La Leyenda de la Llorona

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
La Leyenda de la Llorona Movie Poster Image
Highly original kids' ghost story with scares and subtitles.
  • NR
  • 2011
  • 74 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

An introduction to a well-known Mexican legend "The Weeping Woman." Depiction of some aspects of Mexican culture and mysticism.

Positive Messages

A mother's love is boundless and protective. In this story based on a prominent Mexican legend, when two well-meaning children help a grieving mother's soul reunite with the souls of her children, peace and harmony is restored.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Funny, engaging characterizations of Mexican children, families, and their brave, but sometimes bumbling heroes. No true villains here; even the scary ghost is given strong motivation for her behavior and is redeemed by the film's end.


Violence & Scariness

A shrieking, angry ghost haunts scenes throughout. With red eyes, bathed in green shadows, and with fearsome expressions she chases and abducts children, threatens their rescuers, and generally wreaks havoc in Xochimilco, Mexico. A brief scene shows a woman trying to put out a house fire as her children are set adrift in a nearby river. In addition, bizarre creatures on the infamous Puppet Island menace the heroes who try to stop the ghost. There are lots of pratfalls: slides, bumps on the head, a green monster with bad breath, a raging storm, and a Punch-and-Judy bashfest played out with creepy critters.

Sexy Stuff

A few iffy words: "Jesus," "damn;" some mild potty language: "pee," "the runs," "butt."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that La Leyenda de La Llorona, though funny and inventive, may not be right for kids who don't read easily, due to subtitles, or who can't handle the theme of untimely death at its heart. Based on a popular Mexican legend, "Llorona" is the ghost of a desperate, grieving mother who cannot find peace and holds herself responsible for the death of her children. She's a scary ghost who glides, chases, startles, wails, and captures innocent children. An additional collection of odd, menacing, but comical creatures inhabit an island into which the heroes fall from the sky. Despite multiple bumps, falls, fires, crashes, and ghostly attacks, there are no deaths or serious injuries; everything resolves happily.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjogging October 17, 2018

it's a common sense 8 & up

Let's be clear this is a Children's Ghost Story. If you allow your 5 yo to watch this movie & they have nightmares it's on you. Unfortuna... Continue reading
Parent of a 6 and 6-year-old Written byMichelle Y. October 30, 2013


This film disturbed my children when they saw it at age 5. My son still has nightmares about La Llorona 18 months later. The idea of these children dying and... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old February 18, 2019

A really good movie

This movie is a great movie and appropriate for kids any age really!

What's the story?

Llorona, a young mother of Mexican legend, has been terrorizing the town of Xochimilco since the death of her young son and daughter. Angry and unsettled, she wails and swoops through the city at night abducting other innocent children. The latest casualty is Beto, the beloved brother of young Kika (Monica del Carmen in an endearing portrayal), stolen on Halloween night. The town priest has sent a letter desperately asking for help from Mr. Andres (cleverly reminiscent of Don Quixote), who with his fire-breathing dragon and an orphan boy, rides the skies over Mexico in a hot-air balloon solving mysteries and rescuing the helpless. This band of heroes is renowned: well-intentioned, brave, and pure-of-heart. Unfortunately while on their way, the balloon crashes in a terrible storm. Mr. Andres and company land on Puppet Island, where they have other bizarre creatures to contend with. Falling to earth before his friends, the orphan -- Leo San Juan -- is rescued by Kika near Xochimilco and the two set out to stop the terrible ghost.

Is it any good?

LA LEYENDA DE LA LLORONA is filled with wonderfully inventive animation, witty dialogue, and rich characterizations. It's a treat for kids who read well enough to manage the subtitles, and who won't be upset by the legend of a dead woman who believes she is responsible for the death of her young children. There are scares, laughs, and, underlying all, a soothing premise -- that a mother's love is "a boundless and most precious gift protecting children in this world and the next."

This is a good movie to share as a family and might be a good subtitle starter movie.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Kika and Beto and Leo San Juan. How are these children similar to or different from your friends and schoolmates? How can you find out more about kids from Mexico?

  • How do subtitles change the experience of watching a film?

  • As a little sister, Kika was both annoying and lovable. If you have brothers or sisters, how are they both annoying and lovable?

Movie details

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Themes & Topics

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