Encanto’s Magical Appearance On The Big Screen


Courtesy of Disney and Walt Disney Animation Studios

(This review contains minor spoilers)

Encanto, released in theaters on  November 24, 2021, and on Disney Plus exactly a month later has been a hot topic on many different platforms. This movie follows a fifteen-year-old Mirabel Madrigal, a seemingly powerless girl, in a family full of extraordinary power. She is constantly reminded of her lack of power compared to her family members with abilities that include being able to shapeshift, see into the future, control the weather, and more.

Fifty years prior, her Abuela was forced to flee from her home with her triplets due to armed conflict. During this horrific escape, her husband was killed, leaving Abuela a widow. However, she was also left with a candle, a miracle which as long as it burned, the Madrigal family would have two things: the Encanto, a safe haven that contained their Casita, and each Madrigal child would receive a magical gift. 

When the movie starts, her five-year-old cousin Antonio is having his ceremony to receive his gift. The last gift ceremony had been her own which was a bust and filled with disappointment when she received no power.

However, during Antonio’s ceremony, Mirabel realizes something is wrong.  When going off on her own during her song ‘Waiting On A Miracle,’ Mirabel sees cracks begin to grow throughout the house and a sense of dread fills the atmosphere. In an attempt to stop whatever is happening, she calls out to the rest of her family in a seeming fit of hysteria, causing the party to come to an abrupt stop. But when Mirabel tries to show the family what she saw,  the cracks are gone and the house seems fine. Abuela chalks it up to nothing and reminds Mirabel that it is Antonio’s night. She reassures the party-goers and leaves our heroine to herself. From then on, the film follows Mirabel and her journey to figure out what could be happening to Casita and the future of their miracle. 

This movie interested me because of how much it seemed to quickly stick itself to popular media. My entire feed on Tik Tok consisted of pieces of this movie and its songs, quickly grabbing my attention and urging me to watch it. And after viewing it for the first time, I could say it was definitely as advertised, if not even better. Animation has become something notable in Disney movies, but the details put into this movie seemed like something completely different. Two animating details I paid the most attention to were the dresses and Mirabel’s glasses. Almost any article of clothing looked great in this movie with the many details designed into them, but the dresses were unlike anything else. The animation of the movements that went along with the choreography is amazing. Mirabel’s glasses were my second biggest focus in this category, the reflection off of them continued throughout the entire movie as well as the shadow they cast on her face when in front of a light, showing that Disney forgets nothing.

The second thing I enjoyed while watching this movie was the songs and how they were executed. The meaning behind the words was very evident when you listen closely. For example, in ‘Surface Pressure,’ this song follow’s Mirabel’s sister Luisa who is singing about her worries of carrying the weight of her family and being worthless if she is not able to. This pattern continued in the rest of the songs but I believe this song is one of the best examples as to why the movie is appealing to all because towards the end of the song there are suddenly dancing donkeys, keeping up the fun nature of children’s animated movie.

While there are things I loved about the movie, I felt as though there was a lack of adventure. (Minor Spoilers) When Mirabel decides she has to find out what is threatening the miracle, I believed that she would leave Encanto to find her uncle but she discovers he never left. Even though I believe that a true journey of sorts to find him would’ve added some more meat to the story, the way her uncle was found added to the theme of family in the movie. I truly believe this is a movie that could be enjoyed by everyone. Even though it has already gained such great popularity, there are still lots of people who say they have yet to see it; The wait should go on no longer.