Disney’s Encanto is Enchanting!

Taylor Button, Staff Writer

The only ordinary girl in a unique family of miraculously gifted people, Mirabel becomes her family’s last chance at saving their magic. Disney’s Encanto is just full of relatable and interesting characters with their own personal motivations and hardships, incredible detailed animation, and beautiful music and choreography, that just make it such a captivating movie. 

Throughout the film, many characters are shown facing common family struggles, like impossible expectations and worn relationships, making them very easy to sympathise with and for people to see themselves in. Luisa, Mirabel’s older sister, is one character many people can relate to. She feels pressure to always be the strongest and always help everyone without thinking of herself. The family dynamics adds to this realism as well. There are numerous examples of sibling shenanigans and teasing, such as Camilo teasing his family with his power, Dolores elbowing Camilo to get attention, and Mirabel and Isabela’s ‘rivalry’. In this movie, no one really fulfills the role of that standard Disney villain since the plot is centered around family drama, and it’s a refreshing break from their recent twist villain archetype. Lastly, the character designs are very refreshing and unique. Each family member has a subtle symbol relating to their gift or talent embroidered into their clothing, like how Dolores, Mirabel’s cousin with superhuman hearing, has soundwaves sewn into her dress. 

The designs of this film also go wonderfully with it’s absolutely beautiful animation. The style that was used is so detailed and just feels so complete to look at. One of my favorite things about it is just how expressive the entire movie feels. From complex facial expressions to character distinguishing body language to the satisfyingly exaggerated movement, I had a blast watching every scene. 

The last thing I have to mention is the musical’s soundtrack by the renowned Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is widely known for his broadway shows In the Heights and Hamilton. To help the music match its environment, Miranda went to Colombia to immerse himself in the culture there and become familiar with their different styles of instrumentation and orchestration. Choreography was also a big part of what made each song so entertaining. The way the characters danced was planned and recorded by professionals before the animation process began. Disney released official videos showcasing these dancers to give insight into the process of animation. Each number so clearly shows each family member’s individual personality and relationships, which makes them very engaging and fun. One example would be at the start of the movie during “The Family Madrigal.” Mirabel lacks self confidence, seen so clearly  in the way she goes on and on about her family but completely avoids talking about herself. It also shows just how much she cares about her family. In addition to this, I found every song to be incredibly catchy, which just makes the whole movie even better.

If you are a fan of Disney, animation, or musicals, I believe this film is a must-watch for you. Overall, I rate Disney’s Encanto five stars. I can safely say that out of all of the movies released in 2021, Encanto was my favorite by far, and I hope to see similar content to it in the future.