Everyone talks about how they want a Disney movie that’s different from everything else that Disney is done, But when Disney does that their labors are rarely rewarded. Naturally, this makes Disney a little gun shy.
The question is, how does Disney do something that’s comfortably familiar while, at the same time, delivering the original material that Disney fans claim to want to see, even though they never go out to see it?
The answer is Encanto.
Encanto tells the tale of a magical house and the residents therein who are all blessed with gifts when they come of age. One is given great strength, one can change his shape, one can command plants, and then there is Mirabel… the one member of the family without a gift.
Of course, Mirabel feels like the black sheep of the family even though she tries to fit in, but when something happens and the house begins to crumble and the magic begins to disappear, Mirabel seems to be the only one destined to either solve the problem or cause the death of the house altogether.
Encanto is a delightful movie bereft of the usual Disney tropes like princesses and even villains. There’s no flesh and blood antagonist in Encanto, for you see, this is a story where the family is its own worst enemy.
In a sense, Encanto is a story of generational abuse and trauma, how a family tears itself apart, and how expectations are the weightiest burden.
The film is surprisingly deep, touching on themes that I’m sure anyone raised in a large family can identify with and it does not shy away from heavy messages of cultural pressure.
Of course, as one would also expect, Encanto is bright, vibrant, and musical. The film is a joy, to be honest.
I would certainly not call Encanto groundbreaking, but it is a rarity in the Disney pantheon… a film that does something different, but does it in a subtle, non-dramatic way that doesn’t call a lot of attention to itself.
Personally, I find that fantastic.