Despite Shortcomings, There’s Beauty in ‘Encanto’


Image courtesy of AP Images

From right to left, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jessica Darrow, Ravi Cabot-Conyers and Rhenzy Feliz stand together at the premiere of “Encanto.”

Rachel Piazza, Staff Writer

Disney’s “Encanto” has been labeled as many things. Some see it as another one of Disney’s wonders, while others see it as a copy of “Frozen 2” with unoriginal themes and mediocre music.

The truth is, although the movie did steal several themes from “Frozen 2” and other previous Disney hits, it communicated a new and critical message against perfectionism with stunning animation. 

The movie follows the Madrigal family, all of whom have special powers, except for Mirabel, the main character. She feels like an outcast within her family and becomes at odds with most of them. Throughout the movie, however, she eventually starts to better understand her family members, specifically her sisters and grandmother, and the pressures they face. 

In the case of her two sisters, their stories are told through what are some of Disney’s greatest failures in music.

Despite the lyrics containing little more than eye-rolling cliches, the visuals accompanying each song were beautiful. They removed the characters from reality and put them in settings of vibrant backdrops, flying flowers and shimmering gold glitter, while flawlessly transitioning from one setting to the next as the song goes on. 

Although the music was not remotely close to the wondrous sing-alongs we’re used to, the visuals accompanying them were some of the best I’ve ever seen in a Disney movie. 

And just because the lyrics weren’t well-written doesn’t mean there wasn’t an important message hidden inside them. 

My favorite song was “What Else Can I Do”, the song of Mirabel’s sister, Isabela, who had been consistently labeled as perfect throughout the movie. Although very similar to “Let It Go”, I still found it inspiring as she explored her powers beyond what she had done before and is genuinely happy for the first time in the movie. 

Other songs told similar stories of struggling with expectations placed on them and the need to be the example of perfection as someone who is considered gifted. 

Despite its unoriginal themes and mediocre music, “Encanto” was a beautiful movie that, with its vivid colors, told a story of perfectionism– and the fight for joy and harmony within the Madrigal family.