Encanto is a computer-animated musical fantasy-comedy produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The 60th film produced by the studio, it was directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard, co-directed by Charise Castro Smith, who co-wrote the screenplay with Bush and produced by Yvett Merino and Clark Spencer, with original songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Encanto is certainly a good lesson for children everywhere to learn about self-esteem and loving family. I liked the movie very much, especially the hit song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”.
Encanto follows a multigenerational Colombian family, the Madrigals, led by a 75 year-old matriarch (Abuela Alma (voice: María Cecilia Botero) – whose children and grandchildren—except for Mirabel Madrigal (voice: Stephanie Beatriz)—receive magical gifts from a miracle that helps them serve the people in their rural community called Encanto. When Mirabel learns that the family is losing their magic, she sets out to find out what is happening, and save her family and their magical house. In the beginning, an armed conflict forces Pedro and Alma Madrigal, a young married couple, to flee their home village in Colombia with their infant triplets Julieta (voice: Angie Cepeda), Pepa (voice: Carotánlina Gai) and Bruno (voice: John Leguizamo). After Pedro sacrifices himself to the attackers, Alma’s candle miraculously attains magical qualities, blasting away the attackers and creating a sentient house (the “Casita”) for the family to live within an Encanto, a magical realm bordered by high mountains. Fifty years later, the still-burning candle protects a nearby thriving town and its magic grants “gifts” to each Madrigal descendant at the age of five which they use to serve the villagers. However, Bruno, vilified and scapegoated for his gift of precognition, disappeared ten years earlier, while Julieta’s youngest daughter, 15-year-old Mirabel, has never been granted her own gift.
On his fifth birthday, Pepa’s youngest son Antonio (voice: (Ravi Cabot-Conyers), gains the ability to communicate with animals, and the family poses for a picture, unintentionally excluding Mirabel. Leaving the celebration, Mirabel suddenly sees the Casita cracking and the candle’s flame flickering, but her warnings go unheeded when the Casita appears undamaged to the others. After overhearing Alma praying, Mirabel resolves to save the miracle’s magic.
The next day, she talks to her super-strong older sister Luisa, (voice: Jessica Darrow) who confesses to feeling overwhelmed by her near-constant obligations then suggests that Bruno’s room, in a forbidden tower in the Casita, may explain the phenomenon. There, Mirabel discovers a cave and recovers pieces of a slab of opaque emerald glass that depicts an image of her. Just then, the cave crumbles and she barely escapes. Outside, Luisa discovers that her gift is weakening. After her family reminds her why Bruno is vilified, Mirabel reassembles the glass, depicting a picture of herself standing unharmed in front of a broken Casita, surmising that she will destroy the family.
Later that evening, Mirabel’s oldest sister Isabela (voice: Diane Guerrero) who can make plants and flowers grow at will, is scheduled to become engaged to neighbor Mariano Guzmán (voice: Maluma. After an awkward dinner, Mirabel’s oldest cousin, 21 year old Dolores (voice: Adassa), who possesses superhuman hearing, reveals Mirabel’s discovery to everyone, causing the Casita to crack again, ruining the night and Mariano’s proposal when Pepa inadvertently conjures a downpour. The adventure continues with many surprises that you’ll have to see for yourself!
Encanto is a fun, family feature that everyone can enjoy. The message it sends is one of family, harmony, love, and determination. Mirabel could have suffered from low self esteem, but she didn’t and that was very uplifting. After loosing her husband being left with three infants, Alma found herself in a commanding and demanding role as head of household. It’s easy to see why she was so domineering. The one thing I can’t wrap my head around is the song that was nominated for an Oscar (Dos Oruguitas). I’m not say it wasn’t a good song but everyone, everywhere is talking about “not talking about Bruno”. Go figure. The adventure progresses with Mirabel determine to fix things. How it all comes together is exciting and makes Encanto worth seeing. Encanto has won the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film and the National Board of Review Award for Best Animated Film. As of March 1, 2022, Encanto has grossed $95.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $151 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $246.5 million. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 91% of 196 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.50/10. The website’s consensus reads, “Encanto’s setting and cultural perspective are new for Disney, but the end result is the same – enchanting, beautifully animated fun for the whole family.” Encanto is streaming on Disney + and is free if you subscribe — Check It Out!
[ENCANTO is Oscar-nominated at the 94th Academy Awards for BEST: Original Score and Original Song — Totaling 2 Oscar Nominations]