‘Encanto’ Review- Please Talk About Bruno

Encanto‘ is a Disney animated musical film directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard. Though Germaine Franco scored the movie, Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote several original songs for the soundtrack. It was released in theaters before making its way to Disney Plus.

Mirabel Madrigal (Stephanie Beatriz) is a teenager born into a family living in Encanto, where all of her relatives have powers. Her Abuela Alma (María Cecilia Botero) maintains the candle that gives them their power. Her sister Luisa (Jessica Darrow) is super strong. Isabella (Diane Guerrero) is beautiful and grows all kinds of flora through her thoughts. Her mother (Angie Cepeda) can heal people with food. Her Tia Pepa (Carolina Gaitán) controls the weather with her mood. Yet, she has no power. However, after she sees a crack in the otherwise perfect home, she seeks out her Tio Bruno (John Leguizamo), who can see the future. His ability has made him shunned by the family. When Mirabel finds him, he reveals a family secret that could end the magic of their home.

As a film, this movie was definitely well-made. It was whimsical, fun, and avoided any sort of political correctness. Now, there is no “villain” to speak of since it is more of a family musical, not a quest. Instead, it focuses on the family, their gifts, their quirks, and how they are going to handle losing their magical house, their family legacy. It hits these themes very well and I appreciated it.

You can definitely feel the Lin-Manuel Miranda influence on the soundtrack. It features the same style of music you hear in the stage-play Hamilton. It was well-designed and had some pretty cool sequences.

Overall, the movie is good and I enjoyed it a great deal. It is not as unique as some of previous Disney entries, but the music, story, and animation definitely made it fun. Being married into a Hispanic family, I enjoyed seeing that culture explored in this movie.

The movie has been described as a “love letter” to the Millennial generation. I can definitely see that. Each sibling and cousin seemed to be some sort of satirical take on a millennial trope. For example, Luisa is the strong one in the family who hides her own insecurities. Isabella is the one everyone has high hopes for and expects perfection. Mirabel is the one who seemingly lacks any abilities and over-compensates with being “helpful.”

I found the generational aspect very interesting. You see Boomers, Millennials, and Gen Z all there with Generation X represented in Bruno. A lot of people overlook Gen X and you could see that with Bruno. He has a gift that scares the rest of the family, so they “don’t talk about Bruno” despite his abilities. This was a good aspect of the film that I think gets overlooked.

Bottom line, Encanto is a whimsical and fun film that explores family in a unique way. I enjoyed the animation and the music as well as the themes of the movie.

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Some scary images

FAVORITE QUOTE: We don’t talk about Bruno.

Check out the trailer below:

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews of Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop and Hilda and the Mountain King. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.

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