A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Identifies lots of bird species (parrot, canary, kingfisher, flamingo).
While acknowledging importance of tradition and respect for old values, proposes that sometimes change can be good. Advocates patience, teamwork, looking inward for courage.
Positive Role Models
Over the course of the story, Cuco becomes adventurous, loyal, brave, and enterprising. The young hero will realize that what he seeks from others he can find within himself. Ideal parents nurture and protect him. Villain is vengeful and cruel. Male characters dominate the story and the action; the female birds, in more traditional roles (for example, parrot mom who is happy supporting her illustrious partner), join in and help.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of cartoon action, suspense, and narrow escapes. A one-eyed kingfisher villain is cruel, loud, and, along with his bumbling "henchbirds," responsible for numerous mean assaults on the heroes. Dangers (or scares) include a careening motorcycle, glowing eyes in the dark, a circus set collapsing on the players, fireballs, "bird-napping" and caging, a rockslide, an out-of-control mine cart, plummets, a wrestling armadillo, dynamite. In several scenes, the audience is not sure if a likable character has survived a threat or attack. No serious injuries or deaths.
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A few mean-spirited insults: "pip-squeak," "liar," "loser," "shut up!" Reference to "pee-pee."
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Products & Purchases
Calimax grocery store.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Americano, an animated family film made in Mexico and adapted for English-speaking audiences, is a colorful, multicultural tale that is set both in Mexico and California. A young parrot, obsessed with a U.S. television superhero, journeys from his home to Hollywood, hoping to enlist the powerful bird's help in rescuing his family from a revenge-fueled, villainous kingfisher. In this English-language version, bits of conversation, signage, and most of the music are in Spanish. It's well-integrated so the story and characters are always understood. Lots of cartoon action and a mean villain provide suspense and scares: chases, scuffles, narrow escapes, and fights throughout. Affirmative messages about patience, finding one's "inner hero," as well as respect for tradition and family are gently incorporated. Appropriate for kids who can comfortably discern the difference between pretend and real violence. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Vibrant animation, inventive characters, and the sounds of English and Spanish beautifully integrated in both dialogue and music make this otherwise routine story worth a recommendation. The heroic parrot, Rico Rodriguez, the lovable "Manny" from TV's popular Modern Family, learns much about himself in Americano as he takes an adventurous road trip (or "air" trip) across the Mexico-U.S. border, encountering an array of oddballs -- mostly birds of all feathers and a "surfer" rat. Paul Rodriguez, Lisa Kudrow, and Erik Estrada add some humor to the mix. The filmmakers' takes on the U.S.-Mexico border, the San Diego Zoo, and other landmarks are refreshing, as well.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.