Delightful and colorful: Disney’s Encanto shines brightly. With gorgeous animation and a beautiful message from the heart, Encanto will sweep you off your feet. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s songs are vibrant, and its representation is important. In the end, Disney’s Encanto is simply magical.
There's a little magic in all of us ... almost all of us.
Disney Animation Studio's 60th film is enchanting and beautiful from start to finish. Directors Jared Bush and Byron Howard (2016's Zootopia) take our audience to the mountains of Colombia. Here, we follow a multigenerational Latinx family with magical powers, well, except for 15-year-old Mirabel (voiced by a wonderful Stephanie Beatriz). We'll get back to Mirabel's magic-less powers soon. The Madrigals are an extraordinary family hidden deep into the mountainside. Here, they have their own magical candle that attains supernatural qualities and has created a sentient house, the "Casita." The Madrigals live here, along with an enchanted hidden town sheltered by tall surrounding mountains: an “Encanto.” And as Alma Madrigal's (a strong María Cecilia Botero) family keeps growing, they too are gifted with supernatural powers from the magical candle. Yet, Mirabel was never given any unique abilities from the candle like super strength, or talking to animals, or seeing the future. However, Mirabel soon may be the family's last hope when she discovers that the magic surrounding the "Encanto" is now in danger. Encanto has a superb voice cast consisting of all Latinx actors (Stephanie Beatriz, María Cecilia Botero, John Leguizamo, Mauro Castillo, Jessica Darrow, Angie Cepeda, Carolina Gaitán, Diane Guerrero, and Wilmer Valderrama). Many of the voice actors are of Colombian descent themselves.
While Encanto's animation is gorgeous and its storytelling is rich: the film's songs are also vibrant and full of life. These songs incorporate genres; such as salsa, tango, hip hop, reggaeton, and folk music. Miranda and composer Germaine Franco (2017's Coco) also made use of the traditional music instruments of Colombia when writing and composing these lovely songs. The soundtrack consists of songs like The Family Madrigal, Waiting on a Miracle, We Don't Talk About Bruno, and Dos Oruguitas. While We Don't Talk About Bruno has recently reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Encanto received three Golden Globe nominations, winning Best Animated Feature Film. Bush and Howard's picture has also been nominated for 8 Annie Awards (Excellence in Animation). I also enjoyed that Encanto kept the story grounded inside and around the "Casita." There was no grand adventure — like previous Disney affairs — but there was a rich and deeply emotional story that blossomed within the Madrigal family. More animated films like 2016's Moana, Coco, Raya and the Last Dragon, and Encanto need to be made by Disney. These animated films are deeply rooted in culture and share the voices and stories of people of color with the whole family.
Encanto is rated PG (Parental Guidance) Some Thematic Elements | Mild Peril.
Experience the magic of Encanto, now streaming on Disney+
Directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard
Starring Stephanie Beatriz, María Cecilia Botero, John Leguizamo, Mauro Castillo, Jessica Darrow, Angie Cepeda, Carolina Gaitán, Diane Guerrero, and Wilmer Valderrama.
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