes, which are filmed in large, closed sound stages. Therefore, "Pantanal", novel in its outdoor, rural setting, may be even more interesting to urban novela audiences because it introduces them to a part of their country few are familiar with – the Pantanal region of the southwestern Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul.

The Pantanal region, whose name derives from the Portuguese word “pântano” (meaning “swamp” or “marsh” ), [ [ Yahoo! ] ] is a wetland, or alluvial plain, that covers parts of central-western Brazil, eastern Bolivia and eastern Paraguay. Eighty per cent of the wetland’s total area is in Brazil, where it occupies more than 140,000 km². [ UNEP-WCMC Protected Areas Programme - The Pantanal Conservation Complex ] ] It is frequently referred to as one of the largest freshwater wetland ecosystems in the world. [ Waterland research Institute: The Pantanal -] ] As part of the Paraguay floodplain, it is a depository for seasonal floodwaters from the Paraguay River and its surrounding tributaries (such as the Sao Lourenço, Cuiaba, Taquari, Miranda, Negro and Aquidauana). The region has been called “an ecological paradise” and “an unparalleled wildlife sanctuary of spectacular beauty” and has been compared to the Amazon rainforest in its density and its variety of flora and fauna. [ [ A Brazilian Wetland, Burgeoning With Wildlife - New York Times ] ] It is one of the most densely packed hydrological eco-systems in the world; home to thousands of bird, butterfly, insect, fish, plant, reptile, and mammal species. Anaconda and caiman, tapir and giant river otter, toucan and macaw, among others, all make their home in the Pantanal – as does the jaguar. It is this mysterious and beautiful world that provides the setting for "Pantanal"; a world that is home to river spirits who communicate with the human inhabitants and Juma Marruá, a beautiful young jaguar-woman who falls in love with Jovenito, an urbanite who returns to his birthplace to reconnect with his father and his roots in the land.

"Pantanal’s" producer (Nilton Travesso), author (Benedito Ruy Barbosa) and directors (Jayme Monjardim), Marcelo Barreto, Carlos Magalhães, and Roberto Naar) use cinematic special effects to create a fantastic world in which they use the metamorphoses of a beautiful young woman into a jaguar (and then back into a woman again) as a plot-device. They also take advantage of the exotic locale to introduce a storyline that includes nudity and a more explicitly erotic style than had been seen in the genre before this point. This turned the up-and-coming Rio de Janeiro-born actress Cristiana Oliveira, who portrays jaguar-woman Juma Marruá, into a nationally recognized figure practically overnight and made "Pantanal" the most talked about program in Brazil.

While "Pantanal" can be categorized as an “erotic” telenovela or a “supernatural” telenovela, it is as an ecological telenovela that its message still resounds more than fifteen years after it was first aired.

The telenovela may be an entertainment medium, but they are most-watched genre of television program in the world, with at least two billion viewers worldwide. [>Citation
last = Martinez
first = Ibsen
publication-date = Nov-Dec 2005
title = Romancing the Globe
periodical = Foreign Policy
publisher = Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
volume =
issue = 151
pages = pg. 48
url =
accessdate = September 4, 2008
] It has been proven many times over that they have the power to transmit positive sociocultural messages that can have an impact upon the specific issue introduced by the novela plot. [>Citation
last = Brown
first = William J.
publication-date = Winter 1992
title = Sociocultural Influences of Prodevelopment Soap Operas in the Third World
periodical = Journal of Popular Film and Television
publisher = Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
volume = 19
issue = 4
pages = pg. 157
url =
accessdate = September 4, 2008

In recent years, the ecology of the Paraguay River and the entire Pantanal Region has been threatened by plans to dredge the river and develop it as a waterway for commercial shipping. "Pantanal", the telenovela, may serve to illustrate what would be lost forever if that were to happen.


External links

*imdb title|id=0142045|title=Pantanal
* [ Waterland research Institute: The Pantanal -]
* [ "Pantanal" opening credits]

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