“Encanto”: An Enchanting Colombian Tale

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Sofia Felan

“Encanto” shares a tale of identity, family and culture in a latin household.

Diego Gómez Bello, Staff Writer

Directors: Bryon Howard, Jared Bush

Release Date: Nov. 24, 2021

Starring: Stephanie Beatriz (Mirabel Madrigal), Noemi Josefina Flores (Young Mirabel), María Cecilia Botero (Abuela Alma), John Leguizamo (Bruno Madrigal), Jessica Darrow (Luisa Madrigal), Diane Guerrero (Isabela Madrigal).

Our Rating: A

A beautiful, animated story inspired by the magical realist literature of Latin American authors such as Gabriel García Márquez, “Encanto” is a charming film to watch with your family this holiday season. The movie follows the Madrigal family whose supernatural powers drawn from their magical “Casita” begin to weaken and Maribel Madrigal, the youngest granddaughter who has no powers of her own.

I thought the movie was pretty nice. The characters felt like real people and the story was very compelling. I liked watching Maribel uncover the mystery and also discover more about herself and her family along the way,”

— junior Austin Yagoda

The family’s story begins with Alma and Pedro Madrigal who with their children are fleeing the violence that destroyed their home. Pedro dies trying to save his family but a magic candle Alma had from the gods blows the villains away and creates a new home, the Casita, for Alma’s family, hidden by mountains that grants the children and their descendants’ magical powers. Many years later, Maribel Madrigal is born, the only one without magic which makes her somewhat of an outcast. One day when the “Casita” starts to crack and fall apart Maribel is blamed for the magic fading. Maribel then sets out to investigate the calamity and save the “Casita” and its magic.

“Encanto”, true to its name, was an enchanting movie with gorgeous animation that brought it to life. The movie does a good job of representing rural Colombia with the lush green valleys and vibrant, traditionally dressed people of the community. The people move and dance fluidly, their faces are full of emotion and their hair and clothes stretch and flow with each movement and gust of air.

The movie features some enjoyable songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and composed by Germaine Franco. The music accentuates the emotions of the characters and the scene. The joviality of it makes viewers feel like getting up and dancing with the characters and the more bittersweet and stirring songs go straight to the heart. This movie’s soundtrack is not my favorite among Disney films but it is definitely high up there and very well composed.

“I thought Encanto had a great storyline with entertaining music, it’s perfect to watch with a little cousin or sibling,” sophomore Amanda Herrera said.

The story itself teaches many valuable lessons such as how everyone has their own strengths and talents along with their weaknesses and shortcomings. Maribel, the magically untalented girl, achieved incredible feats and proved herself a great daughter, sister and friend to those in her life. It is a relatively simple plot to follow yet one with characters who come to life in their sometimes amusing and sometimes tense and serious interactions and expressions. The struggle Maribel goes through is very relatable, excluding all the magic, trying to find her place in her family and her community, something that many others might have trouble with as well.

This feel-good movie is worth watching with your family or even on a chill movie night. “Encanto” is a sweet, moving story that will lead you to look at the real magic that makes your friends and family special: their souls. Just as the Madrigal family grew closer from this experience, so might those families watching.