Over the weekend, I finally made time to sit down and watch “Encanto.” Since my first viewing, I have not been able to get the music out of my head but in the best way possible.
Released on Disney+ on Dec. 24, 2021, the soundtrack soared up the charts and has sat at number one for the past three weeks on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. Meanwhile, Disney’s famous Frozen II soundtrack only sat at number one for a week.
The movie starts with a brief backstory of Abuela Alma and how she gained hope after the sudden loss of her husband. Abuela moves her family and finds a home where each of her three children and grandchildren receive unique gifts … well, all but Mirabel.
The music throughout the movie gives tons of information and insight into the characters’ feelings and is guaranteed to put a pep in just about anyone’s step.
“Encanto” is also an ode to Colombian culture — from the music sung, clothing worn and popular Colombian dishes like arepa con queso — to the actors and singers of Colombian culture and the display of the Colombian people and the importance they hold towards family and community.
The movie mirrors the importance of family and belonging as we follow Mirabel and her family’s struggles. Mirabel is not alone, though, and has the infamous Bruno — who we don’t talk about — to help her find the problems the family needs to face and just how to resolve them.
As the movie continues, Mirabel starts to see the struggles of the individuals in her family — from the gifts they have been given to the pressures that follow.
We first get insight into the pressures of the powers through Mirabel’s sister, Luisa, as she sings “Surface Pressure.” The song explores her worth, purpose, strength, demands and the internal pressure and weight of expectations to always be the strongest.
We once again see these pressures through Mirabel’s sister, Isabela. Isabela has the power to create flowers, but as we get a one-on-one with the sisters, they bond and Isabel learns that she can create things she never thought imaginable during her song, “What Else Can I Do?“
Ultimately, “Encanto” was a great reminder that no family is perfect. In the age of social media, we often overemphasize the idea of perfection for ourselves, our families and those we see online. This movie reminds us that everyone has flaws, strengths and weaknesses, and we need to do our best and not ask too much of ourselves.