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There's a little magic in all of us... almost all of us.
―Tagline

Encanto is an American animated musical fantasy comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. It was released on November 24, 2021 in the United States and is the 60th animated feature in the Disney Animated Canon. Directed by Byron Howard and Jared Bush, the film was written by Bush and Charise Castro Smith.

Taking place in the mountains of Columbia, the film centers on the Madrigals, a multigenerational family whose members were each granted magical gifts—with the exception of one, Mirabel. The second Disney animated film released in 2021 (following Raya and the Last Dragon), Encanto features original songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose soundtrack received widespread acclaim and topped the US Billboard 200 in 2022. A massive critical success (earning the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature among other accolades), the film went on to become the highest-grossing animated feature of 2021.

Plot

While escaping her home from armed conflict, a young woman named Alma Madrigal loses her husband Pedro but saves her three infant children Julieta, Pepa, and Bruno. Through a miracle, a candle Alma held onto was imbued with magic and creates a sentient "Casita" for the Madrigals to live in, and provide a safe haven for the refugees, who proceed to build a town called Encanto.

Encanto grows under the Casita's protection, and the magic imbues the Madrigal family — for which Alma becomes better known as "Abuela" — with a family of superhuman abilities dubbed "gifts". It is around the nature of the magic's involvement with gifts, however, that Bruno, along with Julieta's youngest daughter, Mirabel, become excluded. Bruno and his gift of precognition are vilified due to the unpredictable nature of his visions, which led Bruno to one day disappear. Mirabel, though, has no gift at all: though not as ostracized as Bruno, she is still treated differently by the family ("The Family Madrigal"). On the day Antonio, Pepa's youngest son, is to receive a gift, Mirabel gives Antonio the courage to go through with the ceremony ("Colombia, Mi Encanto"). Antonio gains the ability to speak with animals and the whole town celebrates while Mirabel, though happy for him, remains saddened for the lack of her own gift ("Waiting on a Miracle").

That night, Mirabel suddenly sees cracks forming around the house and the candle flickering, but when she tries to show everyone, everything is back to normal, leading the family to further doubt her ("En Barranquilla Me Quedo"). She later learns that Abuela does indeed believe her and decides to save the magic. After asking her cousin Dolores, who can hear everything, she confronts her older sister Luisa, who has super strength. Mirabel gets her to confess that she feels overburdened by the family ("Surface Pressure") and reveals that when Mirabel saw the cracks, she felt weaker. Luisa suggests that Mirabel go to Bruno's old room, recalling that he once had a vision about the family's magic. Mirabel enters to see that it is a giant sand-filled cave and discovers a vision that supposedly shows Mirabel being the cause of the house cracking apart. Upon leaving, Luisa reveals that her strength is fading and Abuela tells Mirabel not to talk to anyone, especially her perfect older sister Isabela, who can make flowers appear, as she is to be engaged that evening to Mariano, a local man.

The family overhears Mirabel asking about Bruno and explains to her how his predictions often caused trouble ("We Don't Talk About Bruno"), such as how his vision about rain led to Pepa, whose mood controls the weather, being married in a hurricane. Dolores then overhears Mirabel talking with her father about Bruno's prediction. The dinner and the proposal are soon ruined as Dolores is unable to keep Bruno's vision a secret, with the house once again beginning to crack and everyone's powers beginning to falter. The family blames Mirabel, despite her pleading she had nothing to do with the incident. That night with the Guzmans, Mirabel notices some rats taking the pieces of Bruno's vision and discovers a hidden passage in the walls behind a painting, finding a cloaked figure that she chases. When she falls through the floor, the figure saves her (though it is then revealed the hole is not very deep), revealing himself as Bruno. He never actually left and instead hid within the walls as he still cares about his family. Mirabel eventually convinces him to have another prediction. Antonio then shows up and offers his room for them to use, as the rats informed him of everything. Mirabel and Bruno's vision starts the same as before, but Mirabel notices a butterfly. They follow it and it eventually leads to them finding a solution that involves Mirabel having to hug it out with Isabela. Mirabel is not pleased with the situation, but Bruno tells her that she, not Isabela, will ultimately decide the Casita's fate before going back into hiding. Mirabel decides to apologize to Isabela for ruining the engagement dinner. After a brief argument, Mirabel learns that Isabela feels burdened by being perfect and that she never wanted to marry Mariano and was only doing so for the family. This causes Isabela to embrace her true self by making more wild, exotic, and carnivorous plants and both sisters forgive each other and hug (fulfilling Bruno's vision), seemingly healing the house and magic ("What Else Can I Do?").

Abuela discovers what has been happening and accuses Mirabel of hurting their family out of spite for not having a gift. Fed up with her mistreatment, Mirabel angrily snaps at her for always seeing her as a disappointment and putting too much pressure on the family to be perfect, revealing that Abuela is the one who has hurt the family and the miracle. At that moment, the house begins to break apart; as it tries to get everyone out to safety, Isabela, Camilo, and the rest of the family lose their gifts as the magic quickly fades. Mirabel stays behind to try and retrieve the candle, but it disappears before she can reach it. The Casita uses its remaining magic to shield her from its collapse, and the Madrigals are all left homeless and powerless by the disaster.

Heartbroken and guilt-ridden, Mirabel runs away to the river, where a remorseful Abuela soon finds her. Abuela mentions that the river is where Pedro perished and admits that everything was indeed her fault. She sees that she forgot that what made everyone special was that they were a family ("Dos Oruguitas"), and Mirabel recognizes the burdens Abuela carried having to build up the family alone. Now understanding each other better, Abuela and Mirabel reconcile and shares a hug before Bruno appears, attempting to take the blame for what happened to the house. Bruno reconciles with Abuela and the rest of the family (admitting to Pepa that him mentioning rain on her wedding day was not actually a prediction, just him joking about how much she was sweating), and they all decide to fix the house together. The entire village soon arrives to help as thanks for all the family has done for them ("All of You"). After completing the house, Mirabel adds the doorknob her family made just for her to the front door, which causes the house to spring back to life, and the magic returns. The citizens of the town come to see Casita alive again, Dolores and Mariano start a relationship (since it was revealed that she always had a crush on him) and the Madrigals get their gifts back, but instead of using the gifts to be perfect, they are finally able to use them the way they want. Bruno is welcomed back to the family and they all get together for a family picture, this time with all the members ("Colombia, Mi Encanto Reprise").

Cast

Production

Development

In 2016, Lin-Manuel Miranda was offered by then-chief creative officer John Lasseter an animated film alongside Zootopia director Byron Howard.[3] By November 2016, Miranda said that he and Howard had begun early work on the project, though Miranda noted that it could take years for the project to come to fruition.[3] During the early production progress, the staff decided that film wpuld centered around the themes of family, perspective and self-worth.[4]

In January 2020, it was reported that Howard and Zootopia co-director Jared Bush were working on a film centered on a Latino family. Zootopia producer Clark Spencer produced the film alongside Yvett Merino Flores, while Bush co-wrote the film's screenplay alongside Charise Castro Smith.

In June 2020, the film was reported to have the working title Encanto, and was confirmed to be the project Miranda and Howard were working on since 2016, with Miranda writing songs for the film. It was also reported that the film would center on a magical Brazilian family. However, Miranda stated that the film would be set in Colombia on June 22, 2020.[5] He also revealed that he had started working on the film's songs.[5] It was also reported that Castro Smith would co-direct the film.

Music

Main article: Encanto (soundtrack)

By June 2020, Lin-Manuel Miranda had begun writing the film's music, which would have eight original songs in both Spanish and English.[5] On September 8, 2021, Germaine Franco, co-composer of the songs from Coco, began to score the film. The soundtrack for the film was released on streaming on November 19, 2021, and also in physical form on December 17. Peaking at number one on the US Billboard 200, it became the first Disney soundtrack album since Frozen II to top the chart.

Release

Encanto held its world premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on November 3, 2021. Theatrically released in the United States on November 24, 2021, the film had an exclusive 30-day theatrical run in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and was released on Disney+ on December 24, 2021. The film was paired with the short film Far From the Tree.

For its opening weekend at the box office, Disney spent $14 million on television advertisements to promote the film, generating 1.26 billion impressions. Deadline Hollywood said the marketing failed to distinguish the film from other Disney properties, with audience members being led to believe that it would be similar to 2017's Coco.

Home media

Main article: Encanto (video)

Encanto was released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment on Digital HD on December 24, 2021, followed by an Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD release on February 8.

Reception

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 91% approval rating with an average rating of 7.50/10, based on 182 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "Encanto's setting and cultural perspective are new for Disney, but the end result is the same -- enchanting, beautifully animated fun for the whole family."[6] Metacritic reports a score of 76 out of 100 based on 40 critic reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[7]

Future Plans

Both Jared Bush and Charise Castro Smith expressed that they and Lin-Manuel Miranda were open to create more content of the Encanto cast, be it " a sequel, stage show or spinoff series."[8] In concern of a possible spin-off animated series, Bush encouraged fans to write to the Disney Studio and expressed their support.[9]

Gallery

Wiki.png
The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Encanto.

Videos

Trivia

  • The word Encanto comes from Spanish and means charm, spell, or enchantment. It is both used as a way to tell a magic incantation and as an adjective for "sweetheart". In the same sense, the Canto means "singing" in Spanish, alluding to the film's musical aspect.[10]
    • This is the second Disney Animated Canon film to have a foreign title. The first being Saludos Amigos.
      • Coincidentally, both titles are based on the Latin American language and culture.
  • This is Lin-Manuel Miranda's second contribution to a Walt Disney Animation Studios film, after Moana.
  • This is the first Disney Animated Canon film to be produced by more than one person since Big Hero 6.
  • This is the second Disney Animated Canon film to be released on November 24, after Tangled.
    • Coincidentally, Tangled is the 50th Disney Animated Canon film while Encanto is the 60th Disney Animated Canon film.
    • Both films are also co-directed by Byron Howard.
    • Both films contain a special logo for Walt Disney Animation Studios.
      • This makes Encanto the third Disney Animated Canon film to have a special logo for Walt Disney Animation Studios, after Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph.
        • Unlike Tangled, Encanto did not reuse its logo variant as a closing logo.
      • It's also the fifth Disney Animated Canon film to have the Walt Disney Animation Studios logo not play the Steamboat Willie theme after Frozen, Moana, Frozen II, and Raya and the Last Dragon.
  • This is the fourth Disney Animated Canon film to explore Latin American culture, after Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros and The Emperor's New Groove.
  • This is the first Disney Animated Canon film with a 1:85:1 aspect ratio since 2011's Winnie the Pooh.
  • This is the second Disney Animated Canon film released in 2021 that features a female protagonist, after Raya and the Last Dragon with Raya.
    • This marked the first time in history that two human female protagonists from two different Walt Disney Animation Studios films debuted in the same year.
      • Unlike Raya and the Last Dragon though, Encanto was not released on Disney Plus as a premiere access.
  • This film was the first Walt Disney Animation Studios film that used the new animation and rendering system named "Maestro" and "Hyperion".
  • This is the first Disney Animated Canon film since Frozen II to be released exclusively in theaters.
    • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has an exclusive 30-day theatrical run, 15 day less than other Walt Disney Studios films since August 2021.
    • Coincidentally, both films lack a clear and main antagonist.
    • This is also the first Disney Animated Canon film to be a musical since Frozen II.
  • The opening sequence depicting young Alma and Pedro escaping their village is based on the Colombian Civil War. The film does not give a direct time period as Colombia experienced numerous Civil Wars in the past. Due to the lack of modern technology during the sequence and the fact that soldiers were still on horseback and used swords, it is possible that the Civil War depicted is the Thousand Days' War which took place between 1899 to 1902. As a result, given that the enchanted candle has been tended for 50 years, the current events from the film would have taken place between the 1950s or early 1960s. This is evident in the camera, which probably is already capable of producing color photos as seen on some photos hanging on the walls of the house.
  • This is the fourth Disney Animated Canon film to feature the full 2011 Disney logo as a closing logo, after Moana, Frozen II, and Raya and the Last Dragon.
  • This is the fourth WDAS Film to have a Happy Meal by Mcdonalds since 2018 after Ralph Breaks The Internet, Frozen II & Raya and the Last Dragon.
  • This is the first time a female composer has composed a music score for a Walt Disney Animation Studios film.
  • With a run time of 109 minutes, it's the third longest Disney animated film behind Ralph Breaks the Internet at 112 minutes and Fantasia at 125 minutes.

Easter eggs and allusions

References

  1. Rudulph, Zach (November 27, 2021). "Ezra Rudulph's character confirmed". Instagram.
  2. Bush, Jared (December 27, 2021). "Town Kids' Names". Twitter.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Lin-Manuel Miranda Reveals He’s Making a Secret Disney Film". Vulture (November 15, 2016). Retrieved on November 16, 2016.
  4. Bush, Jared (January 12, 2022). "Encanto's Themes". Twitter.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Lin-Manuel Miranda talks about 'Hamilton!' coming soon on Disney+ l GMA". Youtube (June 22, 2020). Retrieved on June 22, 2020.
  6. "Encanto on Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved on January 14, 2022.
  7. "Encanto on Metacritic". Retrieved on January 14, 2022.
  8. Spencer, Ashley (January 13, 2022). "We’re Going to Talk About ‘Bruno,’ Yes, Yes, Yes". New York Times.
  9. Betts, Emma-Jane (November 24, 2022). "Encanto director thinks a Disney Plus TV series is the “right thing to do”". Digital Fix.
  10. Bush, Jared (January 15, 2022). "Encanto's Title". Twitter.


External links


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