The Madrigal Family
For Encanto, the prophecy of the family is everything. It is another film made by Walt Disney Animation which tells about the warmth of family. Directed by Byron Howard and Jared Bush, the film tells the story of the Madrigal family. Colombia is the setting of the film. The inspiration for the Madrigal family story is through various music, costumes, dances, and traditions. They live in a mansion where the magic is hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in Encanto, to be exact.
The city is colorful, stunning, and warm. Encanto gave a miracle to Abuela Alma when the invaders killed her husband, Pedro, in a war. Her son and daughters, Julieta, have the power to cure various ailments with food. Bruno can see the future, and Pepa controls the weather with her mood. On the other hand, her grandchildren, Dolores, Antonio, Camilo, Luisa, and Isabela, also have their strengths. Unfortunately, that is not the case with Mirabel, the protagonist, who does not have any powers.
The Vibrant Visual and Music
For ten years, Mirabel continues to strive to live her life passionately. She is friends with the fate that she does not have unique talents like other family members. The story will follow Mirabel’s journey in finding the strength within herself to achieve her most prominent dream. She is to help and become part of the Madrigal family. Encanto has vibrant visuals wrapped in beautiful music in wrapping the theme of the prophecy of family. It begins with a musical experience that is so beautiful. The film also features a new line-up of Grammy and Emmy award-winning songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
In the 60th Walt Disney Animation film, Miranda presents eight new songs with nuances of traditional Colombian music. The film also features colorful Colombian visuals. Slightly different from the previous film, all Madrigal and Encanto community members wore full of colorful costumes. Every detail moves with each character, following the rhythm as he tells the story through song.
With stunning Disney signature music, beautiful tunes, and relatable lyrics, Mirabel starts Encanto by introducing herself and the prophecy to all the family members. Luisa has superpowers that can even move buildings, while Isabela controls flowers and has a charming personality. Mirabel even complained that Isabela had never had a bad hair day in her entire life. There is Dolores, who has very sensitive hearing, and Camilo, who can transform into anyone. Lastly, Antonio was waiting for the day for the arrival of his miracle.
They prepare for the big celebration and make sure Antonio gets a unique miracle. Such a celebration is also a great joy for all the townspeople because their lives depend on the magic of the Madrigal family. The high expectations from various parties made the moment of revealing the miracle so exciting. Antonio could only curse under the bed, afraid to disappoint his family and the eagerly waiting townspeople. Mirabel also tried to comfort him, although he still imagined how everyone was disappointed, knowing she did not get such a miracle.
The Likable Characters
All rejoice when Antonio gets his miracle. He is a conqueror of animals; snakes and tigers bow to him. Instantly he got a miracle, his bedroom door opened, just like all his brothers and sisters. His room was so full of all kinds of animals, similar to Isabela’s room full of flowers. In the middle of the party, Mirabel, alone because she was the only one without a miracle, felt a big earthquake. In her vision, she saw the Madrigal family house cracked to the top floor, where the magic candle had been laid for years. Seeing this, she told her grandmother, who then heeded it. Mirabel, who feels the Madrigal family is in trouble, desperately tries to find a solution.
It is not about the mission to save the family; she also wants her family to see her contribution to the Madrigal family. From all of her searches, she finds that behind the magic that makes each perfect, a fragile part is slowly eating away at them. Unknowingly, Mirabel helps all her siblings to be honest about their feelings. Her journey led to Uncle Bruno, who was alone in the house. He, who was thought to be missing, actually just locked himself away, fearing that he would bad influence his family.
The Theme of Encanto
The overall theme of Encanto is prophecy and, of course, family. Mirabel’s granny magic founded the city as her people fled from a sudden violent attack on their village. Her family has since worked tirelessly in the service of the village, using their magical gifts to earn their blessings and make everyone happy. The Madrigal family is the perfect family. They are always helpful and happy. However, the magic is the facade they maintain. The family members act according to Mirabel’s grandmother’s needs while allowing the pressure to build up behind the magic masks they wear.
Luisa is an example of providing all the strength the village needs, but her strength masks deep anxiety that Luisa cannot possibly experience herself. She must always try to be perfect, even when stress and illness push Luisa’s mental health to its limits. The Madrigal family home becomes an allegory of the Madrigal family’s overall feeling. When Mirabel and her grandmother fight, the house collapses, dividing the family. Directly, the house represents the condition of the family. The transition between, in specific moments, when cracks grow as Mirabel, or the other characters, argue. The devastation, in essence, came due to arguments from the Madrigal family, specifically between Mirabel and Alma.
Alma, in essence, was the cause of the family split, according to Mirabel. Mirabel blames her expectations for stressing Luisa and her other sister, Isabela’s pent-up emotions. She blames Alma for all the family problems and why the house is destroyed. Maribel tore off a false prophecy and fake mask, forcing Alma and everyone else to look at the messy family mess below. It is probably one of Mirabel’s gifts to penetrate such a mask. Her other family members are afraid to disappoint Alma because she is their grandmother, and she is the one who helps build a peaceful life around them. Isabela is a unique representation where she and Mirabel always have a complicated relationship at first glance because Mirabel does not fulfill the ideal of perfection that Isabela radiates with every step.
Isabela crushes her desire for freedom and pleasure under such magical perfection thanks to Mirabel, the first time the audience sees her and Mirabel having fun and bonding as sisters. When Alma entered, Isabela calmed down, refusing to be the free spirit she so longed for, becoming meek and quiet, just as Alma needed. The family did not want to disappoint her, but Mirabel did not have the same thoughts. The Madrigal family often put Mirabel aside and considered it useless because she did not have a gift. After all, it makes Mirabel get rid of the mask that magic has built around the family in uncovering the ugly truth.
The Optimistic View
Unfortunately, Mirabel, who discovered the fragility of her family, her family, especially her grandmother, saw it as a threat that could destroy the Madrigal family. Her grandmother was furious, while Mirabel peaked because she felt that she was too demanding perfection from her family. Instantly, they fought, the Madrigal family’s house collapsed. Uniquely, such inner conflicts make the audience fall in love with each character even more. The directors make all the scenes colorful with the occasional musical that spoils the ear.
Encanto brings a positive message about a prophecy of a family that everyone has their part of inspiring. Likewise, other individuals who look perfect also enjoy such perfection. Therefore, all ages can enjoy the film. Better yet, it can be an inspiration for teenagers who are struggling in their search for identity. Mirabel’s struggle amid conflict within each Madrigal family can be a calming picture for the soul. It makes for an optimistic outlook for a film that many will flock to, but it is one of the more enjoyable animated films.