Animation / Comedy / Drama
Animation / Comedy / Drama
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Encanto tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift from super strength to the power to heal-every child except one, Mirabel. But when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is in danger, Mirabel decides that she, the only ordinary Madrigal, might just be her exceptional family's last hope. —Walt Disney Animation Studios.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Dec 31, 2021 at 12:00 AM
grade Movie Reviews
A Princess-Free Disney Cartoon Feature
This feature had its songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also is one of the writers credited with the book. In a hidden valley in Colombia is a prosperous town with a magical family. They live in a magical house, and the grandmother's descendants all have some fantastic ability, like being infinitely strong, or causing immense amounts of flowers to appear out of nowhere. All except Mirabel, who says she's fine with it, and so does everyone else. Still, everyone is terrified that the magic is fading. Mirabel has visions in which she sees the house cracking into dust, and goes on a quest to find her missing uncle Bruno (voiced by John Leguizamo doing an Al Pacino imitation). It's an elaborate and novel mythical thesis, which means the story bogs down a bit until it's all been explained, usually in song. This is probably why I thought the songs improved as the movie continued, with one or two very good ones, particularly "The Miracle is You."The other issue I had with this movie is the elaborate choreography. In an industry in which green screen, CGI and wire-fu allow real actors to engage in movement that looks cartoonish, what are actual cartoons, even CGI ones supposed to do. The choreography in this one sometimes seems impossible to me, often performed with a flexibility and weightlessness that removes the beauty and achievement from the greatest dancers. It makes me sad that this new, impossible standard is one that people will grow up to expect.Those cavils from an old grouch aside, this Disney celebrates the magic in ordinary people, has an affirming moral at its end, and shows a revival of the candy box back ground work that Disney led the cartoon factories in during its heyday. It certainly gets its job done.
"No one is youer than you." - Dr. Seuss
I interpreted "Encanto" to mean that one's strength is not determined by traditions or other people's understanding of strength. Strength is about knowing the ethical thing to do, even if it challenges tradition.And of course, it's good to see the depiction of a woman who isn't defined by her relationship to a man. Impressive movie.
Disney have had a run of successful computer-animated films with cultural representation for the last few years, including Big Hero 6, Moana, Coco, and Raya and the Last Dragon, and this was the latest film in this succession, with original songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Basically, years ago in Colombia, young Alma Madrigal fled from her home following an armed conflict, she lost her husband Pedro, but saved their triplets, Julieta, Pepa, and Bruno. The candle Alma carried became magical and created a sentient house, the "Casita", for the Madrigals to live in. Years later, the village of Encanto grows, protected by the Casita, and members of the Madrigal family are gifted superhuman abilities they use to help the villagers. But Bruno was gifted with the ability to predict the future, causing him to be vilified and to disappear. While Julieta (Angie Cepeda) has her own children, three daughters: Isabela, Luisa, and Mirabel. On the night of her ceremony, youngest daughter Mirabel touched her magical door but was not given any gift. In the present, Isabela (Diane Guerrero) is considered "perfect" and can make flowers bloom everywhere, and Luisa (Jessica Darrow) has superhuman strength and often carries heavy loads, while Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz) is treated differently having no gift. Mirabel's mother Julieta can heal others with her cooking, and her highly emotional sister Pepa (Carolina Gaitán), who is married to Félix (Mauro Castillo), can control the weather. At the next ceremony, Pepa's youngest son Antonio (Ravi-Cabot Conyers) is gifted with the ability to speak to animals. During the evening, Mirabel suddenly sees the Casita cracking, but her warnings are ignored by Mirabel's grandmother Abuela Alma (María Cecilia Botero) when it is found seemingly fine. Mirabel believes the magic of the Casita is fading and is determined to save the magic. Starting an investigation and asking members of her family for help, Luisa suggests that Bruno's room may have the answers. There, Mirabel finds a cave of sand and pieces of broken opaque jade glass from a slab. Repairing this slab, she sees an image supposedly showing her causing the Casita to fall apart. After Mirabel leaves, she discovers that her family members' gifts are starting to weaken. Isabela is to become engaged to her fiancé Mariano Guzman (Maluma), and the family gather at dinner to celebrate. Mirabel's oldest cousin Dolores (Adassa), who possesses superhuman hearing, admits to overhearing Mirabel talking with her father about the vision. The Casita once again begins to crack, ruining Mariano's proposal, and everyone's powers diminish, for which Isabela blames Mirabel, despite her denial of her involvement in the cataclysm. Mirabel catches a glimpse of a man, following him through a hidden passage in the walls, discovering that it is Bruno (John Leguizamo), who never left the house, wanting to stay close to his family. Mirabel convinces him to make a prediction again and Antonio gives them permission to use his room. Bruno shows a vision with an image of Mirabel and Isabela embracing. Mirabel goes to apologise to Isabella to fulfil this vision, but Isabella shares with her that being perfect is a burden and does not want to Mariano. Having poured out her feelings, Isabela's powers start to develop and both sisters reconcile. However, Alma discovers Mirabel's actions and thoughtlessly blames her for the family's misfortunes. Mirabel finally snaps at her grandmother, saying that it is all her fault for making everyone do things her way. This argument causes the Casita to finally collapse while Alma's magical candle extinguishes in Mirabel's hands, and the Madrigals are all stripped of their powers. Alma finds a distraught Mirabel by the river where Pedro died, finally admitting her fault of pressuring the family. They reconcile, and with Bruno reuniting with the family, the Madrigals, with the help of the Encanto villagers, work together to rebuild the Casita. When Mirabel places the last doorknob, the Casita springs back to life and the magic returns. In the end, the Madrigals take their first family picture with Mirabel and Bruno now included in it. Also starring Wilmer Valderrama as Agustín Madrigal, Rhenzy Feliz as Camilo Madrigal, who has the ability to shape-shift, and Alan Tudyk as Pico the toucan. The characters are all likeable, many of the songs ("Waiting on a Miracle", "We Don't Talk About Bruno", "What Else Can I Do?") are catchy, and the use of vibrant colour is wonderfully eye-catching, it is a charming story and something the whole family can enjoy, a fun animated musical fantasy comedy. Very good!
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