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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is centered on a young boy with Down syndrome sent to live with his grandparents and cousin after the untimely passing of his mother, and shows the importance of acceptance of everyone and the wondrous power of the imagination.
Positive Role Models
Nicolas reveals tremendous heroism, affection, and creativity throughout the movie. His cousin David dislikes Nicolas at first, but grows to love him and consider him his best friend. Mia and Tomas are the loving grandparents of Nicolas and David, and display unconditional patience and love with the boys.
Nicolas has Down syndrome, and is a fully developed character with a rich imagination and boundless affection for those around him. The Special Olympics had a role in the making of this movie, and the voice actor who plays Nicolas is a young boy with Down syndrome.
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Violence & Scariness
Some exaggerated cartoonish violence as Nicolas and, eventually, David, enter a submerged kingdom inside of an old chest in which Nicolas keeps all of his old costumes. Cannon fire. A Western villain named "Giggles" shoots his gun in a saloon and his bullets give everyone who is shot a smiling clown face. A pirate gives a villain a wedgie. Bedtime stories involve guns and swords. In the real world, there's some bullying as kids in David's class make fun of him because his dad isn't home very often, and kids use names like "twerp," and shove each other on the playground and yell "shut up
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Bullies call a kid a "twerp" and say "shut up." Potty humor and words like "poopy."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Brief mention of beer drinking. Cowboys drink shakes inside of a saloon.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Un Disfraz para Nicolas (A Costume for Nicolas) is a Mexican animated movie in which a 10-year-old boy with Down syndrome has a costume chest leading to an imaginary world. The characters face challenges such as the loss of a parent, a parent who is often far from home due to work, and bullying, but these issues are handled in a way that's accessible and not too intense for younger viewers. There's some silly humor, gags involving flatulence, and a pirate using the word "poopy." A Western movie villain named "Giggles" enters a saloon where everyone drinks shakes and fires his gun. A pirate gives a villain a wedgie. Some imaginary battles told in bedtime stories involve guns and swords, as well as imagined fighting on the seas with cannon fire. Brief mention of beer drinking. In the real world there's some bullying, as three kids in school laugh at Nicolas' cousin David during a class presentation on what his dad does for a living, and they throw around words like "twerp" and yell "shut up!" on the playground, but Nicolas and David find a way to stand up to the bullies. The two most prominent adults in the movie, Nicolas and David's grandparents, are kind and loving toward them, even if the boys get into occasional mischief, and are presented as wise. Nicolas is shown to be a young boy with a kind heart and wild imagination, and that's ultimately how he's defined and loved by those around him. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a wonderful movie about the power of love and imagination, and how a young boy with Down syndrome is defined by both. Un Disfraz para Nicolas (A Costume for Nicolas) is a Mexican animated movie that effectively addresses some serious topics that many kids contend with, such as bullying, the loss of a parent, and changing family situations, and it does so without either sugarcoating these issues or going too far in the opposite direction and upsetting kids. The costume metaphor works perfectly here, as Nicolas's grandfather Tomas beautifully explains to him (and us) what truly makes Nicolas such a one-of-a-kind child.
In Nicolas's imaginary world inside his costume chest, there are some moments of potty humor, but the silliness works in terms of keeping the movie relatively light and accessible for young kids. The animation is solid, if not distinctive, and fits the style and substance of the story. This is an excellent movie all around.
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