Is Encanto a No Go?

Kaylee Powell, Staff Writer

Over the holiday break I was blessed with Disney’s “Encanto” being added to Disney+. I was excited to finally see what this movie was about, but after watching it I was left with many mixed emotions. On one hand, this is an impactful story about overcoming generational trauma, but, on the other hand, it’s about a girl who gets excluded from her family until they are forced to use her help. In this article I plan on listing my favorite and least favorite parts of this movie, so this is your official spoiler warning.

“Encanto” has quickly become one of my favorite movies and I’ve lost track of how many times I watched this movie, so let’s round it up to 50. Almost every character is amazing and well crafted. I absolutely love the diversity within not only the family, but the whole cast.

Each character is a different shade of brown or black with different types of hair and body types. This may seem too small to some but for many it’s finally a chance to represent how diverse Cuba’s population is. Not only are their skin colors different but they had differently shaped and sized eyes, mouths, noses, and eyebrows. Each of these features make the characters unique and relatable.

Look at this picture! It just shows how important it is to have someone that looks like you in the media.

Photo courtesy of










Outside of character design, I love all of the songs. None of them are a miss.


1. We don’t talk about Bruno

It’s my favorite song, every part of this song is amazing! I’d love to take the moment to say that Pepa and Felix are my favorite couple. Even though they’re expressing how the weather affected their wedding day, Felix is quick to say “What a joyous day.” It didn’t matter because he still got married to her. I loved Delores’ whisper song part, their dance in the foreground is amazing and Bruno dancing in the background makes it 10x better. If you’re paying attention during this song you’ll also notice that you can hear each movement in their dance. I believe this is a nod to the fact Delores hears everything. At first the line “7-foot tall” kind of just seemed like a random throw away line but after understanding Camilo’s age I realized that he was probably short when Bruno was around so to him Bruno was actually 7 feet tall. Also the fates Bruno sealed for the three random people seemed like they could be jokes given Bruno’s personality. For example, I could tell a kid their feet are going to grow, that’s not me predicting the future, that’s just a fact. I think Bruno was doing the same thing by saying someone’s fish would die or someone would lose their hair. But due to how others see Bruno they took it too seriously. Isabella’s solo seems like her defending Bruno because she was told something good, but then you realize that Isa didn’t actually want to live that life and now you can see her verse in a whole new way. This part of the song actually foreshadows her confession later on in the movie. I can’t tell who says it, but at the end one of the boys says “He’s here.” I believe this was a reference to Mariano, but I like to think this could also be in reference to Bruno still being in the house. A fun fact I learned was that Bruno’s original name was Oscar but they changed it to Bruno for the lyric “We don’t talk about Bruno- no, no, no.” I wonder if there was an employer at Disney that everyone hated named Bruno as well given the Silencio Bruno scene from Luca.

2. Surface Pressure

I’d love to start this song break down with the way Luisa looks. I love the fact that they made her look naturally muscular but also femenine. It’s a small detail to some but amazing for a lot of girls. There is often a misrepresentation that women can’t be muscular because they will look like men but with a simple character design “Encanto” proved that wrong. They added onto this ideal with the line “…and I glow cause I know what my worth is.” Just beautiful and a great motto. With that said, the drip, drip, drip part is amazing. This whole song feels very danceable but specifically that part. I really enjoy the “line up the dominos, a light wind blows…” part specifically because of the doors falling on beat. I didn’t notice it the first time and I genuinely enjoy it so much. Throughout the song, Luisa is singing about all the pressure she feels as the strong child and she worries she can’t keep up but every time Mirabel looks scared she immediately fights the current danger. This song was probably the most relatable overall. Also floating donkeys.

3. All of you

I love all the extra parts added into the song. This is another part of the movie where we get to hear every voice. When Abuela said, “I’m sorry I held on too tight,” it sounded very “Hamilton”-ish. I also love that they brought back “We gonna talk about Bruno.” There is also a quick “Frozen” reference in this song when Bruno said “Let it in, let it out, let it rain, let it snow, let it go!” I liked the “I knew he never left I heard him everyday” and then the chorus of the village walking up the hill is majestic. The cute moment when they bonded over crying was amazing. Dolores’ rap-like moment in this song makes me wish she got an entire song to herself. “Delores I notice you, and I hear you” That’s so cute!!!! I’m glad that she got the man of her dreams in the end. The door handle near the end of the song convinces me that I’m right that Mirabel’s door is actually just the house

4. The Family Madrigal

This is the opening song of the movie and it mostly serves its purpose. It’s a great intro and it introduces us to all the important characters, but at the same time it’s kind of hard to understand the first time you’re listening, especially if you’re watching in a theater. To be honest, I didn’t understand what they were singing the first time. With that said, I really like certain lines in this song like “If you’re impressed imagine how I feel! Mom!” That line is so cute and really shows how highly Mirabel thinks of her mom. I enjoy the trio of kids that chase Mirabel around the town asking her questions. My favorite is probably coffee kid because he’s so hyper and funny. One of my favorite parts is the “GRANDKID ROUND UP” line because it’s so catchy to me. Once I finally understood what she was saying at the end, Mirabel’s last two stanzas are really cool. I love singing that part, too. I really enjoy how she avoids their question at the end by singing really fast. But in the end Abeula and the random guy ruin the song when she yells at Mirabel and he feels it’s necessary to emphasize how she’s not special.

5. Waiting on a Miracle

After watching this movie the first two times I started skipping from the end of “The Family Madrigal” to about 30 minutes in to avoid listening to everyone being so rude to Mirabel. This meant that I would accidentally skip over this song multiple times. I didn’t remember this song until it showed up in my YouTube recommendations. With that said, I really enjoy this song so much. The message behind this song is great. It’s also one of the slower songs in the movie that gives you a second to slow down. The line “And I’m fine, I am totally fine I will stand on the side as you shine, I’m not fine, I’m not fine” is so beautiful. At first she’s in denial and then she starts to become true to herself and knows that she’s actually not fine.

6. What else can I do

This song is about Isabela learning that she doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s a pretty good song, just not at the top of my list. I really enjoy the intro where Isabell is shocked but Mirabel keeps telling her to “bring it in.” She only says it four times, but I really wish it was repeated later in the song. If not the same words, the same beat. I’m not a fan of the part where Isabela is singing about how she wants something new and is expressing her feelings but Mirabel is still singing about how she thought her life was perfect. It just feels out of place to me.

7. Dos Oruguitas

I like that we’re getting a backstory for Abuela here. It’s allowing us to actually understand why she reacts the way she does. While it’s not a justification for her actions it is an explanation. The song is very nice and soothing but at times it reminds me of “Under the Sea.” The song and melody are very calming. Everything about this song and story is beautifully portrayed. The only reason it’s so low is because I don’t like Abuela.

8. Colombia, Mi Encanto

I like this song because it’s peppy and exciting. The only reason this song is low is because it’s pretty short and doesn’t add to the story the same way the other songs do.

But like I said, this movie left me with mixed opinions mainly surrounding the main character of the movie. Our protagonist, Mirabel, is a lovable, glasses-wearing, quirky girl, who for some odd reason didn’t get powers.

The first 30-ish minutes of the movie was really hard to watch for me. It felt like every minute was spent expressing that Mirabel doesn’t have powers and that her family pushed her aside for that. This focus on her lack of powers not only upset me, but also made it hard for me to forgive the characters later on. I feel like they drilled in a bit too hard that Mirabel didn’t have any powers which didn’t leave much room for interpretation. She doesn’t even have a room to herself. She sleeps in the same room all the kids sleep in until they turn five. This means that every time a relative gets pregnant she is required to live in a room with the kid until they’re five.

I already thought it was insane the way they were treating her and then I realized that Mirabel was only 14 or 15. It was bad enough that her family members treated her like this but the fact that she’s this young and being treated like this only makes me more upset. We know that her father is nice to her, but that isn’t showcased nearly as much as it should be.

The mother is also supposed to be on her daughter’s side, and sometimes she is. For example, when Julieta told Abuela to take it easy on Mirabel because she doesn’t have powers. But at the same time she doesn’t defend Mirabel when the house cracks.

The character that annoys me the most though, would be her abuela, who, may I remind you, has no powers of her own. She kept purposely excluding Mirabel from everything related to their powers including family pictures. Also the two husbands don’t have powers either. I’m no geneticist, but if taking biology taught me one thing it’s that sometimes the recessive gene wins. There shouldn’t be that big of a shock that one out of the five children didn’t get a power, especially if four out of the 10 don’t have powers.

The scene that really annoyed me about Abuela was when Mirabel noticed the house was cracking and swiftly went inside to warn everyone and get them to safety. Abuela rushed outside to see nothing wrong with the house and encouraged everyone to go back to partying. She then cut Mirabel off while she was talking and let everyone think she was crazy. It’s later on revealed that Abuela knew what was going on but didn’t want the village to think anything was happening so she let Mirabel take the fall. Her mom also let her believe it was in her head. Abuela straight up gaslit Mirabel and so did her mom.

Now for my extremely unpopular opinion. I already know that many people will disagree with this, but I ask y’all to keep an open mind when I say: Bruno wasn’t that important for the story line.

So hear me out, I love Bruno. I think he’s an amazing dude and is funny. I love seeing him in the background of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and the special moments they give him, however, they could’ve done more with him.

I think the first mistake was having 11 characters to focus on. Due to there being so many characters it became a bit distracting trying to follow Bruno. The first time we’re introduced to Bruno is the “Family Madrigal” song, but we finally see him about 50 minutes into the story. Mirabel chased him into the walls of the house and finally gets to talk to him. It feels pointless to introduce him this late into the movie only to have him tell Mirabel something she was going to figure out herself.

She was already on the path of fixing the house when she talked to Luisa about her taking on too much so I believe she would’ve figured out Isabella on her own. I actually feel that Bruno telling her the vision makes her reconciliation with Isabella feel more forced. Instead of wanting to reach out to her sister on her own and having a meaningful moment together, she is told by her 50-something-year-old uncle that she hasn’t seen in 10 years that she must hug her sister.

The writers could’ve brought Bruno in sooner as Maribel’s guide. Someone she knew she could trust from the beginning and not just someone who she happens to find 10 years later. It could’ve been something as simple as giving Mirabel and Bruno the same type of scene Mirabel and Antonia had where she consoled him when he was scared. This would have established that Mirabel has trust in Bruno.

Without this established trust it seems as if Mirabel is just listening to a random dude because she has to save the house, which is a valid reason to listen to a random man. I just think an established relationship would help.

Even with these negative parts of the movie, I still found this movie insanely entertaining and I have loved watching it over and over again.