“Encanto” is Disney’s latest animated classic, a story of family and hope in Colombia, where the Madrigal family has been gifted with magical abilities. It features a few new songs by Lin Manuel Miranda, and breathtaking animation. “Encanto”This is a favorite new book. It’s also surprisingly complex, with its early 20th century setting allowing for real life tragedy to punctuate the storybook magic. And the ending is even more complicated – and requires a proper deep dive.
Warning: huge spoilers for Disney’s “Encanto” follow. If you haven’t watched yet, turn back now!
The Story So Far
“Encanto”It is a story of magic. During the prologue we know that a magic candle was gifted to Alma (María Cecilia Botero) following the death of her beloved husband. (The film is set in the “first part of the 20th century,”According to the filmmakers. The candle gave her family transcendent gifts and created a safe place for her family. Mountains rise in the distance to keep everyone safe.
When we rejoin the family, it has grown considerably – the family tree has sprouted many branches. Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz), an infant from the Madrigal family, is our main character. However, she is a good friend with the enchanted household. It has a unique personality and she takes care the children before they receive their gift. They also get their room which has magical properties, which can expand to suit their individual abilities.
On the night her nephew Antonio gets his gift (he’s able to talk to animals, including an unamused capybara), she sees a shocking vision of the casita cracking and the magical candle flickering out.
Although she believes she is the only one to see it, her strong and determined sister Luisa (Jessica Darrow), also notices it. Mirabel is now on a journey to reconnect with her uncle (emphasis added). StrangeBruno (John Leguizamo), who has the gift of seeing the future and who “disappeared”Many years ago. Bruno is a friend she met and tried to stop the magic from ever happening.
The flame of her magical candle goes out before she can accomplish her mission. The house goes quiet. The mountain range surrounding their village cracks, leaving the village exposed. Could this be the end for the Madrigal family because there is no magic?
What happens in the End
Mirabel makes a connection with Abuela Alma her grandmother who Mirabel feels has been too harsh on her. Mirabel blames Alma for the tragedy. She tells us that her husband, who was their beloved, was killed while they tried to flee. Mirabel comes to a greater understanding of her grandmother. Mirabel also gains a better appreciation of her grandmother. They return together to the house where all the family members, non-magical now but still, contribute to fixing it. They are not united because of their abilities, but because of the love they share. After the house has been repaired, Mirabel is given a doorknob. “M”It will be there. She places the doorknob on the entrance door, and it returns to its magical glory. The family’s powers are returned to them. As it turns out, Mirabel’s gift was saving the family (and the casita). No, you’re crying!
What It Means (With Director’s Commentary!)
There is a key element to the “Encanto” world that doesn’t get put back together, specifically the mountain range that now has a a big crack in it. When asked directors Byron Howard and Jared Bush and co-director Charise Castro Smith if this was key to the film’s finale, Bush confirmed that it was. Castro Smith then elaborated.
“It was always this concept of when this kind of terrible foundational moment happened to the family, they were closed in and protected, but they were also sort of closed off from their past,”Castro Smith also co-wrote and directed the screenplay with Bush. “It was really intentional for the mountains to not completely close back up because now they’re able to see their past and interact with it in a healthy way without blocking it off. So you caught a very important detail there.”
The opening of the mountains in Colombia means more people will be able to visit and live on that beautiful piece of Colombian soil. If the story of “Encanto”It is likely that it will be expanded upon or refined in the years to come (considering how many Walt Disney Animation properties have been revived for Disney+). Maybe the question of what outsiders think about the Madrigal family, their magical abilities and their families will be answered.
“Encanto”It’s available in theatres and on Disney+ for Christmas.