review by Drusilla Blakey
I have loved the variety of Hispanic focused animated features we have gotten over the last few years including Book of Life and Coco. Now Disney is taking on more with their latest feature Encanto featuring the voices of Stephanie Beatriz, María Cecilia Botero, Angie Cepeda, Wilmer Valderrama, Diane Guererro, John Lequizamo, Jessica Darrow, Carolina Gaitán, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz and Ravi Cabot-Conyers.
Encanto tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift from super strength to the power to heal-every child except one, Mirabel.
I was so excited to see this movie which centered around the lives of a big and wondrous Latin family. As the movie started and the vibrant colors filled the screen, I was swept away into the Encanto...
For me, this is a movie about the immigrant story. Leaving your home country due to violence, lack of work, lack of food, etc and moving to someplace completely unknown with the hope of a better future. This is the story of many people I know personally, and this is the story of my own father. So I was immediately captivated and drawn in. The emotional journey of this family had me on the edge of my seat.
Another thing that I feel is accurately represented is the rich tradition of Latin families. Everyone living together in their own section of the house but coming together for family meals and working together to ensure the overall prosperity of the group. The interesting side of this is similar to many other ethic groups - the nosey family always in your business! Trying to live up to expectations and being what the family needs you to be instead of following your own dreams. This is especially seen in the life of Mirabel who is the only
family member who didn't receive a magic gift.
Overall the story is very heartful and emotional. However, one of the most beautiful things about this movie is the animation itself. There is such contrast from light to dark, bright and vivid to dull and it all plays well on screen. The use of light and color is fantastically used to emote what is going on in the scene and how the characters are feeling. The layering of costumes and flowers throughout really adds to the already vibrant city background. In addition to the look and feel of the movie, I really enjoyed the casts' performances. I'm a huge fan of Stephanie Beatriz who plays the lead of Mirabel and the many, many Latin voices in the cast such as John Leguizamo, Wilmer Valderrama, and Maluma. There is nothing better than having the voices of the culture represent themselves.
This is a must see for both adults and children. The idea that we are all special with or without magical power is important for everyone to hear. This film really is an Encanto....just a dream of a movie! In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including outtakes, deleted scenes, featurettes, the short “Far From The Tree” and more.
Grab your copy of Encanto available now on digital and then on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on February 8th from Disney Home Entertainment.