Disney’s new hit movie ‘Encanto’ is an emotional roller coaster, exciting, and so enjoyable for anyone. It has produced an incredible box office of around $92.4 million USD and was released on November 24, 2021.
Encanto’s major star Stephanie Beatriz, voices Mirabel, a bright and loving, but unappreciated, member of her big family. Out of all her family, she is the only one without a “gift.” Her grandmother, played by María Cecilia Botero, has such high expectations of the whole family that she is cruel and mean to her own granddaughter, only because she wasn’t given what she considers to be a gift.
There are subtle incorporations of the family throughout everything in the movie. If you take a close look at Mirabel’s skirt, you see that she has symbols of her family’s gifts embroidered on it. If you look at Agustín’s, Mirabel’s father, outfit you would notice how he has representations of his three daughters.
First, Isabela, who can make plants grow, is represented by the flower pinned to his suit vest. Then Luisa, played by Jessica Darrow, is characterized by her weights on one of his socks since she was gifted with extreme strength. Lastly, his youngest daughter, Mirabel, is portrayed on his other sock with embroidery.
Abuela Madrigal tells Mirabel about her past and how she lost her home, and husband, saying “but in our darkest moment, we were given a miracle.” However, when it’s Mirabel’s time to embrace the magic of her family’s miracle, she’s met with disappointment and shame.
In the beginning of the movie, she’s encountered by some of the children in her town asking about her family and what gift she was given. She swiftly breaks into song about her family tree, but she purposely excludes herself from the song out of embarrassment.
Music is a crucial part of Encanto; there are eight original songs in total, written by the one and only Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda has a special way of composing the truth in his songs. He said that he “actually needs to be doing something else to be able to work on the lyrics in a real way.”
He has said that he must talk to himself until it feels true, and once he feels it’s true, that’s when he writes down his lyrics. You can tell in many of his movies that this is true when you listen to the songs. You’re engaged in the music, especially in Encanto; the songs are so colorful, bold, and bright. The entire movie is this way; even in the few sad scenes, you feel surrounded by light and color.
Mirabel’s family lives in Casa Madrigal, which is surrounded by mountains and a small town in which the townspeople love the Madrigal family. The house comes to life, and the magic is sustained by a symbolic, ever-burning candle, representing the light and life that the house, magic, and family radiate.
The house is a concrete representation of the Madrigal family, and when relationships and trust start to crumble, Mirabel sees cracks starting to form in the house itself. Mirabel feels it is her responsibility to protect her family and their home.
She seeks out her long-lost uncle, Bruno, played by John Leguizamo, whose gift is seeing the future. First, she finds his last-known vision, smashed to pieces, in his part of Casa Madrigal and realizes that it was her standing in front of shattered Casa Madrigal. She’s then determined to find Bruno, and when she does, you find out he’s been hiding in the walls of Casa Madrigal since his disappearance around 10 years ago. As heartbreaking as that is, Mirabel sympathizes with him and says she will bring him back into the family when she fixes what’s happening to their house and family.
Bruno clarifies that his last vision of Mirabel in front of Casa Madrigal was not yet determined, and she would have to decide if she would make or break the family and their house.
She naturally chooses to save the house and family, but in doing so she must embrace her sister Isabela, voiced by Diane Guerrero, with whom she is not on very good terms at the time.
With her perseverance and dedication, Mirabel and Isabel are not like oil and water anymore, and Isabel feels like she can be her own person now. Mirabel must finally confront her grandmother about her harsh attitudes toward her and her family. In doing so, everything falls apart, but they make up and together rebuild the house.
To find out if Mirabel is granted a gift by the end of the movie, you’ll just have to watch Encanto.