REVIEW – “Encanto”

Lately, Disney’s animated films have been going larger and larger in spectacle than ever before. Frozen, Moana, Zootopia, etc. all had an insane amount of scale in comparison to the earlier works of the studio. From the get-go, Encanto feels a bit different than the rest of the studios past films, but the more that it plays out, it becomes increasingly evident that it’s their most intimate film in quite sometime. Encanto follows the story of Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz) who is seemingly the only “normal” member of her otherwise extraordinary family. Within a quick musical number at the start of the film, we learn that Mirabel was born into a family where they all are born with magical powers – they even live in a living, magical house!

While this might not be the most sprawling or high-stakes film in Disney’s recent filmography, there is something really delightful about the simplicity on display. This isn’t to discredit to the amazing world-building that the filmmakers have accomplished when it comes to the insanely detailed characters, powers, and settings around them. But for a film that is all about family, it helps that this one is more small-scale than the rest, because it helps us get to know the family even better and empathize with them on a deeper level.

With the songs in the film being written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the film clearly has not only an incredible soundtrack attached to it but it also does a great job at letting the music help pace the narrative of the film in an organic way. I know that all musicals do this, but even as someone who isn’t the biggest fan in the world of Hamilton, it’s undeniable that Miranda has an immense gift at telling gripping stories through a musical format. The film is also full of truly delightful characters and amusing comedy that help form it into something really cozy and emotional in equal measure. It might not be the best Disney film of recent memory, but it’s unique enough to stand out amongst the crowd.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s