Is “Encanto” worth the hype?

As not only a movie lover but also a Disney and Pixar fanatic, I still rush to the movies to see every animated movie that is released. This includes the critically acclaimed “Encanto.” 

“Encanto” was released in theaters over Thanksgiving break, and has many Gen Zers questioning their family dynamics while singing along with the disoriented characters. Each of them had a power due to the gift of their magical home but could not save the house from falling apart which in turn caused them to endure a shift in relationships while trying to fix everything going wrong. 

Many have gone on social media raving about the film, but to be honest, I am not in love with a majority of the movie’s aspects.

I have had this debate with multiple groups and have come across two people who understand and agree with me that the movie was not that great. This is my opinion due to two reasons: 1) the main character Mirabel Madrigal was given the short end of the stick at the end because she never received any powers and 2) the songs were not as amazing as people claimed. 

The Colombian-inspired movie was filled with inconsiderate and powerful characters who were given a home that gave every member of the family powers once a certain age. Mirabel was the only one that was not given a power, yet she saved the day when the home started to fall apart and lose its magic along with every relative inside since their powers stemmed from the house. 

They all seemed to have played a part in the house collapsing, except for Mirabel. 

However, she was never given an apology from the family, not even from her Abuela who was the reason why the family was so disoriented, and who treated Mirabel like the ugly duckling for the majority of the film. 

This was one of my biggest issues with the movie because it made the ending a little unsatisfying. Still, it inspired me to research the reasons as to why the creators, Byron Howard and Jared Bush, would make this choice.

It brought me to understand how magical realism, a genre of literature often used by Latin American novelists such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende and Laura Esquivel, played a huge part in the storyline and conclusion. 

Magical realism is fiction using mythical elements of magic placed in a very realistic setting and is often not explained or concluded thoroughly. 

This may have been the reason why the writers still did not give Mirabel powers at the end and also why they never explained what hindered her from receiving powers in the beginning. 

So, although I understand the factors that played into their creative decision, I still do not agree with it. 

There was also very little adventure. They only stayed in the house, which many people argue is because the enchanted house is at the heart of the film’s plot, but I still think there could have been a journey outside of the house in order to help save it. 

The farthest outside they went was to the river in the mountains, which was also due to Mirabel leading them to it unintentionally. 

Throughout the movie, most characters sing songs to express their feelings about their powers and other family members; however, I did not find them extremely touching. 

According to an article from Travel + Leisure magazine, the musical scores were filled with the diverse genre of Colombia including vallenato, joropo, merengue and more. 

The songs were relatable for many of my peers on Twitter, especially the middle sister Luisa Madrigal’s song, “Surface Pressure,” dedicated to middle siblings all around the world. 

However, the music was not as heartfelt and down to earth as other Disney movies in the past in my opinion.

Most of the music was catchy with largely meaningful lyrics, but not sincere enough with background beats and instruments to set the tone for all the serious troubles the characters were going through.  

Overall, I believe it is a good movie and definitely a tribute to Colombian culture, but it is simply not as groundbreakingly amazing as a lot of people are proclaiming it to be. I’d give it two out of four stars.