Mia and the Migoo

  • Review Date: April 20, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Magical realism adventure promotes family, environmentalism.
  • Review Date: April 20, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Although this isn't an educational film, it does pose questions about global warming and protecting nature against greed and development.

Positive messages

The movie's messages about the environment are more alarming than they are positive, but it's still an important lesson to learn about global climate change. There are also less environmental and more personal messages about the importance of father-child relationships and why it's emotional support and attention -- not money or status -- that make a good father.

Positive role models

Mia and her father, Pedro, are great examples of a daughter dedicated to her father and of a father who loves his daughter unconditionally. They provide a perfect contrast to Aldrin and his father -- who for most of the movie is more focused on a business deal than his own son.

Violence & scariness

Aldrin's father is cruel and greedy in his pursuit of developing the tropical island. He uses fancy weapons that he gets from an impressive arsenal -- including rocket-propelled grenades -- to blow up the tree. Explosions alter the landscape and cause the sky to turn an ominous black. A father is trapped in an underground tunnel and presumed dead by various people.

Sexy stuff

Mia and Aldrin hold hands and hug.

Language

Insult language like "stupid," "coward," "cheater," and "shut up."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Grown-up men drink while playing cards.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this animated adventure focuses on two things being saved: the environment from corporate greed and a young girl's father from a dire situation. There's some violence -- as evidenced by a businessman who's armed to the teeth with advanced weapons that he plans to use against nature. The language never gets too salty but does include "stupid," "shut up," and similar insults, and there's some brief pushing and shoving and threats made by construction workers who hate their boss. Ultimately the movie's message is pro-nature and pro-family, but there's also some sorcery and magical creatures, which might not be a good fit for families sensitive to those sorts of characters.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
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What's the story?

Mia (voiced by Amanda Misquez) hasn't heard from her father, Pedro (Jesse Corti), in a long time and has a vision that she should go look for him. He's actually trapped in an underground tunnel at his work site, which is run by a luxury real-estate development firm headed by Mr. Jekhide (John DiMaggio), who must take his own young son, Aldrin (Vincent Agnello), to a tropical island where he plans to build an exclusive vacation club. Aiding Mia on her trip to the remote island are her dead mother's good luck charms, a sorceress (Whoopi Goldberg), and eventually by the Migoo, a shape-shifting, marshmallow-like creature (Wallace Shawn) that can multiply into various versions of itself and whose job it is to protect the Tree of Life, a special "mother tree" that resides in the middle of the proposed development. Aldrin and Mia band together to both attempt to find Pedro and to try to stop Jekhide from destroying the tree.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

French director Jacques-Rémy Girerd won a best animated feature European Film Award in 2009 for this movie, but it took a couple of years for this the beautifully animated adventure to make its way to wide release -- and it's easy to see why. This isn't the typical Pixar or Blue Sky production with marketable heroes and an easy-for-kids-to-follow storyline. There's aren't any A-list comedians voicing the characters, and the movie's message about saving the environment is buried in a mysticism that isn't what many families expect when they go to a matinee together. That said, it's worth expanding your film horizons, and this richly animated, pro-nature, pro-family story is a lovely, memorable film, particularly for mature kids who want something beyond the Happy Meal-toy cartoons.

The Migoo, especially as voiced by Shawn, are sweet and lovable, and they provide a perfect contrast to the hard- and cold-hearted Jekhide, who doesn't have the first clue how to parent his kind, gentle son. The friendship between Aldrin and Mia is adorable and shows just how much a boy and a girl can accomplish if they put their differences aside and work together. And above all, Mia and Pedro's bond conquers every perceivable obstacle so that the father and daughter can be reunited. Despite its very obvious environmental message, this lushly animated drama is really the story of a father and daughter's love, and you can't argue with that.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's message. How does it propose that we can each make a difference in helping the world? Do you like movies with strong messages about a particular topic?

  • Compare the two father-child pairs in the movie. How are Mia and her father portrayed versus Aldrin and his father? Which characters are role models? Why?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 22, 2011
DVD release date:August 7, 2012
Cast:James Woods, John DiMaggio, Wallace Shawn, Whoopi Goldberg
Director:Jacques-Rémy Girerd
Studio:GKIDS
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:thematic elements, some peril and brief mild language

This review of Mia and the Migoo was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of an infant year old Written bygoodparent_mama August 7, 2012
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

good review

very good good story
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Adult Written bynduns September 7, 2012
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

An interesting film

This movie is gorgeous, has a generally nice story and a strong role model. Unfortunately, this movie as far as characters are concerned is like Pocahontas with slightly more effort. Mia's a great role model for young girls. She faces all kinds of odds and makes friends with everyone through her kindness and bravery. Unfortunately, that's all there is too her. She's not interesting. She undergoes no character arc, no major changes, she's just herself and that's it. The Migoo suffer from the same problem as Aishling from Secret of Kells: They're very entertaining and could be the best characters in the film but only get about 10-15 minutes worth of screentime. However, while Aishling was well fleshed-out, these guys aren't. The film tries to make them interesting but gives them way too much story and way too little time to work with it. However, what makes this film better than Pocahontas is the father and the son. They are so interesting and it's even better that the film puts most of its focus on them as they were the only people I cared about completely in this movie. There is so much depth to them, they're so relate-able, their relationship is handled so well that I don't understand why they're not the title characters. Clearly this movie is more about them than the little girl and her forest spirit friends! All in all, it's a good film and I do recommend checking it out, just don't set your expectations too high when it comes to the story. This is more worth checking out for its visuals.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent of a 8 year old Written byNYU mom April 23, 2011
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

wow - this is a beautiful movie - highly recommend

The animation is simply breathtaking, with visible brushstrokes, like a moving painting. The story has a great moral message about family and also the importance of nature. The main charactrer of Mia is a strong, brave, self-possessed girl, determined but not haughty, a perfect role model. This movie is definitely worth seeing.

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