Encanto (2021)

Encanto (2021)

2021 PG 102 Minutes

Family | Music | Adventure | Animation | Fantasy | Comedy

The tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto. The magic of...

Overall Rating

7 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • d_riptide


    5 / 10
    From first glance alone, the parallels between “Encanto” and Raya and the Last Dragon were uncanny, not so much because of having Charise Castro Smith on board alongside the same directors who did FREAKIN’ ZOOTOPIA but more because it does as much fine as it does….not so fine.

    Taking a page out of Coco, it does use its Colombian roots to not only better craft its songs under the wing of its own culture but to broaden its story’s roots around magical realism, which is a very important literary motif in the world of Latin American storytelling. It is a vibrant, colorful, beautiful world to experience and they double down on the whimsical to give off a feel of more abstract artistic freedom.

    Tone is understandably light-hearted and is set firmly in place from the opening number, Germaine Franco has a passable score outdone by relatable songs that mostly put a smile on my face (thanks for that, Lin), presentation is clear, precise and to the point, dialogue can be cooped with the cinematography and editing under the ‘fine, but nothing extraordinary’ cabinet and despite going half and half on either having dull or underwritten characters, only three of them stand out and the performances are rather spicy, thanks in part to an electric voice cast. They have a great respect for character motifs and those elements of the story are serviceable, but I can't lie about how anti-climatic the whole situation becomes.

    Speaking of anti-climatic, well, that’s how the rest of the movie feels.

    I can speak volumes on how off-putting the humor is, the undercooked worldbuilding that lacks depth and the despondent pacing confused by which speed it supposed to go by but that’s at fault of the films structure because does the story know what it wants to be? It comes off either rushed or incomplete…..but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was both.

    At least Raya was trying to tell us the importance behind how beautiful unity and trust can still be in a world ravaged by our own hazardous imperfections. Here, it’s the same ol’ ‘You don’t need powers to be special’ and even then when I knew the movie was only going to end one of two ways, it touches on far too many big problems without picking one focus, or resolving any of them adequately. Neither Byron or Jared’s best efforts to swerve the films direction in a satisfying manner proved fruitful.

    It’s only saving grace was the artistic flashback that sensitively included immigration and reconstruction under the guise of giving a new generation some comfort that others have shared their experiences; had the film centered itself around that type of context and without counting too much on the songs to tell it, who knows?

    Maybe the best way to describe this movie is…..confused. It wants to do everything to impress everyone but it only leaves me feeling everything but fulfilled and even when it knows something is off, it doesn’t understand why.