Disney’s Encanto – The groundbreaking first-time experience

My youngest kids are turning 2 & 3 years old in 2022.

(writing that sentence broke my heart a little.. Anyways let’s continue)

Their ages mean that they’ve either never had a life not somehow impacted by the covid 19 pandemic or had very little of one that he probably will never remember. 

This also means their “firsts” look a lot different than most. now that they’re *Almost* to the age where they can sit through a movie we decided to test it out and create a movie theater experience for them at home. I 10/10 recommend doing this! This wasn’t the first movie they’d seen by any means, but this was the first movie we made a huge deal out of and the first one they actually sat through 90% of before getting distracted by their desire for more Snacks. Thank God for a pause button and Disney+!

Encanto broke barriers, my family is Disney driven but I’ve always pushed for Disney to do better & do more in the representation department, and with this movie they did just that, and no I’m not JUST talking about a female character ( Luisa ) with visible muscles and demonstrated strength, but that is a good point too. Let’s not forget this movie showcases STRENGTHS AS GIFTS.  As if to imply anyone’s strong points in life are gifts as well, which I love!

Go listen to the songs, look up the lyrics if you have to. Really understand what they’re saying and look how they are portraying it. 

This movie has deeper meaning and value beyond catchy, well-written scores, accurately drawn characters, and bright vibrant colors. This movie is empowering to Young and old & healing for those who need it most. 

Don’t ask me. if I have a favorite character because I don’t, but if I did we couldn’t talk about him- no-no-no. 

BRUNO… Why can’t we talk about him?!

He’s AWESOME!

A little yuppie sure, slightly superstitious, and a little awkward from being given such a powerful gift no one but Mirabel bothered to look at for more than face value & then living life surrounded by his rodent friends hidden in the shadows in the walls of his family’s magical home for what some might argue was just a “few days” too long. He always had the best of intentions and went away to wage protection. Again the movie is deep but unless you’ve been exiled or looked at differently by your family you may not understand Bruno’s plight. It’s no fun being the one “we don’t talk about.”

I do admire him for looking over his family from a distance and totally vibing in the background of that musical number though!

You go, Bruno! Also, the connection between Mirabel and Bruno is top-notch! 10/10 recommend. 

There are a plethora of gifts graced to the Madrigal family and it simply wouldn’t be a Disney movie without the stereotypical feminine perfectionist Princess – Isabel. 

She’s the less evidently flawed, somewhat full of herself sister who can make flowers bloom. I like beauty and traditional princess types as much as the next person but I gotta say she’s one of my least favorite characters until her attitude changes towards the end of the film. 

Pepa and Félix are Mirabel’s quirky aunt and spunky uncle and are parents to Dolores, Camilo, and Antonio. I love these two and think their bond brings a fantastic representation to the Disney table. 

Pepa’s gift is the ability to affect the weather with her emotions and Felix is her grounding force you never Can tell what mother nature has in store with an absolute certainty but you can be sure that pepa’s emotions swing like shutter doors in a windstorm and can often be unpredictable as well it’s fitting and I found it really sweet that he is the one for her and is simultaneously able to help calm her literal storm. I found it both amusing and wonderful that throughout this movie they normalized such a large range of emotions and you can pause the movie at any point on anyone’s face and see legitimate reactions granted I know that they are drawn characters but for kids to see real emotion is a wonderful thing it empowers them to feel what they feel and expressed that as such and I as a parent am 1000% here for it!

The youngest of the Madrigal clan, Antonio is shy with a huge heart. He has a special connection to Mirabel, relying on her for comfort and courage—especially on the day he is to unveil his gift. I find his connection to his cousin extremely sweet and I can see so many similarities between my son and his character so grateful for large families such as ours and the fact that my children will also know the support of their elders especially cousins! I just found him absolutely adorable throughout the movie and I truly believe that his relationship with Mirabel solidifies that she is the glue to the family and that in and of itself is her gift for me. 

Camilo, Pepa and Félix’s middle child, was born to entertain. Throw in his magical gift that allows him to switch up his appearance to be whomever he wants to be in the moment, he’s definitely the life of any party because he can hold a 17 person play on his own. I admire that as someone who used to be a major part of theater however he does have some typical teenager attributes that had me rolling throughout the whole movie the budding self-confidence was a plus for me though! but this goes back to my comment about this movie being chocked full of legitimate expression, look at this kid every time he changes it is on point!

Dolores is Mirabel’s cousin who’s usually the first to know the town’s biggest secrets, most compelling drama, and juiciest revelations. She can’t help it: she was blessed with extraordinary hearing. Whisper if you will, but Dolores can still hear it!- 

oh, I found it hilarious that she associated Bruno with the sound of falling sand which I understand because I mean look at his room the house is no longer powerful for Mirabel to assist in her journey to find his vision and it’s literally a wall of sand, I guess you could consider that ironic but between Bruno’s living within the walls of the house constantly throwing salt in superstition and complete life of secrecy I found her compelling and her comparison of him to be very fitting. this is one thing my family cannot relate to though because several of us have a hearing deficit as well as auditory processing disorder so as happy as I am for her I wish Disney had more representation for those who are differently able. still holding my breath for a Disney character that uses sign language.

Julieta and Agustín are parents to three daughters: Isabela, Luisa, and Mirabel. Julieta, one of Alma’s triplets, was blessed with the power to heal. Radiating warmth and kindness, her magic is found in the food she lovingly prepares for all who need it. 

They always say a mothers love is healing and I guess that is accurately represented in Encanto. good job Disney moms everywhere are thanking you right now!

Meanwhile, Agustín is somewhat out of place, A man with no gift having married into the magical Madrigal family, I found myself well represented in him. I much like Augustin am clumsy yet well-intentioned always willing to help and doing my absolute best for those I love especially my children. 

That sums up the family Madrigal and briefly explains our overjoyed connection to it. The 1hour & 39minute runtime was one of the best more “normal” firsts we’ve had with our kids and i’ll always be grateful for every second of it. Such precious memories made here and it sounds so refreshing to say that because you often don’t realize you are living the best days of your life until you are long out of them this one I don’t have to wait for. I know today these are the days I’ll consider some of the best of my life. 

now I must say as a lover of the arts, and creative mind and since retired thespian myself this movie shocked me. it was absolutely beautiful in every way so vibrant and full of color and life, loud & booming, with astonishingly breathtaking music so fitting to the film that there was absolutely nothing I would critique or change the musical numbers were powerful inclusive, and impactful I will be singing the scores for years to come and I need this album in my everyday life. not only was the cast star-studded but the musical input and reference points were amazing Lin-Manuel Miranda did an amazing job but would you expect anything less from Hamilton?! 

brava Disney, take a bow!


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