This year, Disney + subscribers received a Christmas present as Encanto, a new animated musical about a Colombian family with magical powers, hits the streaming app.
Encanto is about a girl named Mirabelle (voiced by Stephanie Beatrice), who is the only member of the Madrigal family who does not possess a magical ability, despite her quirky and empathetic nature. When Mirabelle begins to believe that the magic of the family's candle is dying out, she is determined to do whatever she can to save the family and their incredible legacy.
Encanto is a movie about magic, so in a sense, everything in it - from the music to the animation to the history - is so dazzling that it could be considered... magic. I know it seems cliché, but that magic also sets Encanto apart, as the film indulges in magical realism.
The plot is never slow or boring, and the film effortlessly mixes heart and humor in a perfect way. The theme of this film is about family and the love you have for them. Particularly, Encanto is more about love, family struggles, and family dynamics that many of us are all too familiar with.
The songs written by Lin Manuel Miranda are funny and easy to listen to, and they portray the characters well. Anyone suffering from LMM fatigue (likely to face even greater challenges given the high likelihood of an Oscar nomination) will be glad to know that his presence in Encanto is not immediately prevalent because the film stands out as a fantasy.
The story of the Mirabelles in Encanto is a stirring animation celebrating the resilience of Latin American families who have built their homes despite the cracks created by threats of displacement from the outside world and our own.