Happy Monday everyone! Today I’m bringing you a review of one of the most talked about musicals of all time – Hamilton! In case you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that the film version of the musical dropped on Disney+ at the beginning of July, just in time for the 4th of July. I waited a few days to watch it for a few reasons. One – I’ll be honest I’m not a big musical theater person so I figured I could wait a few days. Two, I knew everyone would be watching and I didn’t want Disney+ to crash! I have heard all the hype about it but never actually listened to the soundtrack or seen the play, so I was excited to finally see what all the fuss was about!
Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote Hamilton based off this biography of Alexander Hamilton. While there are some valid criticisms of the play, such as its handling of slavery, most of it is factually accurate. Check out the book here!
Chris and I watched it finally – so what’s the verdict? Is it worth taking time to watch? Is it appropriate for kids? The answers to all those questions and more in my Hamilton Disney+ review!
**this post contains affiliate links! This means I may receive financial compensation for my recommendations. Please see my disclaimer for more information!**
If this is the first you’re hearing about Hamilton (which would be rare, but not impossible!) here’s a quick rundown of the show. It’s essentially a musical based on the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of America. While he was never President, he did have a hand in the creation of the United States government. However, lots of people now associate him with his untimely demise in a duel against Aaron Burr (which is, naturally, addressed in the musical).
Unlike other musicals I’ve seen, this one doesn’t take any breaks from the singing and rapping for traditional dialogue. It really makes you appreciate the sheer talent of Lin-Manuel Miranda to write an entire show to a specific beat and rhythm.
Safe for Kids?
There are a few moments where some swear words slip, but the show does a good job of censoring the more adult themes. Most children likely won’t even catch the one or two harsher swears because they flow so effortlessly with the raps. There are some adult themes like adultery and violence due to the war and the multiple duels that take place in the play. However, they are done in a very delicate manner, and included for the sole purpose of furthering the storyline. The whole point of the play is that in history, no one is perfect or remembered only for the good things. Therefore, it is integral to the story that they include those dark moments of Hamilton’s life. However, there is no overt violence or graphic images in the show.
Personally I don’t think kids should watch only because I’m not sure they’ll enjoy it. It requires a little bit of understanding of American history to follow the plot, plus the raps are really fast so the kids may not catch everything they say and get confused. But if you have an older kiddo who is interested and wants to give it a shot, perhaps ages 8 and up, I say go for it!
The play obviously touches on the more important events of Hamilton’s life. It also doesn’t shy away from bringing up some of his less admirable moments, such as having an affair with someone and his constant rivalry with Burr. In fact, Hamilton’s ideas were more radical than indicated in the play. The biggest criticism of the show is definitely the portrayal of Thomas Jefferson and slavery, since they only touch on it in a few jokes. However, the main point is to show the story of Hamilton – adding every detail of the time would be unrealistic. The main points of his life are relatively on point, though. Let’s be real, we aren’t watching for the accuracy! We want to hear the music!
I’ll be honest, I rewatched it and liked it much better the second time! I think most of the time I was just trying to keep up with the plot during my first viewing. Now that I had a better idea of what was going on I could enjoy it more during my second watch. You can look for those little things that make the show magic – like extras making facial expressions in the background, or the small little mannerisms each character uses. Overall, I liked it and recommend everyone give it a try. Even if you don’t like musical theater, it is so different from the classic musicals that I think you’ll like it!
What was your favorite part of Hamilton? Let me know in the comments below! While you’re here, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter! You’ll receive alerts when I post new content and get my FREE WDW Planning Checklist when you sign up!