Encanto (2021)

encanto poster 2021 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Nice family movie

Kind of typical story with some odd characterization

Movie Info

Movie Name: Encanto

Studio:  Walt Disney Animation Studios/Walt Disney Pictures

Genre(s): Animated/Musical/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Family

Release Date(s):  November 3, 2021 (Premiere)/November 24, 2021 (US)

MPAA Rating: PG

encanto mirabel gift powers door

What’s your gift?

In a family gifted with powers, there is always an odd one out, and that odd one is Mirabel (…and Bruno, but we don’t talk about Bruno).  When the magic of the home seems to be disappearing, Mirabel sets out to save her home and her family, but quickly discovers her actions could be the cause of all the problems.  The magic candle that grants the home and the village its protection is beginning to fade, and Mirabel must find the answer fast…but the answer might come too late.

Directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard, Encanto is a musical family Disney Animated Feature.  Following Raya and the Last Dragon also released in 2021, it is the sixtieth film produced by the studio and was released to positive reviews with a popular soundtrack with songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.  The film received Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and a nomination for Best Original Score and Best Original Song (“Dos Oruguitas”).

In the world of COVID, Encanto kind of fizzled in the theater since going to theaters was discouraged…but Disney made a bold move and made Encanto available quickly on the Disney+ streaming service.  The decision paid off, and Encanto became a smash hit for the studio.

encanto mirabel family

My magical family members are kind of asses

The film is a lot like many Disney films (especially the modern films).  It features a young character finding their direction in life and discovering that everyone has flaws…even the people that they see as perfect.  The film encourages individuality and having your own voice which is of course a positive message.  The oddity of the film is the fact that the family is pretty awful since they essentially ostracize Bruno who has to find and live in a rather depressing situation.  This of course is all rectified in the end, but it does make you pause and question the overall actions of the family.

The voice acting is top notch and Stephanie Beatriz brings a lot of life to Mirabel (and it feels really odd to see her playing a fifteen year-old girl after years of the tough Rosa Diaz on Brooklyn Nine-Nine).  She’s backed by a strong cast which includes Diane Guerrero, Wilmer Valderrama, and John Leguizamo (as the luckless Bruno).

encanto we dont talk about bruno

Ok…so Bruno is gifted with second sight…the family doesn’t like it and shuns him to the extent that he has horribly living conditions (that Dolores who can hear everything has to know about…and she can’t keep a secret)

The film does capture that Disney magic through its song and visuals.  You want to live in the Madrigal home with its flowers and animals, and the magic continues to the perfect village surrounding.  While the songs are catchy, they do feel worlds above some of the early Disney songs (or even some of the 1990s Disney resurgence) in their complexity and pacing.  It is interesting to see how Disney is adopting the modern musical and how that musical change is shaping their projects.

Encanto is a fun family movie.  There are a couple odd scripting choices and in their attempt to show people’s faults, they might have short changed the family a bit hard by making them kind of awful at points.  Despite this, it is a musical that kids and adults will enjoy, and its success might reverberate a while.  Disney is following Encanto with Strange World in 2022.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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