REVIEW | Encanto


As most families have been stuck at home during the nearly two years of the pandemic - and might have gotten on each other’s nerves, Encanto might be the best movie to see when they go out during this holiday season. In the movie, Walt Disney Animated Studios uses magic realism to tackle generational trauma in families. The story revolves around Mirabel, the only member of the Madrigal family who apparently was not gifted with magical powers.

Encanto is set in Colombia in the 1950s, half a century after the historic Thousand Days’ War which displaced families. Apart from the art and the music rooted in Colombian culture, the plot could likewise be a tribute to Latin Telenovelas with soap opera elements that involve sibling rivalry, black sheep, entitlement, and prestige. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s songs are the best part of Encanto that amusingly tell each of the characters’ histories, quirks, and hidden frustrations. Miranda is on a roll this year after composing songs for Netflix’s Vivo, directing Tick…tick… Boom! and of course, the live-action adaptation of his musical, In The Heights.

As Mirabel discovers it, bearing gifts could also be a heavy burden to please the matriarch, her grandmother, Abuela Alma. However, Abuela’s indifference towards Mirabel has questioned her self-worth, which brings us the relatable generation gap reminiscent of what boomers have now with the younger generation,

Encanto shows that Walt Disney Animation Studios continues to step out of the overused Princess plots and embrace more complex themes often associated with its sister company, Disney Pixar. The downside is the forced resolution where as soon as the movie nears to complete its runtime, everyone seems to snap out of their antagonistic natures and forgive each other. In real life, of course, healing is a long process.

Still, Encanto can help start the conversation among families. The studio now knows that when they do family movies, they should not dumb down themes for the kids. They’re also including insights meant for the adult members of the families from parents, uncles, aunts to grandparents.

Encanto is now showing in Philippine cinemas.

Rating: 9/10