The holidays came with a spice of Latino as Walt Disney churned out her 60th animation movie—Encanto. Encanto, which celebrates the Colombian people and their culture, was produced by Yvett Merino and Clark Spencer; directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard. Amidst criticisms, Encanto has been appraised by many as a worthwhile watch.
The movie features the Madrigal family and is set in a small village called Encanto. Every child of the family is given a gift by a magical candle, everyone except Mirabel (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz). One day, she discovers that the magic is dying. She makes it her purpose to find a solution. In her quest, she is met with fierce opposition and even finds that only she can change the narrative. In the end, she brings back what is lost and unites her family.
At the beginning, we meet young Mirabel and Abuela (voiced by Maria Cecilia Botero), the Madrigals’ matriarch. From here, we begin to see the reason for Mirabel’s ‘ungiftedness’. Further along through flashback, the magical candle phenomenon (which also creates the magical house called Casita) is introduced but what produced the magic is left unexplained. Casita’s walls start cracking showing that something is wrong with the magic. Mirabel alerts everyone about this but she is thought to be lying. From this incident, we get to see that our heroine is an assertive, resilient young lady. This is also seen in her reply to her mother “I know what I saw’. Mirabel goes on a mission and in the process, she finds her uncle Bruno (voiced by John Leguizamo) whose vision powers show that the future is uncertain. With Mirabel at the fore, Casita would either collapse or remain. In this movie, all adventures lead inward and stay at home unlike other Disney movies. Mirabel is convinced that the magic is dying because of Abuela. This may not have been a literal truth but we get to learn that when you clutch something too tightly, you might break it. We also see that Mirabel turns in a door knob and the house is engulfed by some magic. Once again, there is no explanation for this. So, we ask; was the magic trapped in Mirabel or did it come from somewhere else?
The characters were presented in a relatable and realistic manner both emotionally and in their gesticulations. The clothings was correctly styled and designed according to Latino culture. The dance was also very catchy. The use of colours was boisterous yet relaxing. The songs (original songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda) were bouncy, engaging and also paid homage to Latino culture. These songs also helped in telling the story.
Like Oliver Twist, this movie will have you going back for more! The action is grounded, there is no intense suspense so it is one movie you can relax with after a long day. However, there was a superficial treatment to the story. Hopefully, we get a part two for details!
This article was written by Sharon Igbokwe; connect with her on Instagram via here
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