Did you know that this year, in the US, National Hispanic Heritage Month begins September 15 and ends on October 15? Try branching out of your movie-go-tos and check out some of the movies on this list. Representation matters. And having a diverse selection of movies helps foster media literacy skills. This can help kids develop a critical lens, and with your guidance, learn more about the world around them. Let’s use this time to celebrate the beauty of Hispanic Heritage with these family movies.
Here’s a list of some of my favorite Hispanic Heritage Month Movies to watch with your family:
This is Lin-Manuel Miranda masterpiece, “Vivo” takes audiences on an epic adventure to gorgeous and vibrant locations never before seen in animation.
2) The Book of Life
The Day of the Dead is a popular and culturally significant Mexican holiday that many films use as inspiration for their plots. “The Book of Life” is such a film. The story follows a bullfighter who, on the Day of the Dead, goes on an adventure to meet the expectations of his family and friends.
Few Pixar movies made me cry as much as “Coco.” The movie follows 12-year-old Miguel who accidentally ends up in the Land of the Dead. He seeks the help of a musician, to return him to his family in the land of the living and to reverse his family’s ban on music. It’s a whimsical tale packed with life-changing lessons, soulful themes, and an unforgettable soundtrack.
4) Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Based on the beloved animated television series, Dora The Explorer, “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” follows its titular character, now a teenager, who takes her friends on an adventure to save her parents and solve the mystery behind a lost city of gold. If you or your kids are a fan of the show, the movie does not disappoint.
5) Cinderella (2021)
I’m a sucker for any Cinderella story. From Ever After with Drew Barrymore to Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella starring Brandi and Whitney Houston, I love them all! The newest Cinderella story, however, is both classic and fresh. Plus Camila Cabello breaks ground as the first Latina to star as Cinderella. The movie also has icons like Idina Menzel (yes, the voice of Elsa in Frozen!). And Billie Porter who plays the Fabulous godmother also called Fab G. As always this is a story of having the courage to follow your dreams except this version brings in fun and funky remixes of songs from the past while also giving us a new take on what it means to be true to yourself and go after what you want. Definitely check this out if you haven’t already!
6) Saludos Amigos and the Three Caballeros
Straight from the Disney Classic Collection, these two full-length movies bring you on a full adventure to South America and Mexico. Goofy, Donald Duck, and Walt Disney himself invite you to experience all of the beauty, wonder, music, and excitement of Latin America. It’s light-hearted, fun, and a family classic worth a watch.
7) Spy Kids
This one is great for the kids! Imagine if your kids woke up tomorrow and discovered their parents were two of the greatest secret agents of all time. This is exactly what happens to Carmen and Juni. Their parents are secretly called back into action, but then disappear and the only two people who can rescue them are.. their kids! Believe me on this one, watch it with the fam and you’ll be quoting lines from it for years.
8) McFarland USA
Based on the true story of a 1987 cross country team from a mainly Latino high school in McFarland, school coach Jim White leads the team to win a state championship. It’s inspirational, to say the least!
9) Underwater Dreams
A documentary for the history books! “Underwater Dreams”, narrated by Michael Peña, tells the story of how the sons of undocumented Mexican immigrants learned how to build underwater robots. They ruffle some feathers over at MIT in this revolutionary process.
10) In the Heights
Based on the stage musical of the same name by Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda (yes, the guy who wrote Hamilton and songs for the Moana soundtrack), comes “In the Heights”. It is a musical telling the story of a corner in the predominantly Dominican Washington Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan. Here, every member of the community pursues their dreams of a better life.
Selena Quintanilla-Pérez is an icon both in and out of the Hispanic community. Her music touched the lives of many, including my own. Her life was tragically cut short, but the legacy she left behind continues to permeate through mainstream media. This movie is proof of that. Made in 1997, two years after Selena’s death, it brilliantly encapsulates the life and career of the Tejano music star. If you’re a Selena fan, then this film is a must-watch. If you’re not, then you surely will be after watching this film.
12) Real Women Have Curves
Listed as one of the most influential movies of the 2000s. “Real Women Have Curves” broke many conventions of traditional Hollywood film-making and impacted Hispanic culture in so many ways. The story follows an 18-year-old in East Los Angeles. She struggles between her ambitions of going to college and the desires of her overbearing mother for her to get married, become a parent, and manage the tiny, rundown family-owned textile factory.
13) Stand and Deliver
Deemed “culturally historically or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress. “Stand and Deliver” is based on the true story of a high school mathematics teacher who successfully inspired his dropout-prone students to learn calculus.
READY TO START WATCHING? GET THE CHECKLIST!
Well, there you have a starting point for family Hispanic Movies to watch. I love this content for many reasons, mainly because they all make my family movie nights fun and memorable! If you’re ready to up your movie night game, check out my Movie Night Journal to document and reflect on these fun nights. Plus, try out some fun activities while you’re at it!
Did I include some of your favorites? Or did I miss any that you think should be added? Let me know in the comments, so we all don’t miss out on some great Hispanic Movies for Hispanic Heritage Month!
Download and print my Ultimate Hispanic Movies for Hispanic Heritage Month Checklist by clicking here! We included lots of extra space on the side for you to add in your own favorite movies or TV shows that we may have missed.
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