A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Xico's Journey is a Mexican animated family adventure about a girl and her dog who journey into a mountain to save it, the environment, and all the people in her town. The intrepid hero, Copi, is a strong girl lead, smart, kind, and fearless. She has strong support from friends and family, as well as from Xico, her guardian dog, who could turn out to be more magical than even Xico could imagine. It's a story of protecting nature (the mountain) against corporations who want to blow it up for gold and money. There are a few fight scenes where animals tangle with one another and large machines. Some scary sounds accompany some dark visuals, like when the forest trees and Mr. Tree turn to stone, when the scorpion growls, or when the corporation's businesspeople tell their army to "Kill them!" A little girl also gets pierced in the chest by the scorpion, but only the aftermath is shown (as a faded blotchy spot). A father gets shot, but it's also heard and not shown. Language includes one instance each of "damn," "hag," and "brat."
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What's the story?
In XICO'S JOURNEY, Copi (Veronica Alva) and her dog, Xico, race off into a mountain to find her lost parents. Meanwhile, Copi's grandmother, Nana Petra, tries to stop the incoming corporate excavation and demolition machines en route to explode and destroy the mountain. With help from her friends, family, and newfound spirit guardians, will Copi find her parents? Who will stop the corporation from destroying the mountain?
Is it any good?
The animation in this fun family movie is beautiful, bright, and colorful. The look of Xico's Journey is unique in that it looks a bit like the animation style used in the stunning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, only a lot less busy and much more minimalist. But that isn't to say this doesn't look modern. There are nice visual touches, special effects, and shot sequences. And while the story is OK and reminds us to always remember that we are a part of nature, it's a bit thin, so the performances keep everything together: tension, emotion, and motivation. Veronica Alva and Luis Angel Jaramillo are effortless as Copi and Gus, respectively. There are tender moments, moments of peril, and moments of success. Kids will enjoy the ending and might even be inspired to do their part to help the environment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about animation and special effects in family movies. How does Xico's Journey look compared to other animated movies you've seen? How would you describe the animation?
Discuss what's wrong with what the businesspeople wanted. Why might it be wrong for people to destroy something in order to make money?
What happened to the mayor at the end, when he stepped into the light? Why would he do this? Do you think he still deserves "punishment," or do you think he learned his lesson? Why?
How is the character strength of courage shown?
- On DVD or streaming: February 12, 2021
- Cast: Veronica Alva, Luis Angel Jaramillo, Pablo Gama Iturraran, Lila Downs
- Director: Eric D. Cabello Diaz
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship
- Character strengths: Courage
- Run time: 85 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 23, 2021
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