Encanto - The movie that reminds everyone family is magical
Disclaimer: Spoilers Alert ! Make sure you have watched before you read.
Disney was a big part of my childhood and I have watched the endless list of movies they have made, and once again they have created another fantastic movie. A place of wonder, A paradise, A story of a big family, A house that comes alive, A tragic love story, The magic of Encanto.
This is the story of a woman who protects her family by protecting their miracle which is set in a hidden place in Columbia. When a village in Columbia is attacked People fled to safety looking for a new home. A young woman you will know as Abuela is left on her when her husband is killed trying to protect her and his three babies. As her pain and heartbreak take over a simple candle becomes their miracle, It becomes their protection and as her family grows they are gifted powers to protect and honour the miracle and their new home, their paradise.
As you know Mirabel who is the youngest daughter of Juliet and Agustin has no gifts but I love the friendship she has with the magic, the casita to be specific the way they communicate as if the casita is a person and the way the casita always has her back, Supports and cares for her it’s just too cute. I have to ask has anyone else noticed her outfit? I Love how her outfit incorporates the family it is fun and colourful but also holds a piece of each of her family from colour and design little details in Disney films like this are one of the best bits about watching a Disney movie; The way they all connect.
All of Abuela's Children and grandchildren are blessed with a gift Abuela says they are used “To help strengthen their community, To strengthen their home and use our gifts to honour our miracle” well at least almost all of them were blessed with a gift. However Abuela neglects her family without even realising and the pressure for Antonio to get his gift is very high as Mirabel was the child before, When she approached her door to receive her gift it disappeared and Abuela couldn’t understand why? That was the day their relationship changed. Abuela from that day was hard on Mirabel, She never did it intentionally, The distance grew between her and her granddaughter. Abuela disregards the truth Mirabel tells “The house is breaking” because of the fear Abuela held on to, she knew Mirabel was right but just couldn’t admit it. Abuela speaks to her petrol in the sky “If only the family knew how vulnerable we are” Mirabel overhearing this decides she must save the miracle. Abuela is blind sighted but what her children and grandchildren want and the fear of losing her home again blinds her from seeing what she is doing, the reliance on the candle and the circle she was given Abuela then unknowing makes her family think the same, That they are nothing without their powers. She thinks she is doing what's best for her family but Mirabel growing up never having powers to rely on working that bit harder and smarter gives her the ability to see a life without magic and not fear that idea.
Abuela has triplets, her daughter Pepa who was gifted the power of changing the weather mood which could be good or bad depending on the day, then her son Bruno who can see the future and who one day just leaves as he feels his powers are a curse and no good to his family and lastly her other daughter Julieta who can heal people with her cooking, Then there is Agustin Juliet’s husband and Felix Pepa’s husband. Did someone say… GRANDKID ROUND UP ok let's go! “Cousin Dolores can hear a pin drop Camilo shape shifts Antonio gets his gift today My older sisters Isabela and Luisa One strong, one graceful Perfect in every way Grows a flower, the town goes wild Isabela She's a perfect golden child And Luisa's super strong The beauty and the brawn do no wrong” couldn’t help myself its the perfect intro to the kids of the family. Such a variety of powers I think they are a more unique style of powers compared to your typical mind reading, invisibility or even lamer eyes. Now you have Isabela who can conjure flowers and plants, Luisa with her super strength who are the daughters of Juliet and Agustin, then you have Dolores who has enchanted hearing, Camilo a shapeshifter and Antonio who can talk to animals and their parents are Pepa and Felix.
We cannot forget to talk about the soundtrack one of the best Disney soundtracks I have ever heard. I love how powerful, fun and passionate the lyric are in every song, in particular, Surface pressure - the lyrics are very real and relatable for many. The responsibilities and expectations older siblings feel or have when they have younger siblings or in Luisa's case the power to protect her family, this song makes Mirabel see just how much pressure Luisa is feeling, and can I just add how epic Jessica Darrow was playing Luisa and bringing the emotions of her song and her character to life was brilliant and powerful. Then there is - What else can I do sung by Isabela beautifully sung by Diane Guerrero and the comical extras by the fabulous Stephanie Beatriz with her “Bring it in Bring it in”, Now Mirabel thinks Isabela’s life is perfect but that doesn’t want Isabela wants, “selfish entitled princess” is how Mirabel describes her oldest sister, however as the song plays she realises that again there is more to her sister, Isabela says “ I’ve been stuck being perfect my whole life” Mirabel arguing with her sister unlocks something new in Isabela’s power something unexpected, not something pretty but something different and unique Isabela says “ I'm so sick of pretty I just want something true” this song shows the sisters bonding and the beginning to saving the miracle.
We don’t talk about Bruno oh yes we are gonna talk about the catchiest song of all the Encanto songs. The story of Bruno is misleading Bruno is a villain or so you are made to believe as the movie continues we learn that’s far from the truth. Dolores section was also a favourite of mine for someone so a quiet stoplight moment made you want to get up and dance to the words, the beat all worked so well in the way the song plays out the scene, from the beat of the song to the lyrics all a perfect combination. We can't forget the dinner table choreography look and sounded unique, fun and a real twist of the song, so effective. I also loved the fact that this song taught me something new, Did you know that the dining room set-up section of the song was called a Madrigal; a secular vocal music composition of renaissance, The polyphonic madrigal is unaccompanied, and the number of voices varies from two to eight, but usually feature three to six voices, whilst the metre of the madrigal varies between two to three tercets, followed by one or two couplets, I found that to be interesting and fitted in with the story perfectly considering the characters Singing are the madrigal family. My question is did they know this or was it just a coincidence?
I feel that I should also mention I’m a huge Brooklyn nine fan so when I found out Mirabel was being played by the amazing Stephanie Beatriz and the composer was the brilliant Lin Manuel Miranda I was even more excited to watch this alongside many other fantastic actors such as the comical John Leguizamo and many more talented people creating another fantastic Disney movie.
“Knock knock knock knock, knock, knock on wood” let's talk about Bruno again, played by the very funny John Leguizamo was a misunderstood character because of his power; having the ability to have visions he was made to be a villain because what his visions showed was always great He was made to seem like the bad guy of the story but his a kind, sweet goofball who loved his family but left as he told Mirabel “My gift wasn’t helping the family, but I love my family” he just couldn’t leave them. You see just how much Bruno love his family in the bittersweet moment when you see a small wooden table with a plate drawn on it saying Bruno but when Mirabel looks through a small gap on the wall beside where he sits for dinner it is small gap opens up to the family table they all eat at. I was crushed for none of them knew he was at the dinner table and they never knew he never left his family I teared up a little and was so emotional as the thought of me leaving my family would crush me. Bruno didn’t want to cause them any more misery so he disappeared behind the walls of the casita, however, there was another reason he left and that was to protect Mirabel. Not knowing if she was the destructor or the saviour of his last vision he couldn’t risk his little niece being made to feel more like a black sheep. When discovering Bruno never left Mirabel persuades him to do another vision to find out how to save the miracle and she also tells him “I don’t think you make bad things happen, sometimes family weirdos just get a bad rep” As if she was speaking about herself too. Going back to “The vision” The casita falling apart, with chaos and destruction but wait fluttering across the vision of destruction a yellow butterfly appears showing a hug between someone and Mirabel wasn’t so thrilled to see it was her oldest sister Isabela. Mirabel would never have guessed that this hug, the moment of embracing Isabela would bring them closer together and show Mirabel that there is more to her older sister than she realised. After showing the embrace it also shows the butterfly landing in a river on a small green leaf which later you see is the emotional filled moment between Abuela and Mirabel.
Now speaking as someone who comes from a big family it was sad to see that they weren’t as close emotionally as you would think. Now don’t get me wrong big family can be loud and chaotic agreed! But still, I and my family do pick up on each other's emotions and with the madrigals, it didn’t seem the same for them. I mean how did no one pick up on the fact that an arranged marriage is not what Isabela wanted or that Luisa’s pressure to stay strong literally to protect her family was too much pressure and the obvious Mirabel being made to feel like the black sheep of the family because she has no powers, it seemed crazy to me.
“I will never be good enough for you will I? No matter how hard I try, No matter how hard any of us tries?” Mirabel saying this opens the argument we all knew was coming this is the final moment that leads to the house falling apart, cracks climbing through the walls and ceiling, The floor crumbling around them, and the sound of pictures and antiques smashing to the floor as the casita magic was dying they all look to the candle as Mirabel uses nothing but her motivation, determination and friendship with the casita to retrieve the candle before the house is destroyed the others rely on their powers but as the candle losing its magic so does everyone else. As Mirabel keeps going everyone else is removed, force out of the casita by the casita. The casita protects her as she has no time to make it out before the building collapses the furniture all rush the cover her and as the last light of the candle fades away to nothing so does the casita as a wooden plank off of the window protects her it takes its final breath or should I say final squeak and honestly, I never thought I would get so emotional about a house wow it hit me hard! And as her mum rushes to her she looks to see Abuela shocked and speechless and when her mother tells her not to move whilst she goes to help someone else Mirabel runs away towards the break in the mountains that kept their paradise safely hidden and protected.
When Abuela finds herself at the last place she would want to be; the place where her husband died protecting his family she sees Mirabel crying by the river when Abuela sits down to comfort her she tells Mirabel her story leading up to their miracle. As she does this a flashback is created showing us just how she and her husband Petrol met and what their life was like before the miracle, which also shows the yellow butterfly we see in Bruno’s vision was petrol the part of the vision? Was the butterfly a symbol? Through the flashback you see how Mirabel sees their emotional and tragic love story, Abuela speaks of the miracle as she says “ A second chance and I was so afraid to lose it again that I lost sight of who our miracle was for” However Mirabel sees something else that Abuela wouldn’t have seen as Mirabel says “ Abuela I can finally see, you lost your home, you lost everything, you suffered so much all alone so it would never happen again, We were saved because of you, we were given a miracle because of you, we are a family because of you and nothing could ever be broken that we can’t fix together” so sweet and pure the moment of peace between Abuela and Mirabel the moment, Mirabel helps Abuela see that the miracle didn’t save them but Abuela did and Abuela replies with “ I asked my Petrol for help and he sent me you” As those words left her mouth they meant everything to Mirabel she finally felt like she was special, that she had magic, that she finally felt close to her Abuela like she once did as a little girl.
Another entertaining entrance from Bruno as he comes jumping out of a bush riding or should I say trying to ride a horse once again trying to protect Mirabel by taking responsibility only to be greeted with a hug from his mother, so happy to see her son again and he so baffled not expecting such a warm embrace as they all head back to their home Mirabel taking the lead to fix their family.
Need a new foundation! “ More than just your gift” Mirabel sings of a fresh start, that not one but all of the family shares the responsibilities, and welcoming back Bruno yes! We’re gonna talk about Bruno and so glad we did I especially loved his little solo entrance song was so fun and bubbly and made you see the real Bruno, not the cursed villain you're made to believe in the beginning. Through the movie, we see how the family has supported and helped make this paradise for all the people of the village and in the final scene you see them all coming to help rebuild the madrigal home so inspiring, a feel-good moment on how neighbours help each other, on how we should all help each other again a small but powerful moment on how reality should be, for some realities this is already in the works but for other places, they are not quite their yet. The village and family work as a team along with a bubbly, fun song as Disney never fails to get us all singing and dancing along and throughout the song, you see Isabela free from the arranged marriage when Mariano is introduced to Dolores who has a big crush on him and his a hopeless romantic who just wants to love and be loved the perfect match. Also, the moment when Luisa tries lifting a heavy rock all by herself but not for long as Mirabel helps by putting the new foundation words to action showing and reminding her family is a team. I also loved the moment Luisa sings about how sometimes she cries and Mirabel and Isabela say they do so and it's ok to not always feel strong which means so much to people who feel like they always have to be strong.
Honestly, I could go on and on with all the little moments that were heartwarming, cute and inspiring to see. However, the best moment of all Is when the family has almost finished building the home but one thing is missing as the family hands Mirabel a door knob with the letter M Antonio said “We made this one for you” and Bruno aka uncle of the year in my eyes tells her “ You're the real gift kid” my heart melts as she walks up to the door her family sings to her “We see how bright you burn, We see how brave you've been Now, see yourself, in turn, You're the real gift, kid, let us in” and as she put the handle on the door the casita is alive again! the magic is back! their powers are alive! and a new foundation is made for the not-so-perfect, perfect madrigals!
Of course the question we never really get an answer to Why Didn’t Mirabel get Powers? And there are many theories on why she didn’t get a door but my theory along with many others believes she will take Abuela’s place when she steps down or past away. Do you have a different theory? What are your thoughts?
“El Amor de una Familia es la verdadera magia”
"A family’s love is the real magic”