Disney’s ‘Encanto’ wows with catchy music and relatable representations of Colombian families


Photo Courtesy of Disney

Disney’s Encanto entertaingly and respectfully higlights Columbian culture with its diverse cast of characters.

Gianna Cocovinis, Staff Writer

Disney has done it again by releasing another record-breaking hit movie to grace the holiday season. In recent years the film studio has noticeably been straying away from the typical standard of princess movie after princess movie by exploring new and exciting stories set in various countries and cultures around the world. In Disney’s latest hit “Encanto,” we follow the story of the Madrigal family in a charming, rustic village in Colombia. Beyond being the longest known residents within the village, the Madrigal family is also known for their magical gifts. From shape shifting to supersonic hearing to making food that literally heals all wounds, the Madrigals consider themselves faithful servants to their community and take great pride in helping keep their small village up and running. 

Yet not everyone got a special gift, and Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz) is the one person the family’s casita, or house, passed over during the gift-giving ceremony. This news comes as a blow Mirabel often struggles with, especially when faced with such a magically inclined family. But as the magic begins to come apart at the seams, it is up to Mirabel to figure out what is happening to their family home and fix the community, or the Encanto, before the magic is gone forever.  

Going into this movie, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It might be an unpopular opinion, but I was beginning to feel as if Disney was going downhill with their movies, at least when it comes to their animated films. “Luca” was cute but didn’t stick too much in my mind, and the new “Diary of Wimpy Kid” was entertaining but not something I’d watch again. That said, “Encanto” blew me away from its first musical number. It might have helped that they brought in Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer of hit Broadway plays like “Hamilton” and “In the Heights,” for the musical numbers, but the story itself was a beautiful love letter to Colombia and had characters that felt frighteningly similar to members of my own family, which I think is what drew me so close to the story. Not only are we following Mirabel, a quirky, optimistic and cheerful main character who always see the glass as half full, but you also follow such complex and lovable side characters that add a new level to the story by making you think while also making you laugh. It’s incredibly easy to see parts of yourself or parts of your own family in this story, which makes it such an inviting, inclusive film that you can’t help but cherish.  

Beyond being a new and exciting departure from the typical Disney princess movie, this is a story that had some truly catchy songs thrown in as well. With Lin Manuel-Miranda working on the film, it isn’t a surprise that “Encanto’s” ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ has actually surpassed “Frozen’s” hit song as Billboard’s biggest Hot100 from Disney’s animated filmography. This is a huge accomplishment as I’m sure many of us have heard ‘Let It Go’ just one too many times and can enjoy this change in pace with an upbeat, impressive song that introduces the estranged Tío Bruno and his even stranger visions. If you have the time between classes or are looking for a heart-warming, comforting movie to pass the time, this is definitely the one, and good luck getting ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ out of your head.