It’s a Disney movie, what are we doing here…
The Madrigals are 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.
“I can’t do this on my own.”
Disney Animation is one of if not the oldest animation studios in our country. They are certainly one of the most prominent, and definitely the highest producing studio all the way back to SNOW WHITE. Even though I have seen all of them I was still shocked to see that banner before the movie showing this was the 60th productions from Disney Animation. That is an incredible number, and one where they have a batting average that is extremely high.
Their newest feature is ENCANTO, and it is in the tradition of MOANA and RAYA where they are continuing to explore the cultures of places that have not been represented that often. This time we travel to Colombia and we get to meet the Madrigals. More on them later though, let us proceed to the Ratings!
Animation – B-
This is an interesting grade, because I actually thought the animation of the characters was actually more on the childish side. I know this is a kids movie, but Disney has always had animation styles that cater to multiple generations, now it seems like this is much more focused on just kids. However, what was incredible was the colors and the movements of the “camera” to make this a vibrant and exciting movie. If anything is memorable from this movie besides the music, it is absolutely how colorful and stimulating each frame is.
Voice Cast – B
Stephanie Beatriz was great as Maribel and she deserves to be a star. She has been great for years on Brooklyn 99 and was having the time of her life this summer in IN THE HEIGHTS. She is perfect to be next in line as one the badass Disney Princess/Heiresses. John Leguizamo was fun, but did not show up till way later in the movie, and Wilmer Valeria was funny even if only having two or three scenes. Other than that it was mostly newcomers giving solid performances but not were incredibly memorable if I am being honest.
Music – A
As I discussed in my last post about tick, tick…BOOM! I am in the bag for all things Lin Manuel Miranda. I truly do not know how this man sleeps with how many projects he does. But he continues to put out amazing songs with everything he does and this is no exception. Stephanie Beatriz is having so much fun in all her songs, but Lin does the Broadway move, which is making sure all the main characters get one solo. Pretty much all the songs are good but the standouts were definitely: The Family Madrigal, Waiting on a Miracle (reminded me of Breathe in In the Heights), and Surface Pressure. This will go right to the Tier 2 soundtracks for Disney, even though I know there is a ton of competition, and may edge to Tier 1 in time.
Story – C-
The story here is where I have a problem with this movie. It is just so much like COCO in its basic structure that it was hard for me to think of anything else. I know I have seen a million movies and there are many that are similar, however to see the Latino family telling this girl she is not special just like Miguel in COCO it was just too familiar. I did enjoy the family dynamics and the arcs overall, but again my score just cannot be that high based on how similar it was to a movie put out under basically the same umbrella so recently.
*A couple other tidbits
- You do need to be locked in to the first song or else you will have no clue what everyone does with their gifts.
- Of course they found a spot for Alan Tudyk to play the toucan.
Even if it is not one of their classics Disney continues to pump out consistently good movies. This is another one of those, with a decent story, fun characters, and memorable music. I think kids will love this movie, I just do not know if it will resonate with adults like a ZOOTOPIA, or a WRECK IT RALPH. Either way it is still worth seeing for the music and the vibrant colors.
*You can find my 2021 Movie Rankings here.
*You can find my Disney Animation Rankings here.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.
*You can follow my Letterboxd account here.
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