What's So Special About "Encanto"
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What's So Special About "Encanto"

My honest thoughts on Disney's newest animated film.

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What's So Special About "Encanto"

Disney has done it again with its newest animated film, "Encanto." Since its release in November of 2021, this film has taken the movie and music worlds by storm, with a story unlike any other and a narrative soundtrack that will stick in your head for weeks on end. "Encanto" tells the story of Mirabel, a young Latina born into the Madrigal family, a family granted with magical gifts, only she was never given her own gift when she came of age. But when Mirabel discovers that her family's magic is in danger, the ordinary must perform the extraordinary and protect the miracle the family was given. But what is it that sets this movie apart from those Disney has produced in the past? What has made this film resonate with such a large amount of people?

One of the more obvious factors that have made this film so successful is its incredible soundtrack. The narrative soundtrack in "Encanto" surpasses that of Disney movies in the past, even "Frozen." The songs tell stories and show feelings in ways that mere words cannot do, and they will surely leave an impression on anyone who listens to them. From the first note in "The Family Madrigal," to the ever-catchy "Surface Pressure," to the final lyrics in "All Of You," these songs will capture your attention and possibly help you find something to relate to in the characters. The most successful song in this movie, "We Don't Talk About Bruno" has not only left the audience endlessly talking about Bruno, but has also surpassed the popularity of "Let It Go" from Disney's "Frozen."

This film tells an incredibly emotional story of a girl finding her way to be special against the odds, but there is also a much deeper story that can be seen beneath the surface. "Encanto" tackles the topic of intergenerational trauma throughout nearly the entirety of its runtime, even if it's not initially obvious. While on her mission to discover what is endangering the Madrigal's magic, Mirabel discovers the immense pressure that is put on the rest of her family by her Abuela, the matriarch of the Madrigal family. This pressure to constantly put their gifts to use in order to help the surrounding town can be seen passed down through each generation, and it is shown how much the characters have been willing to lose in order to make their family proud. And beyond this, "Encanto" depicts the struggle to break the chain of abuse as Mirabel confronts her Abuela and forces the family to reevaluate the lifestyle they have been forced to live since they were given their gifts.

Something that set this film apart from many other Disney animated films was the diversity that was depicted onscreen. While Disney has been making more efforts to diversify, this movie really went the extra mile. "Encanto" focuses on a Colombian family, meaning there was a great amount of Latine representation. But beyond this, there is a clear effort to ensure that all Latines find someone to relate to within the Madrigal family. The family is made up of men, women, and children all with different skin tones, hair colors, and notably hair textures. While these may seem like very minor details, they made a large amount of the Latine community feel seen in a way that they have never been seen before.

Disney's "Encanto" offers a magical, emotional, and diverse adventure unlike anything else Disney has produced in the past. From the animation, to the music, to the story, this movie has something for all ages to enjoy. "Encanto" is available now for streaming on Disney+.

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