Image from Wikimedia Commons
We Don’t Talk About Encanto by Warren Bull
So, let’s do it.
The movie has been called Disney’s best movie ever. The soundtrack and the single We Don’t Talk about Bruno are at the top of the Billboard charts. Lynn Manuel Miranda’s score is remarkable. The movie-makers involved him in the development of the film from the very outset. As a general rule, if you can use the work of a genius in your project, do so!
But there is a lot more to Encanto than the wonderful music. The artwork is beautiful with themes expressed by colors. Characters’ personalities are shown by the clothes they wear. The movement of the cartoon characters comes from choreographed dances. Columbia, South America, furnished the inspiration for scenery.
The film is inclusive. People not usually portrayed in movies can see themselves in the Afro-Latino characters with an array of skin tones. The character, Luisa, has a muscular, robust body unlike Disney Princesses in other movies. Her doll currently outsells the more usual princess-like Isabela doll.
Lacking a villain, Encanto deals with internal struggles, doubts, and family dynamics in a sensitive way. Isabel feels trapped in her efforts to be perfect, which are bound to fail. Abuela demands impossible standards, trying to keep the family together. Luisa worries that she cannot live up to the pressure she puts herself under, feeling undervalued as a person. Bruno loves the family but has fled because his predictions make the others uncomfortable. Mirabel believes she must fill the cracks in the failing family system. Pepa constantly tries to experience only positive emotions. Dolores is resigned to lose the man she loves to her sister. As long as the rules remain unexpressed and unexamined the situation cannot change.
The movie is specific and true to the setting, Columbia, South America. This paradoxically means it is more universal because there is nothing generic about it.
This is a movie you can watch and enjoy on many levels over and over again.