Disney’s “Encanto” has all the right qualities for a ground-breaking animated film


Walt Disney Animation Studios

The stunning, colorful animation of Disney’s “Encanto” is only one of its many charms.

Lindsey Landrum, Co-editor-in-chief and Humor Editor

Released on Nov. 24, 2021, Disney’s latest animated musical “Encanto” has been sweeping the nation in a big way. The film encompases a wide range of attributes including meaningful cultural representation, stunning visuals, an incredible soundtrack, and a powerful theme surrounding mental health and family structure.

“Encanto” is set in Columbia, which allows for a vibrant representation of a culture that many American viewers may have never experienced before. 

The cast of characters also includes a wide range of ethnicities, which makes it possible for children to see themselves in media in a way that hasn’t been done until recently.

The story follows Mirabel Madrigal as she navigates being the only powerless child in a family where each individual has a supernatural gift.

Every single scene is full of brilliant color, making it one of the most visibly encapsulating films Disney has yet to release. 

Each character has details embedded even in the finest linings of their clothing that reflect their special abilities. For example, there are sunshine details on Pepa’s clothing, which illustrates her ability to control the weather. The same can be said for the barbells on the hem of Luisa’s skirt.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of notable soundtracks such as those for “Hamilton,” “In The Heights,” and “Moana,” teamed up with Germain Franco to write one of the most incredible and emotionally-impactful set of songs to reach cinema.

Not only are the songs audibly pleasing and written by a Latino writing team in order to fully represent the culture, each song perfectly portrays the emotional struggles of each character and lays out the context of the world in an exciting way.

The amount of nuanced detail in the soundtrack of “Encanto” is too large to describe in a single article. Each and every line opens the world a little wider.

“Surface Pressure,” a song sung by Mirabel’s older sister Luisa, portrays her extreme anxiety, as she feels like she has to bear the weight of her entire family without showing any signs of struggle.

In one of the song’s most impactful lines, Lusia says, “If I could shake the crushing weight of expectations, would that free some room up for joy or relaxation or simple pleasure? Instead we measure this growing pressure.”

Like the rest of the songs in this film, “Surface Pressure” shows the inner struggle of a character that couldn’t be seen from the outside. This movie makes it easier for people to realize that it is okay to struggle and rely on others from time to time.

There’s so much more to discuss when it comes to Disney’s “Encanto,” and I highly suggest you watch it for yourself. Every time you view it, you’ll discover a little more of its magic.