Join Cuco in his epic mission to find El Americano, the hero of his favorite TV show, to help defend his family from thugs wanting to take over his family’s circus, in the all new animated feature Americano, arriving on DVD, Digital HD and On Demand on June 13 from Lionsgate. Americano is said to be the first major U.S.-Mexico animated feature co-production, featuring voices of Rico Rodriguez, Kate Del Castillo, Cheech Marin, Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, Golden Globe® nominee Lisa Kudrow (Best Supporting Actress, Television, “Friends”), and Academy Award® nominee Edward James Olmos (Best Supporting Actor, Stand and Deliver, 1988), in addition to radio personalities Don Cheto, El Mandril, and Argelia Atilano.
Americano was awarded the Dove Family Seal of Approval, and after watching the film it is easy to see why. It has a simple and predictable story line that kids can follow, a few jokes for the adults in the room…when one can understand what is being said, and colorful art that will capture the imagination of all those watching the film.
I will admit, when my family and I first started watching Americano, I had a horrible time getting into it. It seemed like the beginning was dead in the water with a dull back story and several repetitive themes. After the first 30 seconds I could see the path of the film and I knew how it was going to end. Americano has a very simple story line with the main character going on a journey to find himself before realizing he has what it takes to be the hero of his own story. It isn’t a bad story line, but for adults, it’s over done. However, this is a movie for kids, and it is easy for the little ones in the room to follow. On a side note, once the crazy biker-gang entered the arena and threatened to take control of the circus, even I got sucked in to the story. It no longer mattered that I knew what was going to happen because I actually wanted to see it happen.
Americano also has a few jokes for the adults in the audience, which helped keep my interest. Americano may be geared towards a younger group of kids, but it allows us adults to a have a laugh every now and then. For example, apparently Cheech and Chong is a very powerful spell *wink* and El Americano looks very similar a very famous person in the US. However, my favorite line in the whole movie is what the bad guys say after Rayito, the hummingbird, states that Cuco and his friends went to find El Americano. The bad guys response: “They went for Coffee?” Of yeah, give me a coffee joke any day! It took a while to stop laughing.
I am sure there are other hilarious jokes, but the songs are all in Spanish and some of the characters only speak Spanish. If one has a limited background in the Spanish language, these jokes, plot twists, and hilarious songs are lost. However, with the simple story line the idea of what is happening can be understood, making the language less of a barrier. Also, the amazing colors kept everyone focused on the film no matter what was being said.
The colors in Americano are absolutely stunning. It has to be one of the most colorful films I have seen with birds featuring purples, blues, reds, greens, yellows, and so much more. The colors alone are fascinating and spark the imagination of all those watching. I would call it mesmerizing.
All in all. El Americanano is a wonderful family film and totally deserves the Dove Family Seal of Approval. Just be aware, it is a U.S.-Mexico animated feature co-production, so there is a mix of Spanish and English within the film. At times it is hard to understand but the story is easy to follow. Out of five stars I would give it a solid 3.5.
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