In the new Disney animated film “Encanto”, Stephanie Beatriz (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, “In the Heights”) plays Mirabel Madrigal, a young woman who is part of a family of gifted people. One of her sisters is super strong, her mom cooks food that heals people, and her uncle can see the future. An unknown force gave the Madrigal family these incredible powers when Abuela Alma, the matriarch of the family, looked death in the eye. Now, they are responsible for keeping the city around them safe and comfortable.
However, that safety and comfort is threatened when the Madrigal family begins to lose their powers and her house begins to crack around them. Mirabel feels sorry for her family at this difficult time, but she has already felt such pain because she is the only madrigal without exceptional abilities.
Mirabel must now search within herself to repair the magic and restore hope to her family. This research theme in and of itself is not new to a Disney movie. However, it still looks fresh as âEncantoâ focuses on a Colombian family with special recognition of their culture.
âEncantoâ is also a great indication that the Disney Animation team still has a long way to go to entertain families of all ages. From start to finish, “Encanto” will enchant the eyes of the little ones with its explosion of colors. More than that, however, animators and directors keep it alive for adults by using dynamic animated cinematography.
One of the most creative and exciting sequences comes halfway through the film as the family sings in Mirabel, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”. Directors Jared Bush, Byron Howard, and Charise Castro Smith snake seamlessly between members of Mirabel’s family, surrounded by backgrounds that match the character’s personality and powers. This creativity elevates “Encanto” above other less visually exciting animated films from other studios.
“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” was the best track on the soundtrack, but all pop songs with a catchy beat. Another star was “Surface Pressure”, which performed with the same energy as a modern dance hit. While the music is great, the songs probably won’t force their way into your children’s playlists like âLet It Goâ or âYou’re Welcomeâ did. The music in “Encanto” is less about singing and more about telling stories. Through music, we get a better idea of ââthe family and their different dynamics.
And while âEncantoâ functions primarily as a musical drama, it also has enough comedy to keep it entertained for kids. Using pranks and visual gags, “Encanto” will make the coldest heart laugh. You’re about to have your pick of a few great movies this holiday season, but before you see “Spider-Man: No Way Home” or “Sing 2,” check out “Encanto” and remind the whole family why Disney Entertainment is still the best in business.