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Let's talk about Encanto!

Image Credit: Disney

Emily Parker, 20th Jun 2022
Tags: Life Review Film Identity Musical

Move over Frozen and Moana, there’s a new family in town! Introducing the Oscar and BAFTA winning, Encanto. The Madrigal family are a very extraordinary and gifted family who live in Colombia. Without doing a full indepth family round up, the main person you need to meet right this moment is Mirabel and maybe Bruno. But we don’t talk about Bruno.

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The magic of the Encanto has given a magical gift to every child in the direct family bloodline of the Madrigal family. From being able to heal others and having super strength, to controlling the weather, and speaking with animals. Everyone, that is, except Mirabel. Mirabel clearly loves her family and just wants to feel wanted and accepted. As her dad says: “when you’re surrounded by the exceptional, it’s easy to feel unexceptional”. The film is based on her realizing that she is the family’s last hope to save the family and that the magic is in danger. Join Mirabel as she goes on an extraordinary journey of self-discovery.

Self-image, perfection battles, and the true meaning of finding yourself are the three themes which hold this film together. So be warned - they will definitely get you thinking, but inspire you at the same time. As the family is so large, each member battles with these things very differently and it manifests itself very personally which is why there is a character that everyone can relate to

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What I really like about this film is that there’s no evil villain who does something outright to hurt another character. Instead we meet a broken lady full of heartbreak who loves her family so much that she's putting unrealistic expectations on everyone and trying to control everything. Abuela is a complicated character in that respect. As Abuela says, ‘I thought we would have a different life. I thought I would be a different woman.” 

Let’s face it, you don’t have control of your tomorrow; however hard you try. Life ultimately will go in a direction that you won’t expect. It’s a humbling reminder to process grief and to give room for everyone to flourish in your family.

I don’t want to ruin the ending for you, but the climax is beautiful and reminds you of the importance of being part of your local community and getting to know people.

The music is written by Lin Manuel Miranda, best known for the music behind Hamilton, Moana and Mary Poppins Returns. Apparently, it took 5 years to create and as you join Mirabel on her journey you find there’s a song or moment for everyone to connect with as the story and soundtrack is played out.

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Did Disney smash it? Yes! Will you get the soundtrack stuck in your head? Yes! Is it great to see Columbian culture represented in a Disney film? Yes! Will you walk away feeling grateful for how unique you are and every member of your family is? Yes!

To quote the film… if you’re ever feeling like you don’t know your place and feel like you’ve always got something or someone to live up to ‘it’s time you learn you are more than just your gift. The miracle is not, just some magic that you’ve got, the miracle is you!’.

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