Movie Reviews

Disney’s Encanto is an INSTANT classic

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Encanto” tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift from super strength to the power to heal—every child except one, Mirabel (voice of Stephanie Beatriz). But when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is in danger, Mirabel decides that she, the only ordinary Madrigal, might just be her exceptional family’s last hope.

The Good

I don’t know where to begin with Encanto so I’ll just start with the first thing that caught my eye, the beauty. Encanto is a gorgeous animation with a distinct and beautiful art style. The world and characters are overflowing with these beautiful pastel colors and floral patterns. There’s a stunning level of detail to each of the characters’ designs. These details are very easy to miss but you’ll love when you notice each one. I like how Maribel’s name is stitched on her dress and how the colors in her dress represent members of her family.

After I caught my breath from the breathtaking introduction I began to notice the story of the Madrigal family. Almost the entire movie takes place within the home of our famous family in La Casa Madrigal. Encanto doesn’t waste time on explaining origins or backstory. Instead, Encanto focuses on character introduction, development and plot of our wonderous but relatable family. The ‘big sister vs little sister’ sibling rivalry is in full effect and so are the overworked parents with lots of responsibility. What really makes this family relatable are the dynamics that make them all rely on each other. It takes the entire family to support the village and they all have a role to play in maintaining the day to day.

Maribel is our narrative guide into this world and it’s easy to relate with her as a character. It’s not just that Maribel doesn’t have powers and looks at her family with envy, it’s also that Maribel IS all of us. Maribel is us when we are annoyed by our older sister, overly criticized by our grandmother, or when we form a bond with our younger family members. I could FEEL her anxiety when she needed to hug her sister, and I could feel her pain about feeling excluded. Maribel is both our hero and our avatar into this story and the filmmakers executed this approach beautifully.

Somehow I made it this far without talking about the music of Encanto which is a testament to the quality of film. Encanto has some of the most memorable Disney songs in recent memory. This is one of the few Disney soundtracks with a Latin influence and I can’t say enough good things. We don’t talk about Bruno has become an instant classic in the Disney library is easily one of with Disney’s best songs. My personal favorite is Luisa’s Surface Pressure but so many other songs are equally as good and constantly challenge you to pick a favorite. For convenience sake you can buy the Encanto soundtrack here.

The Bad

I would have loved to see a bit more of life outside of La Casa Maribel. There were so many things teased and hinted in the world of Encanto but not everything is explored. We know very little about the villagers that surround La Casa Maribel and I would have loved to explore more.

Overall

MEET MIRABEL – Welcome to the family Madrigal where every child is blessed with a magic gift unique to them. Everyone, that is, except Mirabel. Voiced by Stephanie Beatriz, Mirabel is determined to prove she belongs within this extraordinary family. Opening in the U.S. on Nov. 24, 2021, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Encanto” features songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda. © 2021 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Encanto is an instant classic and easy to recommend. A stray observation is that Encanto is one of the few Disney movies that break the traditional hero vs villain story. Encanto doesn’t have a traditional villain and instead focuses on family relationships. This change allows the story to really succeed with the writing focusing on the characters rather than on the narrative. 

 

  • Acting - 9/10
    9/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 10/10
    10/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 9/10
    9/10
  • Setting/Theme - 10/10
    10/10
  • Watchability - 10/10
    10/10
  • Rewatchability - 9/10
    9/10
Overall
9.5/10
9.5/10
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