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A Delightful, Moving, Cultural Experience | Disney’s ENCANTO – Review

Mirabel Madrigal struggles to fit in a family where everyone has been blessed with magical powers – everyone but her. Determined to prove she belongs within this extraordinary family, she strives to contribute in meaningful ways—denying to everyone, including herself, that she feels all alone, even in her own house. Opening in the U.S. on Nov. 24, 2021, “Encanto” features Stephanie Beatriz as the voice of Mirabel and songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda. © 2021 Disney. All Rights Reserved.
By Lee Romero

Magic made real

In some way, shape, or form, Disney will getcha. It’s common knowledge the slaughterhouse of the entertainment industry has the power to grab your attention, keep it, tug at your heart, and make you feel like you’ve experienced something so uniquely special, you’re just on the fence waiting for what’s next. No matter what platform and/or style it’s presented, that’s what it’s like to live a moment under the “command” of any Disney display. Much to their powerful credit, a lot of it comes from their animated films. Short and/or feature length, it’s a piece that’ll resonate for a lifetime.

On deck looking to swing for the fences during Thanksgiving weekend is ENCANTO! A magical story that spotlights the Madrigals; an extraordinary family who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a charmed place called the Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift — every child except Mirabel. However, she soon may be the Madrigals last hope when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is now in danger.

Made clear, celebrating 60 years of charming wonder and magical moments, Disney does a fantastic job at making sure its audience is provided with nothing but the best. The film is a vibrant journey of unity and acceptance. Being half Colombian, I was soaking in pleasantries of cultural influences, style, rhythm, etc. I would have liked to have heard more of the dialect — as some of the Spanish accents were a little off when bouncing off each other’s dialog — but it doesn’t hurt the film in the least bit and it all works!

One of the reasons is due to its soundtrack. Serving as a character itself, the music helps drive the narrative – and that’s part of the fun. Predominantly a musical, I’m glad it does, because it flourishes beautifully. Detailed to the core with character development and movements all through various displays of different skin tones, sizes, mannerisms, and personality, ENCANTO is most definitely a well-executed bundle of vibrant joy for those who can relate and/or those just taking in a fine piece of cultural art.

For the most part it’s a film about acceptance, unique appeal, familial bond, and most of all, the magical feeling of love and being loved no matter what the cause. Simple, straightforward, and most definitely a shining light among global inhabitants, this would be a FANTASTIC triple-feature, holiday watch alongside Pixar’s COCO and SOUL!


Genre: Animation, Musical, Family Comedy, Fantasy | Rated: PG | Run Time: 1:40

Voice Cast: Stephanie Beatriz, Maria Ceclia Botero, John Leguizamo, Wilmer Valderama, Maluma

Directed by: Jarod Bush and Byron Howard