Encanto Parent Guide
With a heartwarming story, vibrant visual design, and catchy music, this delightful film is a surefire pick for family viewing.
Parent Movie Review
Hidden in the mountains of Colombia is a magical place called Encanto, protected by the Madrigal family. Each member of the Madrigals is blessed with a unique gift, except for Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz), who is unaccountably… normal. But when the magic of Encanto is threatened, Mirabel sets out to save her home and find her place in the family.
Disney Animation’s output over the last decade or so has been wildly inconsistent. Highs like Moana are offset by cinematic disasters like Ralph Breaks the Internet, and the latter category seems to be outnumbering the former. I went into Encanto hopeful,but also readying myself for potential disappointment. I am so happy to report that Encanto more than exceeded my wildest hopes.
First and foremost, I must applaud the animation and visual direction of the film. Every frame is teeming with life and color. The lush landscapes are complemented by fun character designs and rich costumes. The musical numbers take us into a world of fantastical visuals that inform both the characters and the story. The music itself is joyous and catchy, while also developing the underlying messages and themes. Say what you will about Lin-Manuel Miranda, but the man knows how to write a song.
I think the story could have benefited from another script review or two, as there are some minor pacing issues and an ending that comes together a bit too cleanly to be satisfying. These are minor quibbles, and well hidden behind the humor, heart, and fun Encanto has to offer.
The overall message of the film is deeper and more nuanced than is often tackled by children’s media. At its core, this is a story about family legacy and expectations, and the need for everyone to be loved unconditionally as a whole person; not just for their skills, talents, or general usefulness. The message comes across well, although it takes a while to get there. Mirabel, our hero, is a great protagonist because anyone can relate to her and her struggles. Feeling like you don’t fit in with your family is a relatable emotion for many of us, at least at some point in our lives. Depending on your perspective, Mirabel can be seen as having a disability in that she is unable to do many of the things that her family sees as normal. What we learn along with her is that she doesn’t need to “overcome” her lack of a gift; her family needs to learn to accept who she is and what she brings to the household just by being herself.
With very little in the way of negative content, aside from brief scenes of peril, Encanto is a movie the whole family can enjoy. I will warn you, though: bring tissues.Directed by Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Charise Castro Smith. Starring Stephanie Beatriz, Maria Cecilia Botero, John Leguizamo, Diane Guerrero. Running time: 99 minutes. Theatrical release November 24, 2021. Updated December 11, 2021
Watch the trailer for Encanto
Rating & Content Info
Why is Encanto rated PG? Encanto is rated PG by the MPAA for some thematic elements and mild peril
Violence: A group of men are briefly seen setting fire to homes and driving people away. One of those men is shown carrying a machete and it is implied, but not shown, that he kills a man with it.
Sexual Content: A married couple kiss.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A woman makes a joke about “strong drinks”. Adults are seen drinking what looks like wine at dinner.
Page last updated December 11, 2021
Encanto Parents' Guide
How does Abuela treat the members of her family and how does it affect them? How are the members of the family defined and how do they break free of those narrow definitions? How can we embrace the people in our lives unconditionally?
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