REVIEW: Encanto

It's been a while since I made a review about a Disney animated film and they are now expanding stories beyond the usual fairytales. One big leap is when they also made Raya and the Last Dragon which focused on the Southeast Asian lore and culture. This year, they now set our eyes to Latin America with ENCANTO

At first it also sounds Filipino which is a term to wild enchanted beings but it also means Enchantment which is the major force of the film. Produced Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Animation Studios, this was released in November 2021 in the US and eventually available for streaming on Disney+.

The premise is centered o family which is very important in Latino culture, also set specifically in Colombia, it prides itself to show the Colombian culture, aesthetics, and other elements. It tells the story of the Madrigal family which is headed by their matriarch Abuela Alma. Her children and grandchildren are given various gifts that they use to make life easier and help their secluded community. However one of her grandkids did not possess one, Mirabel.

However the magic of the house of Madrigal is in danger of losing the magic along with the family members. This forces Mirabel to seek her long lost uncle Bruno who has the power of prophecy but exiled himself because of his power. The family faces the threat of losing their house and their powers which will also affect the community of Encanto.

The family dynamics of the Madrigals also makes the film interesting and also relatable to family-centric cultures like the Philippines. Abuela Alma wants to continue the magic for generations yet disregards her children and grandchildren's feelings which the family abides just to please her. This shows intergenerational trauma among the family which one addresses until the possible dwindling of the enchantment.

Lin Manuel-Miranda's involvement with the project made it a musical with amusing and catchy songs such as "The Family Madrigal," "Surface Pressure," and "We Don't Talk About Bruno." These songs have their own charm as they come in different genres yet still relevant to the main musical theme.

The film does show the power of family love, reconciliation, community building, and it is also possible to have a sequel with some unanswered questions left hanging. It's relatable family theme can also be a good discussion for relatives and how well is their relationship. 

Despite the simple story which is not a large as saving the world, or make huge change in society, it focused more on the family and community where everything started. And with magic making almost everything better, the gaps can be filled out with the help of the people around them, the relationship of parents, children, and siblings.

Recommendation: Best watched with friends and family

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