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Encanto: What Fans Think Of The New Disney Animated Musical

Mirabel and Bruno looking surprised in Encanto
(Image credit: Disney)

Walt Disney Animation’s 60th feature film is here. Encanto has a lot in common with many other animated films from the studio. It’s a musical adventure with a female protagonist, but that doesn’t mean you’ve seen anything quite like it before. It looks and sounds quite different from most Disney musicals, and fans are very much on board with the film.

On the one hand, it’s easy for people to enjoy an animated Disney movie, the studio has one of the best track records in the business. At the same time, considering just how beloved some of the previous movies have been, Encanto has a tough act to follow. But many of the people on social media think that the movie is at worst, a solid entry from Disney Animation, and possibly something great. 

Disney's Encanto

(Image credit: Disney)

People Are In Love With Encanto

The praise for Disney Animation's latest is coming from most corners of the interwebs. Whether it’s the emotional story about the importance of family, the catchy music, or a relatable protagonist, there is a lot to enjoy in the movie:  

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Encanto tells the story of Mirabel (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz), the only member of the Madrigal family to not have a special magical ability. Her family was given this unique magic generations ago but, when something begins to threaten it, Mirabel vows to fix it. This leads her on an epic journey, without ever leaving home:

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Whether Encanto is destined to become one of the great animated Disney movies is hard to say. There are certainly those that would say that it is, but even if it wasn’t their favorite movie, most who have seen it would seem to agree that it is good and a worthy addition to the studio's resume of animated features:

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There are several reasons why people love Encanto, and one of them has to be the film's soundtrack, which was crafted by Lin-Manuel Miranda. 

Disney's Encanto

(Image credit: Disney)

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Music Is Amazing 

Encanto marks Lin-Manuel Miranda’s second time writing songs for a Walt Disney Animation Studios project, and with the first one being Moana, he’d already set himself a pretty high bar to clear. The music in that movie is some of the studio's best, largely because of the way it takes its inspiration from the cultures that inspired the story. And luckily, the same is very much true for this latest feature:

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The music is incredibly catchy and incredibly danceable. Each song is unique, touching many different musical styles, but they also fit perfectly together. It doesn’t seem like there’s a “Let it Go” style breakout hit on the way, but the soundtrack, on the whole, is getting high marks:

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It’s been one heck of a year for Lin-Manuel Miranda. His theatrical adaptation of his musical, In the Heights, made it to the big screen. (And he even had a small role in it.) He also directed the new Netflix musical Tick, Tick...Boom and voiced a character in a different animated movie, Netflix's Vivo, for which he also wrote the music. Miranda’s talent is more than evident, but Encanto may be his best effort of the year:

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As mentioned, part of the reason Encanto’s sweet tunes stand out is that they were inspired by the music of Colombia. The film is unique among the various other animated Disney films as it's the studio's first feature to be set in that particular place. And fans are glad Disney has finally made the decision to put this culture front and center:

Disney's Encanto

(Image credit: Disney)

Encanto Expands Representation In A Big Way 

There has been a clear and concerted effort in recent years from Disney to expand the representation seen in its films. This goes even beyond its animated movies as, just earlier this year, audiences saw Disney Animation’s first South Asian heroine in Raya and the Last Dragon. Now, Encanto is doing the same thing for South America in general, Colombia specifically:

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It would be easy to be frustrated that it's taken so long for Disney, the biggest media company in the world, to shine a light on this culture. Nevertheless, it seems most people are just happy it’s happening at all, and the corporation is being celebrated by fans for the way in which it was done so:

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What makes any story special is when the audience can relate to the characters on screen. While Disney movies are designed to hopefully be relatable to a wide audience, there’s no replacement for truly seeing oneself on the screen and, with Encanto, many are having that experience for the very first time.  

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Encanto is Walt Disney Animation’s first full theatrical release in two years, and so much has changed since then. As a result, it's hard to say how many people will actually see it in theaters. The good news is that those who may not be quite ready to go to venture out to their local cinema won’t need to wait too long to experience the movie and make their own judgment. The film will be hitting Disney+ on Christmas Eve.  

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.