By: Amanda Guarragi
Disney has been everyone for decades, so it’s only natural that the newest film, Encanto builds upon that magic. We meet an extraordinary family, The Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a charmed place called the Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift — every child except Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz). However, she soon may be the Madrigals last hope when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is now in danger. It is a very simple story with a beautiful journey of self-discovery while being crushed under the pressure of being perfect.
Encanto is filled with vibrant colours and wonderful songs that will make you love certain characters. The story relies heavily on Abuela’s (María Cecilia Botero) history with the magic surrounding the Encanto and how emotionally attached she is to creating a better life for her family. She holds onto her past, while pushing her family forward with these magic gifts. When Mirabel doesn’t get her gift, it’s almost as if she is the black sheep of the family; the outsider who will never fit in. Mirabel’s other sisters, Luisa (Jessica Darrow) and Julieta (Angie Cepeda) have their gifts but feel the pressure of filling those roles for the family. Each sister has their own song, and when it is performed, their insecurities come to the forefront, which makes them very relatable.
There are some issues with Encanto that made it difficult to appreciate as a whole. The repetitive nature of the story and the pacing, make it difficult to fully become invested in the story. The way the songs were performed, especially “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”, were animated to perfection and were the highlight of the film. Even though Mirabel is the central focus, her journey seems to get lost along the way because of everything else that is happening to her family members. She is detached from the family and once she goes off on her own, that’s where she really grows as a character.
Encanto highlights the pressure of perfection and what it means to truly be yourself, even with your insecurities. It’s about accepting yourself first with all your imperfections and exploring your own gifts. Even though there could have been a bit more depth with the sisterly bond between Luisa, Julietta and Mirabel, the dynamic worked for what it was. The one thing this animated feature does well is that it can connect the viewer to at least one member of The Madrigals and that’s what makes it very special. If you want something new and cute to watch, check this out on Disney Plus.