Chico & Rita

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Chico & Rita Movie Poster Image
Sweet but mature animated love story is aimed at grown-ups.
  • NR
  • 2012
  • 96 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The main message is that some people just seem to be meant together, no matter what barriers come between them. The main characters are tempestuous lovers, but behind their spats, they're crazy about each other, and their relationship transcends distance, time, and other complications.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Chico isn't always the best boyfriend, letting his jealousy get the better of him, picking fights, and even straying at times. And Rita may not be the best girlfriend, either, as she leaves him behind to pursue fame and fortune. But they both eventually realize who they're meant to be with.

Violence

A few animated conflicts, including a realistic slap-fight between two women, a car chase, and a not totally realistic drug-related shooting that leaves a man dead.

Sex

Several relatively graphic sex scenes (all animated) that show nude women, as well as lots of kissing and some suggestive flirting.

Language

Some swearing, mostly in Spanish with English subtitles, including "bitch," "dammit" and "s--t."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A lot of drinking, mostly in bars. Some characters get drunk and provoke arguments. Several people smoke cigarettes and cigars, and one person tries to get high smoking marijuana.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the Oscar-nominated Chico & Rita may be animated, but it isn't aimed at kids. It's a grown-up love story about two Cuban musicians who fall for each other hard but can't always make it work. There are some bitter arguments with plenty of swearing (mostly in Spanish, with English subtitles), some sex scenes complete with realistic cartoon nudity, and a good deal of drinking and smoking.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written byEric Z. September 18, 2012

Visually arresting and rich with music, but love story misses mark

Ironically, for all the excitement, passion, and life that the Latin jazz soundtrack brings to Chico & Rita, the story itself is a predominately quiet o... Continue reading

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What's the story?

Chico (voiced by Eman Xor Ona) is a struggling piano player; Rita (Limara Meneses) is a struggling singer. In this animated film set in 1948 Cuba, they fall hard for each other and make not only a beautiful couple, but also a duo on the verge of stardom. The only thing that comes between them is themselves, as petty jealousy and drunken arguments threaten to break up them ... and their act. Can they have success and each other, or will their tempestuous relationship threaten their path to stardom?

Is it any good?

CHICO & RITA is a love story about two people who can't be together and can't be apart; if it were live action, with real people, it would probably seem predictable and cliched. But shifting the medium to animation makes the tale seem more believable and adds an entertaining, interesting, albeit ultimately not completely satisfying, twist.

This is not a cartoon for kids, it's about adults making grown-up choices. It's charming, melancholy, and bittersweet -- with sublime music -- and you root for the characters not to make the mistakes that are clearly about to happen. In the end, they may not get everything they hoped for, but eventually they get what they truly need.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Chico and Rita's relationship. Do you think they were meant to be together? Is there such a thing? Or is it a fiction promoted by movies, books, and TV shows?

  • Do you think animation is the right medium for this type of story? Can you imagine the same film using live-action actors? Do cartoons have to be aimed at children?

Movie details

For kids who love sophisticated animation

Our editors recommend

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