Monday, January 16, 2023



A Columbian family is forced to leave their home due to war, and in the jungle they find a magical candle that never burns out and grants each one of the family members a different magical power.  They use their powers to build a small town that becomes a safe haven for refugees.  However, problems arise when third-generation Mirabel is not granted a magical power and the magic seems to be fading.  Some of the family blame Mirabel, even though she is not at fault, and Mirabel goes through a crisis of confidence.

Encanto is a Disney 3D animated musical film with a bizarre premise that is somewhat interesting and could have been something really special until it falls flat on its face.  I haven't been this disappointed in an animated film since I saw Robots, and kind of for the same reason; whatever message the movie is pushing is unrealistic and makes it feel pointless.  Here I am not sure that the movie has a clear message except that if people sing about their feelings then this somehow will make everything wrong in the world better.

It is also one of the most successful properties on the Disney+ streaming service and it has a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  Some of the critical praise focuses on issues like diversity and Latino representation.

I was hoping that Encanto is a Pixar film, but it is not, which explains why it lacks the qualities that make Pixar films great.

The movie throws around a great deal of Spanish lingo such as 'tio', 'abuela', 'casita', and much more.  It expects you to guess the meaning of the words, which is not hard because every time one of these words is used you are given a visual clue as to what they are talking about.  The film is a very small Spanish lesson, mostly set to music.  Even the title, 'Encanto', means spell or enchantment.

Ultimately the movie doesn't work because it feels like a mess without a clear point. 

Rating:  B-.  It is barely passable as entertainment.

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