Xico’s Journey Review : Great message, mediocre movie

The Spanish movie Xico’s trip (original title: The way of Xico) addresses the problem of environmental degradation caused by mining and industrial corporations, often under the guise of “progress.” And while themes like ‘fracking’ can get tiresome for a children’s movie, the movie gives them to the little ones, with the help of colorful and magical human and animal characters.

It opens in the idyllic mountain town of San Jaime de las Jaibas in Mexico, where a young woman, Copi (Verónica Alva), and her best friend, Gus (Luis Ángel Jaramillo), playfully run through the streets, flying kites with their dog. . , Xico (Pablo Gama Iturrarán). He then passes the greedy corporate executives in a boardroom meeting, who are hell-bent on mining and fracturing every last inch of the village mountain in search of gold. Before you know it, they have the approval of the village mayor for their plan, who promises the villagers that it will also bring them progress and wealth. However, Copi’s grandmother, Nana Petra (voiced by Lila Downs), who is one of the three guardians of the magic mountain, thinks otherwise. Along with the other two, she plans to save him, although her granddaughter, Copi, overtakes her in her mission, when she hears Nana say that her mother is not dead, but inside the mountain.

Copi is accompanied on her journey by Xico and Gus, as well as by her Nana’s magic stone. Along the way they meet a talking rabbit, a sobbing tree, and an eccentric shaman opossum, amid an enchanted setting, and finally discover that Xico possesses magical powers that are the key to solving his crisis.

No matter how noble its message, the film is disappointed by its outdated animation. The funny thing is that there are parts of the movie where the animation is stellar, like the introduction to the enchanted mountain or a scene that explores the mythology and magical roots of Xico, but the creators lose much of their strength and creativity halfway. There’s a ‘it’s been done before’ quality to everything, and if anything, movies like Moana they have handled issues like climate change with much less heavy-handedness. Here, the whole message of ‘saving the environment’ and ‘fracking’ is hammered relentlessly, making it too repetitive. As for the characters, before you really know them, Copi and Gus get into Xico’s backseat, and as adorable as he is, he can’t carry the movie on his puppy shoulders. There is not much for adults here. Be it dialogue or plot, the film seems to be strictly aimed at an audience under the age of 10, who may or may not be captivated by this film, as they too have many options to choose from when it comes to good animated films today. !

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