Ben Oliver

Banner image for Encanto


I will never be good enough for you, will I?
28 December 2021

The latest animation from Disney. A Colombian woman is given a gift when her husband is killed—every member of her family will be given a magical power when they grow up. One is strong, one can hear things from miles away, one can grow flowers instantly etc… However one girl, Mirabel, has no gift.

An interesting one from Disney given it has no antagonist and no prince charming (or anyone) to save the day. It still carries the same themes of princess movies—the importance of family, reckoning with your destiny, unlocking your true potential—but does away with a lot of the dead weight that usually comes with the genre.

Encanto gets easily bogged down in convoluted metaphors, and something about Lin Manuel Miranda’s songs irritate me, but I like its willingness to mess with the classic format that sold so many toys in Frozen. It makes some brave choices that come off well, probably at the expense of commercial success.

One for the kids perhaps, but good stuff nevertheless.