ENCANTO is a messy original Disney animated flick from which I wanted a bit more. Eli’s plot description in his review is spot on without spoiling – “A young Colombian girl has to face the frustration of being the only member of her family without magical powers.” He also accurately describes ENCANTO as mid-tier Disney. For me, that means it’s a solid B+.
With that said, I had a few observations about Disney’s latest and most inclusive film yet.
- Disney is not “Door Deaf” – From “Love is an Open Door” to the doors in MONSTER’S, INC., there’s a clear metaphor that a door unlocks a new opportunity in their films. In ENCANTO, doors open what’s “Under the Surface.”
- No Big Bad – ENCANTO is missing a big bad. Maybe that’s the point since the story is about family dynamics, making it more realistic. However, the movie feels long in the first and second acts without establishing a true villain to raise the stakes.
- House Arrest – There’s magic in this movie and in the world-building surrounding it. Yet, why the heck does it get stuck inside the house for soooo long? I wanted to go exploring in ENCANTO’s open world. At the very least, a mini-road trip ala ONWARD.
- “Dos Oruguitas” – Did Disney just play an entire song in Spanish during a critical scene in ENCANTO with no subtitles? Yes, yes, they did. And it’s a huge different moment in children’s animated films.
- I’m Busy – The film has a hectic first and second act. I could’ve used a bit more from Lin Manuel’s playbook and had the characters “talk less, and smile more.”
ENCANTO is inclusive family entertainment that teaches kids they are “more than just their gifts.” It’s worthy of being seen in the theatre. However, please “Don’t talk about Bruno” while watching it.