Before I start I want to say the short released with this Far From the Tree is really adorable with great animation and heart. Encanto is about a family in Columbia that lives in a magical house and each member has a special power given by a magic candle, unfortunately our main protagonist Mirabel is the only one (besides the Dads) who doesn’t have a special power. So, she ends up being the black sheep. Basically, it’s kind of a mix between My Hero Academia and Pixar’s Coco with Hamilton music sprinkled on it. Did I mention this is also the 60th movie in the Disney canon because it is more on that at the end of the review.
Encanto for a movie about a magic house surprisingly has a more down to earth and personal story compared to the other recent Disney movies. Unlike most recent Disney movies, there’s no twist villain or force of nature villain, the conflict comes from the consequences of family expectations and how much it can damage your family. It also only takes place at their house named Casita. Speaking of which I love how Casita has its own personality and is treated like its own character. It reminds me a lot of the carpet from Aladdin, the ocean from Moana, and even Doctor Strange’s cape. Disney really nails those silent but alive objects. Spoiler Theory: I think Casita is actually the spirit of Alma’s deceased husband who sacrificed himself to save her.
Mirabel played by Stephanie Beatriz is very quirky and likable. Even though she doesn’t have a power and the whole world is against her at times, she still cares about her family and I found her relationship with the youngest child Antonio very sweet. The other family members though not hugely developed were very likable with unique powers and personalities. I felt they were more memorable than the family from Meet the Robinsons. I also enjoyed the other black sheep Bruno played by John Leguizamo who brought a lot of humor to this movie. I will be honest the songs in this movie are kind of weak compared to Lin Manual Riranda’s songs in Hamilton and Moana. Most of the songs have too much exposition and it feels weird. My favorite song though was probably We Don’t Talk about Bruno.
Encanto may not have been strong in terms of songs but it is strong in the characters and story. Of the two Disney movies that came out this year I personally liked Encanto more than Raya and the Last Dragon. It’s one of the more down to earth Disney movies that perfect for the whole family.
I now want to give you a special surprise: Now that we have reached 60 Disney movies, I’ll will be ranking the entire Disney canon throughout December so be on the lookout for my list coming soon.