Encanto gains audience on streaming and Harrisites share thoughts

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Disney’s newest animated production Encanto has taken center stage in the animation world since its release on November 24, 2021, and on Disney+ on December 24. The film centers on the life of Mirabel Madrigal and the Madrigals, her unique, magic-possessing family. Set in Colombia, the film incorporates the culture of the country through rich details such as its musical elements and animations. As its accessibility through Disney+ has made it possible for Encanto to gain more viewership, The Classic talked to Harrisites who shared their thoughts and feelings on the movie. The movie takes place in a magical realm that is bordered by tall mountains called “Encanto.” Through a magical candle, the mountains were created by Abuela, the matriarch of the family, to protect her children and a group of refugee villagers from a devastating war that killed her husband, Alma Madrigal. The candle also bestowed each family member their own unique gifts, which range from super strength to clairvoyance. However, the main character Mirabel was the exception and, bereft of the magical abilities the others could harness, felt alienated from the rest of the Madrigal family.

For viewers, one area that they appreciated was the film’s score. The soundtrack of Encanto incorporates various Colombian music and enhances the quality of the film. Sophomore Carl Michael Go stated that without its great musical numbers, “[it] would’ve made this movie extremely boring.” Sophomore Evan Diep added,The messages of the songs were remarkable and the music itself was catchy and great to listen to.” 

Another element that viewers enjoyed was the film’s beautiful animation and stunning visuals. Every shot of Encanto showcases Disney’s high animation quality and is rich with vibrant details that bring the story to life. Sophomore JinHang Ren said that the animation was, “Nice, clear, pretty and amazing…[and] there are a lot of details you can notice in the movie.”

However, viewers also had their criticisms of  Encanto. JinHang suggested something that would make the movie better would be to “make the climax longer.” Junior Ketan Sukhu pointed out another flaw in the movie, saying that “A lot of the characters are underused and underdeveloped.”

Students also compared Encanto to other popular Disney films, and said Encanto did not live up to the standards of its predecessors. Carl stated that the movie progressed too fast and that “I prefer a plot progression similar to Coco‘s.” He expressed that many questions in Encanto were left unanswered, including, “Is there a specific reason why Mirabel didn’t get a gift?”

Many viewers also expressed their dissatisfaction with the ending of Encanto. Ketan described the resolution of the movie and said “[it] ended so abruptly.” “There could have been more dialogue among the family to finish the movie instead of it ending off with a photograph,” he said.

Although many students critiqued certain aspects of the film, the general consensus was that the movie was successful in its animations, music, and portrayal of socially relevant themes.

Artwork by Annie Park