Here are five movies from various platforms that families may want to consider, as recommended by the Deseret News arts and entertainment department.
Rich in history and culture, Latin America is a land of opportunity where a peasant and an emperor become funny friends, a young musician meets his ancestors and a masked luchador fulfills his dream. Walk the streets of gold with these family-friendly tales.
In theaters: "Coco"
Celebrate the Mexican culture with this new Pixar film that showcases the importance of ancestors. Miguel, an aspiring young musician whose family has prohibited music, is intent on proving his talent. After a string of events lands him in the Land of the Dead on Dia de los Muertos, Miguel meets a trickster who helps him uncover the mystery of his family's ban on music. The Dove Foundation awarded the film its "Dove Approved" seal for all ages and called the film gorgeous, with a "breathtaking, imaginative universe" that includes messages about "selfless love, commitment and true motivation to honor family even while enduring injustice." Deseret News reviewer Josh Terry gave the animated movie three stars out of four, and Rotten Tomatoes awarded the PG-rated film a 96 percent "fresh" rating.
A domesticated male macaw living in Minnesota travels to Rio de Janeiro to meet a female bird of his kind. The Dove Foundation awarded the film its "Dove Approved" seal for all ages and said the film "brings together a menagerie of vivid characters, a heart-warming story, colorful backdrops, energizing Latin and contemporary music, and family-friendly song and dance." Common Sense Media gave the movie four stars out of five and recommends the film for viewers ages 6 and older.
iTunes: "The Emperor's New Groove"
This "hilarious animated romp through the Peruvian jungle" is "set in a mythical mountain kingdom of the Peruvian Andes," according to Movieguide.org. The buddy movie follows a young arrogant emperor, Kuzco, who is transformed into a llama and must rely on a peasant for help. Parent Previews emphasized the film’s themes of “trust, cooperation and forgiveness between two very different people,” stating, “If you enjoy the Bugs Bunny cartoons you watched as a child, you’ll probably like this title and be happy with the lessons it teaches your children.” The website gave the G-rated film a grade of A minus.
Netflix: "The Road to El Dorado"
In another buddy film, two con men in 16th-century Spain journey to find the fabled South American city of gold. Parent Previews says the film is “a likely magnet for young audiences” and praised the film for its animation and its music by Elton John and Tim Rice. The website warns that one of the main characters is portrayed as a “sensuous sidekick who is willing to enter into a physical relationship for monetary gain." The website gave the PG-rated film a grade of B minus.
Netflix: "Nacho Libre"
Directed by BYU graduate Jared Hess, the film stars Jack Black as Ignacio, a cook at a Mexican monastery/orphanage who dreams of being a luchador. Ignacio decides to enter a lucha libre tournament in order to provide better food for the orphans and to impress a pretty teacher. Common Sense Media called the film “quirky and silly, with some of the best writing and characters around destined to go down as a cult classic.” The Deseret News awarded the film two and a half stars and said the cheesy movie with Black's manic character results in a film that's "pretty silly, lightweight fare." Parts of the movie were filmed in Oaxaca, Mexico, according to IMDb.