The Walt Disney Animation Studios, original, computer-animated family driven fantasy musical comedy, Encanto, released in November and has been making its way to cinemas around the world in recent months. The film tells a story about a family with special magical gifts and follows them through their most challenging times as a family.

The film with the tagline, ‘There’s a little magic in all of us. Almost all of us,’ marks the 60th film by the iconic studio, as it features a skilled voice cast, with Stephanie Beatriz as the voice of the lead character Mirabel Madrigal, while John Leguizamo as the voice behind Bruno Madrigal, Diane Guerrero voice of Isabela Madrigal, Rhenzy Feliz as Camilo Madrigal, and Wilmer Valderrama as Augstin Madrigal.

Set amid the mountains of Colombia, in a hidden place they call Encanto, named after the magic, the film tells a vibrant story centred on an extraordinary multigenerational family, known as the Madrigals. The Encanto is a special blessing, which is a gift that is unique to every child in the Madrigal family, with one exception, who is a young girl named Mirabel. The story begins by showing the family living their normal lives, but suddenly, takes a turn, when the family magic is in danger of disappearing and Mirabel is shown as the family’s only hope, to save their home and magic.

The story tells of the family’s past, which explains the background of how the miracle began, and how they received the magic, and why it is important to the family to use their extraordinary gifts to help the people in their rural community. Encanto features a clear transgenerational story, with Botero as the matriarch of the family, whose children and grandchildren have individual unique powers, but with only Mirabel not having any, she feels left out, and tries to be helpful in her own way. Mirabel’s realisation that she needs to find clues and answers to why her family’s powers are disappearing, makes her more determined than ever to find a way to save the magic, and somehow stop the magic from fading away.

The film’s soundtracks went viral, with the US Billboard 200, UK Compilation Albums charts and UK Singles Chart, topping number one for several weeks, with We Don’t Talk About Bruno and Surface Pressure proving to be the most successful fan favourites, among the 32 tracks that were part of the film. Original songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Olga Merediz, Germaine Franco, Jessica Darrow, Diane Guerrero, Sebastian Yatra, the lead voice cast Stephanie Beatriz, and others, were perfectly in line with the film’s core story.

The 102-minute film by director Jared Bush and Byron Howard, was produced by Clark Spencer and Yvett Merino, working in collaboration with production companies Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Animation Studios. Made with a budget estimated to be between 120 to 150 million dollars, the film went on to easily earn over US$255.7 million at the Worldwide Box-office, supported by praise from both critics and viewers for its cultural fidelity, animation, music, voice cast, and transgenerational characterisation.

Encanto went on to receive high ratings, with 91 per cent featured on Rotten Tomatoes, 75 per cent on Metacritic and 7.2/10 on IMDb, while also winning ‘Best Animated feature film’ at the Golden Globes, Academy Awards, and National Board of Review, among others, and received several nominations in other categories.

Encanto is a fun film with Mirabel and the Madrigal family at its centre, which is sure to be loved by both children and adults alike, not for its core story or plot depth but for its fun tunes and vibrant layout that is appealing to watch, with its easily entertaining nature and family dynamic.

By Nirupa Mohan Dore