A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Guardians of the Lost Code is a 2010 animated feature from Mexico. There are some mild scares throughout the movie that could be a bit much for younger kids, but the biggest concern overall is in the difficulties in following the overly complex storyline. While the Mexican folktales on which this film is based are explained through a montage over the first ten minutes, the story is then placed in a modern setting in which characters travel through time and regions of the world, meet various good and evil gods, and must rescue the world and restore faith and belief in magical beings called the Brije. The ambition in the movie leaves everything a bit unfocussed, and coupled with the overall poor quality of the English voiceovers, this one is best for kids interested in anime, and kids and families already familiar with the basic story on which this is based.
What's the story?
Long ago, humanity formed an alliance with the "Brije," benevolent spirits assigned to each person to help them be the best and bravest they could be. But over time, people stopped believing in the Brije, and as many Brije disappeared as a result, many others became evil in order to survive. In contemporary times, three kids led by a precocious boy named Freddy (Jose A. Toledano) enter a museum and through a sculpture of a god, are informed that they must protect the codex from the evil spirits and their human allies who seek to conquer the world. Evil comes in the form of a greedy man named Elmer (Jose Luis Orozco) who recruits three bullies to help him in his wicked quest. Freddy and his friends undergo a tremendous adventure that takes them through time and space -- from China in the early 20th Century, to Egypt in 1345, to the Mayan Empire, where they must battle wicked gods, bad Brije, and Elmer, and must convince the human race to believe in the Brije again, for it is the only way to save the planet from evil.
Is it any good?
Fans of anime might enjoy this Mexican-based spin on a classic folktale from that country. But the ambition in GUARDIANS OF THE LOST CODE makes this a movie in which they try to do too much with the time and budget they were given. While the central conflict is outlined within the first ten minutes, the attempts at modernizing the story fall short as the twists and turns of the plot become hard to follow. Three kids must rescue the world and bring the Brije (guardian angels, in a sense) back, and their quest takes them to China, Egypt, and Mexico, in various points in time, as ancient gods are introduced seemingly on a whim, and backstories with some of the antagonists are shoehorned in as the viewer tries to make sense of what is happening.
Furthermore, the English voiceovers are not the best. With all these factors taken into consideration, this makes Guardians of the Lost Code best for fans of anime, and for those already familiar with the original folktales on which this movie was inspired.
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