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Shawn Mendes: In Wonder Documentary - Just What the Fans Ordered

The heartthrob displays energy and personal doubt on tour.

Reviewed by on Nov 22, 2020
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews Shawn Mendes: In Wonder a documentary shot on the popstar’s 2019 world tour. Does it focus enough on his personal life to please fans or is footage of his live concerts enough?



Since 2013 when then teen singer/songwriter Shawn Mendes posted song covers on Vine, the Canadian popstar, now 22, has gradually gained a rabid world-wide following. After signing with Island Records in 2014, he’s released three albums and done as many world tours. “In Wonder” follows him on his over 100-stop 2019 tour. We get his personal feelings about stardom and see him writing and recording songs as well as watch moments from his relationship with girlfriend singer/songwriter Camila Cabello, his sorrow at having to cancel a Brazilian concert due to illness and his nostalgia for his Ontario, Canada, suburb upbringing.

Shawn Mendes on the tourShawn Mendes on the tourCourtesy of Netflix

Not Invincible

After a huge concert Shawn takes a shower (sorry but it’s tastefully shot) and while in Brazil texts that, from age 10, he’s been obsessed with being really good at things and his worth is based on that. This can lead him to a dark place. This is toward the end of his tour so his voice is worn out and he uses his phone to talk, saying he’s realized he’s not invincible. Three months earlier he was in Brooklyn, New York doing a super energetic performance then going directly to a limo to be driven away while fans on the street shout “I love you”.

Shawn is constantly practicingShawn is constantly practicingCourtesy of Netflix


While he’s doing an interview we see video of Shawn as a kid and voicing that he always wanted to be a singer and was encouraged by his family, friends and a teacher in a suburb of Toronto where he did high school performances. His manager tells us that he always asked questions about the music business, wanting to know everything about his chosen career. He used to practice guitar (which he learned via YouTube tutorials) for seven hours a day till his hands bled.

Shawn Mendes as a teen starShawn as a teen star

Songwriting and Recording

We see Shawn in 2019 working on songs with co-writer/friend Scott Harris. He wonders how he can live up to his idols. He advises would-be songwriters to stop talking about it and go write songs! In New York he has his first recording session for the “Wonder” single. He’s present for adding drums and strings and mixing the sound. For the 2019 MTV Music Awards, Shawn practices songs with girlfriend singer/songwriter Camila Cabello. They get cuddly and kissy before going on stage.

Shawn with Camila in background at their apartmentShawn with Camila in background at their apartmentCourtesy of Netflix

He tells us that she was the act on after him on his very first tour. She tells us how focused he was. She didn’t know if he liked her. They met backstage at a Taylor Swift concert and started writing a song. They were friends first. He admits she always had his back. She didn’t even know that his songs were about her. Shawn and Camila move in together and learn stupid stuff like how to make eggs and use a Keurig coffee machine.

Getting cuddly with Camila Cabello before a concertGetting cuddly with Camila before a concert

Back Home in Ontario

Shawn goes to his parents’ home outside Toronto after three and a half months on the road. He meets with old pals and his younger sister Aaliyah and they stroll the fields where he and his buddies used to look at the stars and hang out. He is a bit embarrassed by all the pictures of him that mom has on her walls. Smalltown things mean a lot to him.  He hugs a pillow in his old room. He’s here for a concert at the giant Rogers Centre, a stadium in downtown Toronto. He’s both overwhelmed and stoked. He feels the love there from thousands of screaming fans and wonders if he has to keep pretending he’s a superman.

In Carmel, California while recording the albumIn Carmel, California while recording the albumCourtesy of Netflix

Back to Brazil

Again in Brazil he practices in his hotel room and warms up his voice but it’s not there! He feels sick and goes to a local throat doctor. He also consults his regular doctor via phone. Both docs tell him he shouldn’t even be talking, let alone singing!  His vocal chords are swollen. He has to cancel the huge concert and is so upset to let his fans down that he sits down and cries. Later over 2,000 of them show up outside his hotel to chant him good, get-well wishes. He’s grateful. Later after his final stop in Mexico, he admits how much it all means to him. “I’m just a guy who really loves music”.

Wrapping Up

If you are desperately missing going to a concert and hearing live music (aren’t we all?) then following cutie Shawn around the world on his huge venue 2019 concert tour might be just the ticket.  

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello perform togetherShawn and Camila perform together

This documentary is probably all his fans could want. It’s an intimate portrait but shot from the surface. His tears when he has to cancel a performance are the closest we get to the “real” Shawn.  Shot before the horrors of 2020, it takes us back to a time (uh, just last year) when everyone could be more intimate, be packed together with other jumping and screaming fans at a concert and that, alone, is refreshing.

I could have used the performance of a complete song but snippets of his music while on tour will work okay. Shawn’s relationship with girlfriend Camila Cabello is included but hardly really explored.

Shawn Mendes' upcoming album WonderShawn's upcoming album Wonder

The star’s new album “Wonder” comes out December 4th but, till then, this documentary should fill the void quite well for his fans. Although it is a bit superficial, we can award three stars.

Shawn Mendes: In Wonder Rating: 3

Shawn Mendes: In Wonder Netflix Documentary PosterCourtesy of Netflix

See Shawn Mendes: In Wonder streaming now on Netflix!