About:

Title: Encanto
Released: 2021

Fix: Magical Gifts, A Non-Special Surrounded by Specials, Heartwarming Family Goodness
Platform: Disney+

Disney+ Summary:

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Encanto, featuring all-new songs by award-winning songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda, tells the tale of the Madrigals, an extraordinary family living in a magical house in the Colombian mountains. But when Mirabel, the only ordinary family member, discovers the magic surrounding their home is in danger, she may be her family’s last hope.

FYA Summary:

Each member of the Family Madrigal possesses a magical gift, or an encanto. Usually, anyway, since it skipped over plain ol’ Mirabel. But even without any special powers, Mirabel can tell that something’s not right with her family’s magic — and she might be the only one who can save the day.

Familiar Faces Voices:

Stephanie Beatriz as Mirabel

The shock and bewilderment when I discovered that Mirabel is Rosa Diaz?!?!?! I’ve always known that Stephanie Beatriz used a specific voice on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but I never would have guessed that she was also the bubbly heroine of this movie. HER RANGE!

María Cecilia Botero as Abuela Alma

The matriarch of the Family Madrigal means well, but she can also be unintentionally hurtful by how much emphasis she puts on magic — and the magical members of her family.

(I hadn’t planned on writing up all the family members, but then I was doing most of them anyway and it’d be more awkward to leave some out, so we’re just going for the whole set.)

Angie Cepeda as Julieta and Wilmer Valderrama as Agustín

Mirabel’s mother has the power to heal through cooking, which might be the most incredible power ever??!? Meanwhile, Wilmer Valderrama playing a parent to teenagers is a little surprising, since I’m more familiar with him dating them instead.

Carolina Gaitán as Pepa and Mauro Castillo as Félix

Pepa can control the weather with her emotions, which is lowkey awful since she always has to control and regulate them, lest she cause some catastrophic disaster. Along with Agustín, Félix married into the family* and has no powers of his own, but I love that they’re both major Wife Guys who are supportive of and not intimidated by powerful women.

* Although there was a moment in the exposition song when I briefly thought that Agustín and Félix were married to each other, but of course Disney is not that progressive.

John Leguizamo as Bruno

Bruno is the brother of Julieta and Pepa. But we don’t talk about Bruno-no-no-no…!

Diane Guerrero as Isabela

As Mirabel’s oldest sister, Isa is The Perfect One who basically has, like, flower power. I first became familiar with Diane Guerrero as Lina in Jane the Virgin, but I now love her as Jane in Doom Patrol — who is a very, VERY different character(s) than Isa.

Jessica Darrow as Luisa

The middle sister between Isa and Mirabel, Luisa is the strong one — literally. But being under constant pressure, literal or otherwise, can get to anyone, no matter how strong they are.

Adassa as Dolores

Mirabel’s oldest cousin has super hearing, which would be great for gossip but also probably ick for TMI. (I have a tiny quibble with her power from a plot standpoint, but I also don’t care that much because the movie was so great overall.)

Rhenzy Feliz as Camilo

The middle cousin, Camilo’s uncertainty over his own identity is reflected in his shapeshifting power. (However, I don’t know how I’d feel about the way that he shapeshifts into a person to greet that person if it was done to me.)

Ravi Cabot-Conyers as Antonio

BABY COUSIN ANTONIO IS THE CUTEST LITTLE MUFFIN OMG I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.

Maluma as Mariano

To be honest, I only know Maluma from being an extremely attractive person, so his casting as the town hunk is perfectly on brand.

Alan Tudyk as Pico

The only white person in the voice cast is Alan Tudyk as a bird, which feels exactly right.

Casita doesn’t actually speak, but it’s definitely a character in its own right and deserves a shout-out!

Couch-Sharing Capability: Fun for the Whole Family

I watched this virtually with my book club, and it was resounding hit! There’s plenty of fun and whimsy to entertain audiences of all ages, plus it knows all the right heartstrings to tug. (It also has a perfectly reasonable running time of 109 minutes, in an era of movies that are way too long. More under 2-hour films, please!)

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Whatever Floats Your Boat

As is the case with legit good films, alcohol isn’t necessary for enjoyment. But also, live your best lives, y’all!

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Excellent

This movie had me hooked from the get-go, and it sustained that level of excellence the whole way through. (The story, the songs — even right down to the different hair textures and skin tones being represented; every detail was AMAZING.) Mirabel might be the star, but practically every single character has their own story arc, in a way that never feels overstuffed and with themes that are so very relatable. Encanto is a visual feast full of heart and warmth that’ll have you singing its praises (and its songs).

Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she’s been overseeing all things FYA Book Club since 2013.