Review: Encanto

Encanto is the latest animated musical from Disney. With original songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda, the film focuses on a family named the Madrigals living in a magical town in Colombia. Every year, a child from the Madrigal family is blessed with a unique ability. Maribel (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz) is the only Madrigal child to never get a gift.

Maribel starts to have visions of their magical home being destroyed and thinks it’s connected to their long lost uncle Bruno (voiced by John Leguizamo). Maribel must find out what’s happening to their home and how she’s connected to it.  

The concept of Encanto focuses on family, our gifts, and how we can be of service to the people we love. It’s a beautiful foundation for a family film geared towards children.  It’s the perfect family focused film for the holidays that isn’t centered on a holiday.

The real magic of the film is the relationship between Maribel and Abuela Alma (voiced by Maria Cecilia Botero). Their relationship highlights the pressures kids often feel to please their parents/parental figures. Their relationship is at the center of a well crafted story that delivers high energy songs as only Disney can.

Encanto is one of Disney’s best musicals in recent years and one of the best animated films’s this year. The core of the story is a beautiful message about loving who you are, no matter what gifts you have/don’t have.  The message in the film is delivered with a lot of humor, joy, and even a few moments that are guaranteed to make you teary eyed. The highlight of the film is Maribel and her Uncle Bruno. I wouldn’t be surprised if Uncle Bruno gets his own spin-off series on Disney+.

Grade: B+