Did you see Encanto?
Did you watch it and think that it didn’t seem quite as sensational as the critics said? Because, to be frank, this new addition to the Disney movie collection shouldn’t have made it past the story writing team.
So what’s up with the critics saying it’s so fabulous?
Critics’ main praise for the film is its computer animation–which is dazzling and colorful, yes. They also note how the film highlights Latino culture and diversity along with the songs–two of which I very much enjoyed.
The three main things they constantly point out are animation, the songs, and the choice of ethnicity.
I read numerous reviews and they all repeated themselves: animation, songs, ethnicity.
But my question is: what about the story??
Since when did people become so obsessed with a film’s choice of ethnicity that no one was going to address the story? The plot? The characters? The internal conflict??
Here is my view on Encanto:
It was shallow and mediocre.
In short, it was meh.
If you’ve seen the film, you know it’s about a family that receives magic powers from a candle that their grandmother owns and that Mirabel–the main character–has no magical powers.
Okay, great, a story premise that could work.
Until they make that the whole point of the film. In the movie, the magic is dying and no one knows why until Mirabel sneaks into Bruno’s–the brother no one is allowed to talk about– tower and finds a vision of the future regarding the failing magic and that it has to do with her: Mirabel.
But here’s the thing: everyone watching is invested in Bruno. Everyone wants to know what’s so bad about Bruno. Everyone wants to see the conflict with Bruno resolved.
And here is where the writers of the movie failed. No one watching actually cares about the fading magic. No one picked up on the fact that Mirabel’s older sister apparently doesn’t like her and making up with the sister is how to fix the magic.
Because the characters don’t really care about that. The characters do care about Bruno.
The characters brush off the fact that magic is dying.
The characters do sing a whole song about why Bruno is bad and keep trying to cover him up.
So why did the writers make such a big deal about the magic and not Bruno? Bruno was right there: the perfect opportunity to form some juicy internal conflict and they botched it.
When people talk about the film, they talk about Bruno and the song sung about him. Because people were dying to have more from him and Disney failed us.
This makes me want to write a retelling of Encanto; but better and with more Bruno.
In short, Disney got so caught up with their magic tropes, they forgot we–the viewers–care more about the characters and their internal conflict than magic sparkles and abilities.
So let me know, what do you think of Encanto? Do you agree with what I said, or do you have different thoughts? Please let me know in the comments.
Until next time, dear readers!