Encanto, the review: the magic of normality

The review of Encanto, the Disney Animation Christmas film that takes us to Latin American territory to introduce us to a family with special magical abilities.

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Encanto: a sequence

Write the review of Encanto it is a joy, because the release of the new Disney Animation movie indicates that we are approaching the Christmas period and as lovers of this holiday we can only be happy about it. Encanto was in fact announced just like the Disney Christmas movie, both because the release of November 24 is in preparation for this party so loved by viewers, and because the release in theaters will be followed by the arrival on Disney + precisely for the day of Christmas Eve, as a gift for the subscribers of the platform . And, of course, for the usual Disney magic it is imbued with, between songs, emotions, fun and good feelings.

A magical family

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Charm: a scene from the film

The new Disney film welcomes us to the Madrigal home, an extraordinary family who lives in their own home casitaequally out of the ordinary, a wonderful place called Encanto which gave each member of the large family a particular power. Whether it is super strength or the ability to control the climate or vegetation, or the ability to heal, each component of the Madrigals is distinguished by a specific and unique magical ability. Everyone except Mirabel, the only ordinary, different from the other family members. A normality that acquires a particular value when the girl discovers that Encanto’s magic is in danger and it is she, the only ordinary among the Madrigals, who represents the last hope to avert the lurking danger.

Visual excellence

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Encanto: an image from the animated film

Let’s start with what is not surprising in Encanto, not because it is less valid from a qualitative point of view, but because in the wake of an always high technical / artistic level: the Disney Animation film is the usual joy for the eyes, with very rich backdrops, colors in able to convey the Latin American aesthetic that inspires it, elaborate chamber movements, above all to accompany the musical numbers and follow the perfect timing of some successful physical gags (especially relating to the character of Bruno). A visual excellence on which the new musical compositions of Lin-Manuel Miranda, author of the songs of Encanto, are embedded, which convey with gusto the emotional moments of the story, although perhaps lacking a single that stands out in a particular way.

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Encanto: an image

If we start from these confirmations and certainties it is not to quickly liquidate them and neglect their importance in the economy of the film, but rather to underline how consolidated and stable the entire production system of Disney Animation works is, however also satisfied by how these technical components -artistic are at the service of the story that is told to us by its authors, which we find after Zootropolis: in outlining the design of the different components of the Madrigals to make them unique, immediately recognizable and identifiable; in defining the cultural context in which history moves with few, effective features; in managing the timing and tones of the story to effectively stage the lighter and comedy aspects, as well as those designed to convey the emotions of the characters.

In the intimacy of the family

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Charm: a scena

We talked about it immediately, however, also to be able to underline an aspect that struck us: there is no real antagonist, in Encanto, there is no villain worthy of the name, and the conflict is all internal. In Mirabel, specifically, and in her entire family unit, by extension. What counts in the new Disney film is the intimate journey of the protagonist and her loved ones to come to accept themselves, their choices and above all their weaknesses, to ensure that they can become strengths. Mirabel is not magical, but this does not mean that she is not special in her own way, that she does not have something within her that makes her important and unique in the context of the Madrigal.

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Encanto: a scene from the animated film

And it is interesting to see a sort of parallelism between Encanto and its protagonist Mirabel: the new Disney animated film perhaps does not have a song capable of having the impact of Let it Go of Frozen, moments of great humor like Rapunzel, sequences with an unsurpassed emotional impact like The Lion King, an exceptional voice talent like Aladdin’s Robin Williams or iconic characters like Sebastian or Mushu, but manages to be in his own way unique and carve out a space in that boundless series of hits that are the Disney Classics.

Conclusions

In closing the review of Encanto we can only take up the concept used in the title, underlining the magic of normality which is told by the new Disney Classic in bringing to the room the story of Mirabel, the only member of the Madrigals not to possess magical powers but no less special and important in the economy of the family to which she belongs. A film in which a real antagonist is missing, in which the conflict develops within the protagonist and her own casita, but which confirms the usual technical-artistic level of Disney.

Because we like it

  • The emotional path of understanding and self-acceptance of the protagonist and her family.
  • The balance between the comedy and the emotional component of the film.
  • The usual technical-artistic excellence of Disney Animation.
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda’s songs, although they lack a song capable of remaining in the popular imagination.

What’s wrong

  • Compared to other Disney Classics, there is a lack of iconic elements that could strike the public’s imagination.

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