Review by: Alisha Soni

Directors: Bryon Howard, Jared Bush

Rating: 4.5/5

Encanto is much more than just another Disney movie and a box office hit. Despite the film coming out in November, it found new life over the season due to its availability on Disney Plus, allowing audiences to experience three-dimensional characters, vibrant songs, and stunning animation that culminate in an unforgettable film.

The movie follows the Madrigal family, where the mystical Encanto blesses each child of the family with a special gift. Unlike the rest of the Madrigals, main character Mirabel has never received her gift. Mirabel’s inner conflict in the film stems from this incident; she has felt like an outcast and is always looking for a chance to prove her worth to her
family. As a result, Mirabel chooses to try to uncover the source of the danger when the power of the Encanto is threatened before it’s too late.

Directors Byron Howard and Jared Bush do a fantastic job moving the plot forward for the most part, while also taking advantage of the various characters that can connect to the audience on a deeper level. Viewers are allowed to glimpse into the personal lives of more than just the main character, revealing their insecurities and flaws in a human way. One of Mirabel’s older sisters, Luisa, has been blessed with the gift of super strength, and she takes advantage of her power to constantly assist the community. Through the song “Surface Pressure”, it is revealed that as the strongest, Luisa feels the burden of meeting expectations as everyone depends on her. However, the ending was rushed, which left a few questions unanswered and slightly brought down my enjoyment of the film.

Songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda and composer Germaine Franco craft a lively soundtrack, perfectly capturing the energy of the film. Unlike many other Disney movies in the past, Encanto’s songs carry Latin influence from the culture it originates from, making the music more enjoyable. The film utilizes the art of songwriting to help develop the plot and create a deeper understanding for the audience. Some of the lyrics may come off as cheesy, like “your bro loves you so…let it rain, let it snow, let it go… that’s what I’m always saying, bro” in the song “All of You.” However, the energetic beat, relatable lyrics and catchy tune seem to overpower the flaws.

The movie additionally provides a glimpse into the beauty of Colombian culture. It is a great step forward in having more representation in the entertainment industry, especially as this is Disney’s first Latino musical. Typical Colombian dishes
are presented in the film such as arepas and buñuelos. Influences of Colombia’s diversity are also shown
through clothing and architecture.

Encanto is without a doubt, a beautifully animated film. The animation and incredible detail create a more life-like appearance, while also maintaining the whimsical, lively feel of Disney movies. Through the gorgeous art, the compelling
characters, and the catchy songs, this film continues the Disney tradition of crafting heartwarming stories for people of all ages.