Let me say this, I think this is a great movie for kids with a pleasant, non-preachy, message about inclusivity. I just wanted to see it in Spanish instead. I understand why it had to be in English. It’s a movie for kids, they need to listen to it. It’s an important film and it’s a nice, warm and colorful production with all monsters firmly in that not-really-scary category but exciting adventure to behold.

(Source: Fantasia Film Festival)

A Costume for Nicolas was directed by Eduardo Rivero based upon the screenplay by Miguel Uriegas which was adapted from the book by Jaime Mijares, Pablo y El Baúl. Nicolas (Fran Fernández) is a ten-year-old with Down Syndrome who has lost his dear mother (Paty Cantú). She left him a collection of costumes, made on his birthday, which Nicolas keeps in an old trunk. The costumes emulate his favorite heroes from a make-believe kingdom.

Nicolas has his hands full. He’s trying to get used to his new life living with his aunt and uncle and specially his cousin David (Emiliano Ugarte), who’s not to fond of the kid he has to share his room and his life with. Soon Nicolas learns there’s something that appears in the room at night, and gets sucked into a world of fantasy and imagination, and we along with him.

With vivid and warm colors and lavish production, this a child’s fantasy book come to life. Nicolas is a bright soul. Once he meets Anna (Cristina Hernández) who has lost her sister, he’s determined to help find her although he doesn’t know his way around this fantasy land. Fortunately, some known characters from his Mom’s stories will pop in to help.

It’s a lovely children’s story that doesn’t preach its message from a soapbox. Nicolas here is just another kid, perhaps too innocent for the real world. I love the animation and the design. There’s a couple of elements of disparity (a walking house with CGI legs and a dragon) that have obviously been drawn with different style. It does feel a little lengthy for a kids film.

Recommended with reservations. At one hour and twenty-two minutes, it might be asking too much for younger kids. I wished I could’ve heard it in Spanish. Kids will relate to the message of inclusivity. Even monsters become cute. It’s bright and cheerful and deals with loss and adaptability in the best way possible. Older kids might look for something with more action in it, but they can hopefully get into it as well.

That will do for now.