The Mexican animated film ‘Xico’s Journey’ (on Netflix) is about two kids and their canine friend trying to stop unscrupulous businessmen from destroying their village’s sacred mountain. Directed by Eric Cabello, the animation reminded me of the popular Indian cartoon ‘Chhota Bheem’, which is a huge hit with the kids.

The film starts with a little girl called Copi running across her village with a kite, while her best-friend Gus and pet Mico follow her around. It’s an idyllic scene, symbolizing the peace and harmony of countryside living. But the next scene is a board-room meeting in a big city, where men in suits are plotting to ruin Copi’s home to dig up hidden gold. The villagers learn that their mayor has agreed to let the men take over their mountain and are swayed by the promise of getting a share of the fortune buried down under. Copi soon finds out that her grandmother is one of the three guardians of the mountain which has special powers and that her mother is trapped inside it. It’s up to Copi, Gus and the loyal Mico to set on journey inside the mystical mountain to find her mom and a way to defeat the men who have cast an evil eye on San Jaime de las Jaibas, their village.

Despite a great educational message on the need to preserve our environment, the makers fail to captivate the viewers. One can imagine eight-year-old kids enjoying it, but with the kind of top-notch story-telling animated films have today, Cabello’s film might not be able to hold the interest of older children. While the first half of the film is enjoyable and cute, the storytelling soon gets slow, boring and unnecessarily dramatic for a children’s tale. For example – a character is killed in shooting by security personnel who were trying to control protests. Also, a lot of random forgettable characters are stuffed into the plot and some kids might get confused about their existence.

While I love watching animated films even if they are aimed at children, but ‘Xico’s Journey’ is too mediocre to be appreciated by adult viewers. It’s a 5/10 from me. But kids might love it.

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