Encanto

Y’all knew this one was coming

YES

Release date: November 24, 2021
Director: Jared Bush, Byron Howard
Language: English, Spanish

Who should watch this movie: Eldest daughters. People who love spending time with their family but not for more than 3 or 4 days at a time. 

When should you watch this movie: On a sunny Sunday afternoon. With people you feel comfortable crying in front of. 

The sell: Encanto sets out to tackle the messy dynamics of family, and it is successful in portraying exactly that, the messiness. The tangled miscommunication, secrets, pressure, love, and pain that make up the fabric of so many families is perfectly encapsulated in the Madrigal’s magic house. Main character Mirabel is our avatar in navigating the generational web of trauma and fear, locating hidden wounds in hopes of one day healing. Optimistic but also understanding, Encanto acknowledges the essential process of healing, but also the many barriers to beginning that process. The soundtrack to a Disney musical is, of course, make or break. In this case, its a “make.” Lin Manuel Miranda might be cringe but boy can he write some bangers. The music in Encanto is, yes, very good, but also surprising. The songs range from catchy ear-worms to heartbreaking lullabies and everything in between. Pulling from multiple genres with little consistency, the dynamic soundtrack adds a bumpy yet essential texture, like an unexpected accessory that doesn’t seem to fit but ends up making the outfit. Encanto manages to be heartwarming without shying away from challenging themes and lands an impressive acrobatic jump with humility and just a touch of flair. 

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