Encanto: A Folk Tale for All Familias This Holiday Season

By Angelina Rosado 

Staff Writer

“Encanto” has finally reached theaters, and everyone’s hearts. With only two weeks from its box office release date of Nov. 24, the movie now stands at $116 million worldwide as families can’t get enough of the Madrigal family!

Directed by Hamilton-writer Lin-Manuel Miranda and the writers of “Zootopia,” “Encanto” embodies the musical flow and charisma of many beloved Disney classics–just enough to keep the Madrigal’s melodies and rhythmic guitars tuning away in our ears past the holidays.  

The animated musical comedy is a tale made for every family this holiday season. The film tells the story of Mirabel, a young girl in Colombia, whose family becomes blessed with special powers after a tragedy is committed against their people. 

The Madrigals live in a magical home they call “Casita,” who has protected, responded, and shared a bond with the family for generations in a bordered community known as the Encanto. The Encanto, also known as their ‘good luck,’ has grown for years into a vast and loving community with children like Mirabel Madrigal.

All the children of the Madrigal family have received gifts from the magic of the Encanto, providing them with abilities like controlling weather with emotions, creating flowers from thin air, healing others through cooking, communicating with animals and so many more; all but Mirabel. With gifted sisters who tend to the community’s needs, and Abuela Alma’s judgment consistently weighing her down, Mirabel pushes to feel special and fit in within her marvelous and magical home.

Although Mirabel’s giftless dilemma creates a drift within her family walls, the villain of this Disney movie is the unknown force that threatens the Madrigal family’s magic. Only Mirabel’s heart and compassion can save their powers and the remaining magic that protects the Encanto. 

“Encanto” not only overcomes the struggles of individualism, feeling outcast and the strength of community, but it captures the story of immigration as the film pays tribute to its Colombian roots in Disney and Pixar’s colorful and magical display of an artful paradise and a lost homeland. 

The film’s animation design beautifully captures the Latino essence and strong sense of family through “Casita,” with the continuous movement and interactions of the house paralleling the Madrigal’s emotions. Through the Madrigal’s experience and the experiences of their people, the movie also takes an optimistic and heartfelt approach to a sensitive experience in Latino culture for the new generation of kids to learn from. 

As students return home from long semesters and family members come in for the new year, stop by your local theater to experience the heart-felt warmth and laughter “Encanto” has to offer for the holidays. 

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“Encanto” has finally reached theaters, and everyone’s hearts

Art by Angelina Rosado