Encanto is the 2021 animated movie that everyone is crazy about! A story about a family in which all members are gifted magical powers by opening the door to their new room. Every member except Mirabel who, during the ceremony, didn’t get her power. She has to live among a magical family, the family Madrigal, while being the only one who is left out.
Wait, wait - this is confusing! How many Madrigals are there? Who is who?
The Madrigal family started with Abuela and Abuelo (which means “grandma” and “grandpa” in Spanish), both of which are powerless. The couple had three children: Peppa, who controls the weather according to her emotions, Julieta, who can heal anything with food, and Bruno, who we don’t talk about because he sees the future and only brings bad happenings to the family. Bruno disappeared suddenly years ago, and nobody has seen him ever since.
Abuelo is also not present because he died after the birth of the babies, as he and Abuela had to flee their home because of conquistadores. He was killed protecting his family, and because of that tragedy a candle was summoned, called the encanto. This candle created a magical gift for each baby, who we know as Peppa, Julieta, and Bruno. A new home was also created, that they call “casita”, which means “house” or “home” in Spanish.
Back to the family Madrigal: Peppa married Félix, who is powerless, and Julieta married Agustín, who is, you guessed it, also powerless.
Peppa and Félix had three children: Dolores, who can hear everything; Camilo, who can shapeshift into anyone; and finally, Antonio, the little kid who can understand and speak to animals (and he loves them!).
Julieta and Agustín also had three children: Isabela, who is perfect in every way and can create flowers whenever she wants; Luisa, who is very strong and can lift houses whenever she wants and finally, the last one, which has already been mentioned: Mirabel, who has no powers. But how did this occur? 5-year-old Mirabel was opening the doorknob to her new room, which would reveal her power, but the door inexplicably faded away and never gave her any power.
The story starts with Mirabel introducing some curious village kids to the family Madrigal, talking about each member of the family and their gift and leaving out her uncle Bruno, who nobody talks about because he was an outcast; Despite Mirabel’s attempts to avoid the village kid’s questions about her gift (magical power), Dolores, her cousin, ends up telling them that Mirabel doesn’t have a gift. She acts like it doesn’t bother her, but it does. Meanwhile, the entire family is helping to set up Antonio’s door ceremony to receive his encanto. Mirabel finds Antonio in their room (as they are roommates) and she gives him a stuffed animal tiger to calm him because Antonio is an animal lover. They then go to commence the ceremony. Antonio walks towards the door, holding Mirabel’s hand, and the door reveals that his gift is being able to communicate with animals! Everyone goes into his new room, which has a giant tree and many animals inside, and celebrates the new family gift. While the family Madrigal takes a celebration picture, they accidentally leave Mirabel out of it, and she finds out that the magic surrounding the encanto is in danger. She sees cracks in casita and the candle fizzling out. Mirabel cuts her hand with one of the broken tiles that was damaged with the cracks, and she immediately goes to warn the family. When they come, however, casita looks exactly the same, undamaged, and Abuela, Mirabel’s grandmother, concludes that Mirabel wanted to make a fuss for no reason. Mirabel puts it on herself to fix it to possibly prove herself to the family, and to figure out what was happening to the Encanto.
The next morning, she questions Dolores about it, and she tries to dodge the question but tells Mirabel that she heard Luisa’s eye has been twitching all night. Later, the family eats breakfast together because the mother of a neighboring suitor, Mariano (a village man), wants to coordinate a marriage with Isabela. Mirabel is trying to get Luisa's attention, but Abuela again concludes that Mirabel is just trying to get attention, and moves her seat. Mirabel follows Luisa while she fulfills the village duties that require her strength, and Mirabel asks Luisa what’s wrong. Luisa eventually explains in a song that she feels pressured of needing to prove that she’s the strongest, and gives Mirabel a back-breaking hug. Luisa says that she felt physically weaker the night that Mirabel said the walls were cracking, and that Mirabel should question- you guessed it - Bruno!
Mirabel snuck into Bruno’s abandoned room, where the magic of the casita cannot help her, which turned out to be giant and with sand everywhere. After climbing countless staircases and swinging onto another ledge, Mirabel made it into a room where broken shards of one of Bruno’s visions were on the ground. Mirabel picked a few shards up and put them together, which formed a picture of her standing in front of the damaged casita. The walls started to collapse, and Mirabel quickly placed all the shards from the floor into her bag and escaped. She went to her room, and while Peppa, Antonio’s mother, is getting the last of Antonio’s items to move out, Mirabel asks Peppa about Bruno. Both Peppa and Felix, later joined by the entire family, say that they don’t talk about Bruno, in a song. The songs they all sing mentions that on Peppa and Felix’s wedding, Bruno said it would rain, causing Peppa to stress out and form a storm with her powers. Everyone except Dolores said something bad about Bruno, with Dolores only mentioning that she hears Bruno in the walls sometimes. Mirabel puts all of the shards she found earlier together like puzzle pieces, and it revealed an image of Mirabel and the damaged and cracked casita behind her. Agustín, Mirabel’s father, walks in on this, and Mirabel explains that the house is cracking and it might be because of her. Agustín quickly takes the shards and puts them all in his pocket, telling Mirabel to tell no one. To their shock, Dolores was by their door, listening to everything.
Later, everyone including Mariano and his mother gather at the table to have a feast in preparation for Mariano’s proposal to Isabela. Mirabel is trying to keep everything together but Dolores eventually breaks and tells Camilo, her brother next to her, of Bruno’s vision, and Camilo tells his dad Antonio beside him, and so on. Abuela once again assumes that Mirabel wants to get attention. Mirabel quickly wants Mariano to quickly propose to Isabel to get it over with, but it leads to the house cracking more, and everyone’s powers malfunctioning. Camilo can’t control his shapeshifting, Peppa caused a storm in the house, Luisa can’t even drag a piano, and Isabela accidentally created a flower vine that punches Mariano in the face. Everything is chaotic and everyone scatters everywhere.
Mirabel picks up the shards that she dropped, but a few rats took three pieces and brought them to Bruno, who is hidden in the walls. Mirabel then chased Bruno and tripped, falling into a hole, but Bruno quickly saved her, holding onto her. Bruno fell down as well, but Mirabel hung onto the edge, still holding onto Bruno. They both chuckle in embarrassment, but a rat comes out of Bruno’s sleeve and Mirabel screams, dropping him - it turns out the hole was only a few feet deep, and everything was fine. Mirabel finds Bruno’s hiding place, where he lived behind the kitchen so that the rats can bring him food. Mirabel asks for Bruno’s help to have a vision, but Bruno doesn’t want to because he knows that all his visions of the future always bring bad luck. Bruno explains that the day of Mirabel’s gift ceremony, the magic had been acting strange and that might have been why Mirabel didn’t get her gift. They are found by Antonio, who encourages them to stop the madness, so Bruno has a vision of Mirabel and Isabela hugging, which saves the powers and casita.
Mirabel is very annoyed, as Isabel has always been an arrogant “perfect” sister, and does not want to hug Isabel, but is willing to do so if it’s for the family. She goes to Isabel’s room, and tries to hug it out with Isabel, but she is furious that Mirabel ruined Mariano’s proposal. Isabel breaks and admits that she feels the need to be perfect always for the family, and doesn’t actually want to marry Mariano, she only said so because she wanted to satisfy the family. She sprouted a cactus, unlike all of the perfect flowers she had created so far, and sings a song about how amazing it is that she can now create other things than just perfect flowers. This opens Isabel up to Mirabel, and Isabel starts to sprout other colorful things. She gets messy, imperfect, but is happy for once and hugs Mirabel just as the vision predicted. They both fall into a bed of roses and laugh together.
Abuela comes and takes one look at the colored Isabela before bombarding Mirabel, shaming her and saying that it’s her fault that the casita is breaking down, that it’s her fault that everyone’s powers are out of control. Abuela thinks that Mirabel is doing all of this because of her lack of a gift, but Mirabel talks back, saying that Abuela has such high expectations for the family, and it is her that is bringing down the family. With that, casita crumbles down and the candle’s fire goes out. Casita uses the last of its power to protect Mirabel. The entire house falls down, and the Madrigals are devastated that casita is gone. Mirabel runs to a river and cries by herself, while everyone is searching for her. Abuela finds her, and they share a moment when Abuela tells Mirabel about when her husband was killed, and how the candle was born, giving the children powers, or as we know it, gifts. Abuela was so worried about maintaining the candle to keep the family special that she forgot about what really matters: her family. Flashbacks show how Abuela and her husband fell in love, got married, had children, but then had to evacuate their home because of murderers coming. Abuela’s husband died, protecting his family, and that was when the encanto was born and changed everything. Abuela and Mirabel share a hug, as everything is okay now. Bruno comes a bit late, riding a horse to stop the fighting, but realizes that they had already made up. They all go home, and the family, along with some village people, rebuild casita. Mariano falls in love with Dolores, and the family builds a special doorknob for Mirabel to place into the front door, which gets casita and all of the magic back. Everyone celebrates, and the family takes a full photo including Mirabel.
Awards and achievements
Encanto is a very delightful movie with a very powerful message, and I’m sure hundreds of millions of people agree! Let’s talk Rotten Tomatoes - a very popular way of determining how good a movie is based on professional reviews. It ranges from 0% to 100%, and Encanto got 91% on Rotten Tomatoes with about 200 professional reviews, and 93% in the audience category - with more than 2,500 audience reviews. There are various songs in Encanto, so let’s take a look at each song and its views on YouTube.
Believe it or not, Encanto has won 12 awards for its outstanding performance. They’ve won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film, the Satellite Award for Best Motion Picture (Animated or Mixed Media), the BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film, the Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement for Music in a Feature Production, the Producers Guild of America Award for Best Animated Motion Picture, the Blimp Award for Favorite Animated Movie, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Animated Motion Picture, the Annie Award for Best Character Animation in a Feature Production, the Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement for Storyboarding in a Feature Production, the ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards - Animated Film, and the Eddie Awards for Best Edited Animated Feature Film. As you can tell, Encanto is an amazing movie with a large amount of opinions, and is great to watch when you’re bored.
The movie took place in Cocora Valley, Colombia, and there are many things that contribute to the accurate representation of the location. Firstly, the language: as can be seen in the movie, there are some words that are not English: they are Spanish words, such as the word “encanto”, which means charm or enchantment. They also refer to some of the characters with Spanish terms, such as “tía” Peppa or “Abuela”. Tía translates to aunt, and abuela translates to grandma/grandmother. You may also realize that the characters refer to their home as “casita,” which means house or home in Spanish. While we’re on that topic, casita’s look matches the real aesthetic of Colombian traditional houses: colorful homes with tile roofs.
The clothes represented in Encanto are also similar to the Colombian style. The traditional Colombian clothing and style matches what the characters wear, with the woman typically wearing long, colorful, and decorative dresses.
Not to mention the sneaky but genius details added onto the outfits of the characters: all of those that contain powers have a specific design on their outfit. Even though Abuela doesn’t have powers, she still has a pattern on her dress: mountains (because the family lives in mountains). Similarly, there are flowers for Isabela (because her power is creating flowers and plants), a chameleon for Camilo (because a chameleon can change its appearance, like Camilo can), sun earrings and a sun design along the neckline for Pepa (because her emotions control the weather, including the sunshine), a mortar for Julieta (because Julieta cooks to heal), weights for Luisa (because Luisa has super strength), animals for Antonio (because he can communicate with animals), hourglasses for Bruno (because he can see the future), and finally, soundwaves for Dolores (because she can hear everything).
The characters without powers include Felix and Agustín. You may be wondering about Mirabel, since she doesn’t have powers, but miraculously, her dress actually includes symbols representing the family members. A candle for Abuela, animals for Antonio, flowers for Isabela, the Sun for Peppa, a chameleon for Camilo, weights for Luisa, Dolores’s earring for Dolores, and lastly, Mirabel’s face. In this manner, Mirabel is portrayed as the junction of all of her family members’ powers and the glue that holds them all together so successfully.
All of these small details make the movie what it is, and the Colombian style adds to the brilliance and magic of the film, sharing a story while also sharing Colombia.
Encanto is an amazing movie that many adore, and if you haven’t already seen it, make sure you do. You can watch Encanto in the theaters, VUDU, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Apple TV.
With the amazing storyline, the large amounts of efforts, the awards, the Colombian culture, and everything else put into the movie, Encanto is undoubtedly an astounding movie and I’m sure many people would recommend it.