My Thoughts: ENCANTO (2021)

I’m always excited when a new film in the animated Disney Canon is released! It’s such a grand event for me!

“Oh yeah? Then where’s your review of Raya and the Last Dragon? HUH?”

But it’s even a grander event when the film is a milestone number in the Disney Canon! I remember the hype when Tangled was released as it was the 50th film in the Disney Canon. Fast-forward ten films and we’ve arrived at the 60th film in the Disney Canon, Encanto! What do I think of it? Read on to find out!

Spoilers ahead!

Encanto takes place in Columbia (or at least a place inspired by Columbia) in an ambiguous time period. The Madrigal family is quite well-known in their neighborhood due to being a multi-generational family, all of whom (well, mostly all) possess a magical gift of some sort.

Even their house is enchanted!

One of them has super strength, one of them has super hearing, one of them heals physical injuries with food, etc. Only the teenager, Mirabel, voiced by Stephanie Beatriz, wasn’t given a gift, much to her disappointment. One day though, she notices cracks starting to develop in their house and realizes that the family’s gifts and unity is being threatened. It’s up to her to discover why this is happening and how to save her family.

Maybe there’s an enchanted builder they can call for assistance?

Overall, I thought the film was pretty good! It had great animation, great voice acting, and I loved most of the songs (Surface Pressure is my favorite)! I also really liked how Mirabel’s sister, Isabela, voiced by Diane Guerrero, is portrayed as incredibly beautiful while being darker-skinned!

As someone who comes from a culture that sadly is imbued with colorism, this felt really nice to see!

This is probably the best film in the Disney Canon since Moana!

The only issue I have though, is a big one, unfortunately: the writing is sub-par. This is sadly nothing new as the past few Disney Canon films have exhibited the same problem. It seems that either the writers are rushed to meet a deadline or are held back creatively. Whatever the case may be, this film needed a few more tweaks in order to make it an amazing film.

I wish there was more explanation of why the cracks appeared in the house when they did and not before. I wish there was more information about why the family was fleeing in the beginning of the film. I wish that Bruno…

Ahem…I wish that Bruno, voiced by John Leguizamo, did more in the film. And I especially wish that the film had an actual villain, sadly another trope the recent Disney Canon films have exhibited.

I also have mixed feelings about the number of characters in the film. I like how they portrayed a multi-generational family and I think they did an overall good job telling us who is who. But, I also feel there are characters whom I barely got to know. For example, I don’t know anything about Agustín, voiced by Wilmer Valderrama, other than he’s accident-prone and allergic to bee stings.

All I know is to keep him away from any sharp implements!

While it may seem that I had a lot of complaints about the film, I honestly really liked it! If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend that you check it out!

11 thoughts on “My Thoughts: ENCANTO (2021)”

  1. I can agree with some of this to a point, but I also like the fact that they aren’t handing us all of the plot points and background story as it lets us fill in the blanks for ourselves, which helps us make the story more personal since we usually fill those blanks with things that are familiar to us. I also like. It having a true villain as it shows that sometimes the things we’re fighting against aren’t physical, which again is much easier to apply to our everyday lives. If Abuela had been an actual villain, as opposed to the trauma she experienced and inadvertently passed to her family, it would have been a very different story.

    Also, in relation to the cracks, don’t forget that Bruno’s been hiding in the walls and patching the cracks for years, so they’re not new. I like the interpretation I read recently that Mirabel sees the cracks because her gift is breaking down barriers, whereas Abuela’s gift was creating them.

  2. About the colorism part- as somebody who was always mostly attracted to white girls/women that is great to hear. It gets frustrated when it seems the “more beautiful” non-whites are seemingly always drawn with fairer skin compared to their family.

  3. I absolutely loved this movie – glad you enjoyed it too! The music was fantastic (Surface Pressure was my favorite too). I thought the themes and characters felt very realistic and relatable – the way they might show themselves to the family and the public one way but actually feel something different inside.

    My husband felt the same way about the plot as you. While there were a few bits that could have been stronger everything else was so beautiful that (for me) it didn’t matter. I think I’ve watched it 5 times already.

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