Disney’s “Encanto" stars Stephanie Beatriz as the voice of Mirabel Madrigal in their newest animated film. The film follows Mirabel, who is the only Madrigal born into her family to not receive a magical gift to serve as her family and community’s miracle. When the magic begins dying, it’s Mirabel who must discover why and save the rest of her family’s gifts.
“Encanto” continues Disney’s recent trend of disregarding the typical fairytales of royalty and love stories that they themselves originally pioneered. The film puts the Madrigal family at the forefront of the film, addressing the much more realistic issues that the family has instead of focusing solely on their magical powers. Nearly every character has their own individual story that viewers see through Mirabel’s eyes, yet they each still connect into the primary story about the Madrigal’s magic.
The many characters are all three-dimensional with their own insecurities, flaws, strengths and growth throughout the film. The characters closest to Mirabel get the most amount of character focus, such as her sisters, Luisa and Isabela, and her youngest cousin, Antonio, which allows viewers to get to know them intimately.
In a cast of twelve main characters, however, there are some characters that felt like they needed more screen time to properly resolve their stories, specifically the other members of Tía Pepa and Tío Félix’s family. Still, the journeys that other characters, like Isabela and Luisa, go through throughout the film are interesting and complete.
With original songs by Grammy winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, the music of “Encanto” is absolutely amazing.
The songs range from the upbeat, quick “The Family Madrigal” to the soft, haunting "Dos Oruguitas.” All of them fit their respective scenes perfectly and push the story forward, whether that be in regards to plot or in illustrating a character’s depths. Multiple songs have charted the Billboard Hot 100, with special notice going to “Surface Pressure” at #14 and “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” at #5; both also became viral on TikTok.
The film is also an excellent example of representation, centralizing the story in a Colombian community. Many of the individuals involved in the creation of the film are Colombian, and the film utilizes Colombian culture in every detail of the film, from the setting to the music. Even the character design focuses on showing a wide range of representation in the Madrigal family, including Afro-Colombian characters through Félix and Pepa’s children.
“Encanto” is definitely a must-watch film and is currently available to stream on Disney+.