Encanto – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Encanto – Blessings Within: The Magic of Family

Whisk away through the lens of another, wonder and escape become one.  In film, this feeling can be poignant, majestic and surreal, but the journey is strong within relative means.  If you can fall into the world, then the possibilities are endless.  In this review, I look at the latest Disney animated film that pushes the escape within a wholesome message.  A different spin of the Disney formula, Encanto presents a captivated journey, showcasing the importance of what it means to be … together.        

The story begins with an introductory prologue, laying the foundation of all the background elements.  We are introduced to the Madrigal family, who have lost much in escaping their home village.  With nothing but hope, Abuela and her infant children are blessed with an enchanted candle.  We move through the generations, watching each family member obtain a unique ability from the candle.  With their gifts, they help build a new village and home called the Casita.  This becomes the normal routine, until one day when one of them don’t receive a gift.  From this point, the film centers around Mirabel, the character without a gift, and how she copes being the oddball in the family.  True to form, Disney brings about a unique creativity, displaying a whimsical tale through song and characterization.  Through her, we see she has much love for her family but is frustrated at the facts.  In the first act, we see there is folly of circumstances.  The scenes become a showcase of each of the powers; how they work and their influence on the town and individual relationships.  The oddities push the theme of family with differences, blending surreal elements within the causality of the situation: the magic is slowly fading away.  With most of the family in denial, Mirabel is left to her own vices to figure out how to save the family’s gift.  As she begins this journey, the Disney formula shifts (in the second act) from its traditional means to focus on a more poignant thread of family. 

As Mirabel begins her investigation, it slowly reveals the family dysfunction (hidden in plain sight).  With each new piece of evidence found, it brings about a layer of unknown.  As she learns about certain secrets, it is these revelations that reveal a fragility in the family dynamic.  Within the relations of each character is a hidden internal struggle, a meaningful display of the pressures of being ‘the ones’ with gifts.  This leads to a predictable crossroads, where the choices amount to drastic consequences.  This leads into a final act of what is truly the family’s purpose.  As Mirabel (and others) come to terms of what is real, the miracle becomes something more than just gifted powers.  This leads to a wholesome climax, leading into what makes Disney animated tales genuine to the core.  Encanto is a whimsical tale that brings about a meaningful message in animated form.  If you are a fan of Disney, animated films or strong family tales, this is one for you.  This is a film worth seeing at the theater.     

Full Score – 4 out of 5 (Full Price)

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