Encanto is Disney’s Newest Musical in its Collection of Classics

By Andrew Yoshioka
Jan. 18 2022

SAN JOSE – Ever since Disney released “Encanto” to theaters last Nov., it has been received with critical acclaim. Despite having a limited theater run due to COVID-19 precautions, Disney’s 60 animated feature film still became the highest grossing animated film of 2021, getting a gross of $90,628,329 (according to the Box Office Mojo). It has also done well review-wise, Rotten Tomatoes critics giving the movie a 91%. One critic, Douglas Davidson, states “Encanto beautifully carries on a new tradition of containing multitudes, enabling the stories to challenge as they entertain.”

The Columbian Mountains such as this are where Encanto takes place.

The movie has done a lot to warrant it’s praise. As stated prior, it is the Walt Disney Company’s 60 Animated Feature Film, in a collection with films such as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”, “The Little Mermaid” and “Moana.” The film has eight original songs by Lin Manuel Miranda, the creator of beloved modern musical “Hamilton.” Some of the songs have alo become viral hits: “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is the current No. 1 hit on Spotify as of writing, even surpassing the hit “Let it Go” from 2013’ “Frozen” on the Billboard’s Top 100 List. The movie itself follows the Madrigal family who live in the rural Encanto. Every member of the family has an exceptional gift used to help their community, except the main character Maribel (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz). When Maribel suspects that the magic within the family is disappearing, it’s left up to her to save it. The film represents Columbian culture by showcasing a rich setting in its mountainside and acknowledging their history. The cast features an entirely Latinx cast, which helps bring confidence and awareness to Hispanic culture.

One very powerful part of the feature are its characters and their burdens. Maribel has a personal struggle with being the only member of the Madrigal family that doesn’t have powers: being dismissed when compared to her relatives despite doing her best to help. The song she sings, “Waiting on a Miracle”, reflects her struggles as she says “All I need is a change, all I need is a chance, all I know is I can’t stay on the side”. It’s not just Maribel with her struggles however, all the other characters have their own struggles that make them seem more relatable, whether her “perfect” sister Isabela or her strong sister Luisa. 

The thoughts of expectations, especially at the age of high school, can be especially damaging to one’s mental health, whether it be an expectation to be better, to be strong, or to be perfect. Many students list stress from their parents as a major striking factor in their own depression. Sophomore Rishik Gandhasari says “Part of my stress comes from my parents, they want the best for me and thus push me to do my best.” Sometimes it could be hard, especially on younger kids who’s brains still aren’t fully developed yet. It’s a very thought-provoking topic for Disney to tackle in their film. 

Despite their more recent films receiving more mixed reviews, Disney proved they still have what it takes with creating classic animated musicals. With the film only continuing to gain popularity, it’s looking great for the future of Disney Animation.

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