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ENCANTO: A visually gorgeous tribute to Latin culture

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Jared Bush & Byron Howard

Stars Stephanie Beatriz, John Leguizamo, María Cecillia Botero, Wilmer Valderrama, Diane Guerrero, Jessica Darrow, and Adassa

There is no question the sheer amount of love that was put in by everyone working on Encanto. A story which took so much pride in telling this colourful and vibrant story of resilience, the pressures of succeeding after your ancestors past, and the hardy spirit of the Latin community to survive through all. It’s background story to set up our tale one that is filled with a scathing look at the damage that colonialism was doing the people of the area.

A young Colombian girl has to face the frustration of being the only member of her family without magical powers.

Even with all of this very great stuff, once we move into the actual story, it just falls flat. For all the incredible set up and breathtaking use of color, the story we get is generic. Everything from the character and story arcs to the ending is something we’ve seen before by Disney. It’s a beat by beat plotline thats been seen before and very rarely does it sway to introduce anything new. Even in its ending which could’ve been effective, do they opt for a traditional Disney ending that goes against the entire plot of not needing magic to thrive as a family.

The films length is an hour and a half which almost feels too fast as we breeze through the introductions, the songs, and the problem- only to have it solved with relative ease because of time restrictions. This halted any strong bonds for me with majority of the Madrigal family, special powers and all.

Faults aside, it’s no question that Encanto is a beautiful work of animation by Disney. That the songs will have the entire family in awe of the collision of colours with the beats of the colorful songs. As well as a beautiful tribute and pride for Latin culture and all the things that it means to be a part of this beautiful and colourful culture.


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