Encanto Movie Review

Disney’s first Colombian film, Encanto, follows a fantastical journey that explores this magical family.

Encanto is the first Colombian movie under Disney.


Encanto is the first Colombian movie under Disney.

By Daryn O'Neal, Staff Writer

Encanto is a family-friendly Disney movie that is filled with vibrant colors and pictures to draw in both children and adults. The movie displays popular Colombian culture, landscape, and language, while also referencing serious issues such as colonization, imposter-syndrome, toxic perfectionism, and generational trauma, that can be relatable to many families across the world, especially Hispanic and families who are of color.  This movie is likely to make you laugh, cry, and above all, learn to cherish your family no matter how imperfect it may be.

The story centers around a vibrant young girl named Mirabel Madrigal  (Stephanie Beatriz), who often feels as though she stuck in the shadows of her magical family. She must find a way to save the family miracle from destruction in order to preserve the whole community, and she ends up finding a long-lost important part of her family.

The Madrigal family consists of the head matriarchal figure, Abuela (María Cecilia Botero). When Abuela, her husband, and her newborn triplets were forced to flee their hometown, Abuela’s husband was killed by one of the conquerors. Shortly after, a candle appeared that created a home, which eventually turned into a town, Abuela and her descendants swore to maintain their miracle through using their distinct “gifts,” to help the community. At a young age, Abuela’s three children were each offered a gift. Julieta  (Angie Cepeda), the oldest of the triplets, had the gift of healing anyone with a meal. Pepa (Carolina Gaitán) is able to control the weather with her mood, and the youngest brother, Bruno (John Leguizamo), can predict the future.

Julieta started a new generation in the Madrigal family by giving birth to the eldest grandchild, Isabella, (Diane Guerrero) who has a gift of chlorokenisis, and is often described as the, “perfect golden-child.” Luisa (Jessica Darrow) is the second oldest with her gift being super- strength. Shortly after, Pepa gave birth to her first child and only daughter, Dolores (Adassa), whose gift is enhanced hearing. Following her first child, Pepa had Camilo (Rhenzy Feliz) who is a shape-shifter. The youngest Madrigal grandchild is Antonio (Ravi Cabot-Conyers), who can communicate with animals.

Through the magical abilities that are displayed throughout the movie the viewer also gets to see the suppressed difficulties each of the characters face as a result of their gifts. Through dialogue and song, Luisa and Isabella express their constant anxieties that come with holding their families together through their superficial strength and beauty that is difficult to obtain. One of the madrigal triplets, Pepa, struggles with not being able to express her emotions in a healthy way without causing tornadoes, hurricanes, and rainstorms. Long lost triplet who is found hidden in the walls of the Madrigal mansion, Bruno, struggled with people believing that he caused bad things to happen if he read a prophecy that wasn’t favorable. Antonio has the burden of being the youngest Madrigal who faces pressure to continuously put his gift to good use since his youngest older cousin, Mirabel, faced scrutiny for not getting a gift. Lastly, Mirabel struggles with envy and unworthiness since she doesn’t have a gift like the rest of her family.

What many viewers related to, regarding the generational trauma and toxic environments that come through it, involved the conflicts being inflicted by the head-matriarchal figure, Abuela.

“I will never be good enough for you will I? No matter how hard I try, no matter how hard any of us tries. Luisa will never be strong enough, Isabella will never be perfect enough. Bruno left our family because you only saw the worst in him,” Mirabel Madrigal exclaims.

“From my personal experience, I think the show really shows how Abuela projects her issues on to her family, and I think it shows how one person’s action affect the entire family,” Camdyen Tate said.

It is only through vulnerable conversations and embracing of the families’ flaws that the Madrigals comes back together stronger than ever.

Besides the cultural appreciation, what makes Encanto such a prized possession in the Disney field is the vulnerability that finally gets to be shown from the perspective of people of color. Therefore, there are so many elements of Encanto that truly make it a cinematic masterpiece.