By Diego Rodriguez
Encanto is directed and written by Jared Bush. He is best known for co-writing and co-directing Zootopia which won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. Bush also wrote Disney’s Moana. Lin Manuel Miranda, who is a playwright, composer, lyricist and actor best known for his role in the musical Hamilton, wrote all of the music for Encanto. The entire movie was produced at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Disney’s Encanto takes place in the mountains of Colombia where the Madrigal family lives. Abuela (“Grandmother”) has to flee her home with her husband and three children when their town is attacked by bandits. Abuela’s husband loses his life when he sacrifices himself so that the townspeople and his family can escape.
Abuela finds a candle that turns out to be magical and builds her a house where she lives with her children. Each family member is granted a special gift at the age of five. The superhuman gifts range from super strength to being able to understand animals. However, Mirabel, Abuela’s granddaughter, does not receive a magical power from the candle. Mirabel feels like she cannot support the family like the rest of the other members can. She is a failure and disappointment.
Like most Disney movies, Encanto has a message it wants to convey to the viewers. In this case, it is about family dynamics and varying personalities. In the end, the community comes together to rebuild what they have lost and learns to support each other in the process.