Movie Review: ‘Encanto’


Trinity Polk, Editor in Chief

One of the greatest Disney movies of all time, Encanto, broke many barriers and trended instantly after its release. I even think this movie could be greater than Coco or Frozen in my eyes for more than one various reason. The outstanding soundtrack has reached way over 12 million views with the most popular song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” hitting 96 million views just in two weeks. And it’s all for the amazing song writer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who produced this amazing soundtrack that has every song stuck in their head. The music was different compared to any regular Disney cartoon movie and I think it was deserved as Encanto was one of a kind.

The enchanting movie is about the Madrigal family who lives in a magical, charmed place in Colombia that is called the Encanto. There, the family was blessed with a candle that was able to give them a magical home and each family member a unique gift – except Mirabel. Though she was seen as someone who was not important, Mirabel was the Madrigals last hope when she realized their home, the Encanto, was in danger.

This movie was filled with an amazing amount of diversity especially with the multiracial Afro-latino family. Within this movie it captures many issues that many family members go through and breaks down many stereotypes. Out on the web, there are many sources and videos that talk about the deep layers of each character and what goes on psychologically.

For example, Mirabel was the glue for the family even though it was realized throughout it. Isabela, Mirabel’s sister, is known as the perfect golden child that can’t do no wrong. But deep down, Isabela actually had the pressure to do everything right and that reflected in all that anger she showed. Luisa, the other sister, who has super strength, reveals how she cracks under all this weight she has to carry for the people in their town and family. Which reveals she could be physically strong but not always mentally. Bruno, the uncle who sees into the future, is also seen as the problem in the family like Mirabel. When the prophecies he state becomes true, he is blamed for when they come true. And just because he thinks and see things differently he is shunned and afraid to speak up on certain things which is why he leaves. The grandma, Abuela, always wanted to have the best intention for the household but little did she know she was just passing her trauma down the family. It was only when she almost lost everything that she realizes her role in all of it. Then there is Dolores, Mirabel’s cousin, who can hear almost anything and anyone. She almost feels like she needs to tell everyone what’s going on and almost like she is the one who connects everyone with the news. And Camilo, the other cousin, uses his gift of shapeshifting to always break the tension with his comedy.

While the movie is filled with the best soundtrack, best representation, and deep layers of the characters, the amount of detail throughout it and its animations were top tier. As for many people on YouTube and TikTok, many are constantly going back to watch the film and noticing many details that were missed when not seeing the first time. Like how Dolores claps with her fingertips because maybe clapping with her hands hurts her ears or how the attention to the characters choreography and transitions – because the dancing especially by Felix in “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is so underrated! I think another detail that many people missed was how the family photo in the beginning was literally so perfect but when everyone realized that they don’t need to fall under the pressure of being that, at the end the family photo was so dysfunctional.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is specifically the song “Surface Pressure.” The song had such a good message behind it but I could not get over the dancing donkeys. I couldn’t get behind how hilarious their dance moves were and the fact there were actually donkeys being someone’s back up dancers… and ACTUALLY being good. There are many TikTok’s now that even imitate these dances and are replicating the donkeys on their own as well!

After many people watch the movie, they gain many favorite characters. Some fall in love with Camilo because of his appearance or voice, which is weird as the character is considered to be 15. Some like Isabela because they relate to her. And I was one of the few people who love Dolores, I think she and her sibling, Camilo, were pretty underrated and deserved more time in the movie because they had such interesting characters. I wouldn’t have mind for them to have a song just for themselves or see the issues they pretty much experience. But Dolores is considered one of my favorites because she just stands out from the rest although she feels like she is never seen or heard.

However, after the movie is over, many have different ideas of what the overall meaning of it it was… what was the message? Some might say that the movie Encanto shows how America is broken, which is weird due to it being set in Colombia. Or others see it as Encanto having a deep message about Colombia’s history and its generational trauma, which I could definitely see as well. But what I took from watching the movie when I first originally watched is that no one is perfect and you can never be. Everyone has their flaws and it is best to embrace that like in the end of the movie. This movie is perfect for all ages to watch and for everyone to learn something about the culture or something in themselves. I can’t wait for more Disney movies like this to come!