movie of the month

First, we got Coco, and now we have Encanto. And while they may not be the Dominican Disney/Pixar movie I’ve always wanted. I won’t complain about getting more Latino stories highlighting colorful and amazing cultures. It’s the best. The only thing the kid in my heart is missing is a live-action Latino superhero, and I want to see a Latino hero saving the day while speaking Spanish. But we aren’t here to talk about what-ifs; we are here to talk about the movie of the month: Encanto. 

My Honest Reviews

Emotional Damage!!! This movie made me cry like someone in my family just died. Not because it’s inherently sad, but because there was so much to this movie I could relate to in a sense. I know the internet loved Luisa’s song “Surface Pressure” for a good reason. But what got me was Abuela’s storyline. I enjoyed this movie so much, and it brought me as much joy as Coco did when it came out.

I may have called Abuela a rather expletive word halfway through the movie. But let’s be completely honest, she gaslit Mirabel, shunned Bruno, and treated Mirabel like a second-class citizen because she didn’t have a gift. Cause she had a say over whether or not she got one. And all was forgiven because Mirabel saw all of Abuela’s unresolved trauma and all she had sacrificed for the family. (It hits a little too close to home for me.) But we aren’t here so that I can trauma dump on our readers. (Therapy is a great tool and if you are interested, check out Rise Above the Disorder. It’s definitely helped me.) 

Father Figures

On a better note, can we talk about the amazing father figures in this movie? Felix and Agustín were caring husbands and loving fathers who should exemplify what it means to take on those roles for Latino boys. They didn’t have the toxic machismo inherent in our culture. They were attentive to the needs of their family and those of the Encanto. Agustín was ready to fight Abuela towards the movie’s climax because of how she treated Mirabel. And he got his face and hands messed up by bees AGAIN while looking for his daughter. Fatherhood goals right there. 

Let’s Talk About Bruno (see what I did there?)

Bruno was the black sheep of the family who did no wrong but got blamed for everything anyway. He loved his family and those in the Encanto, and I could write a whole essay on his character, so I’ll leave it at the fact that he and his sisters were stripped of so many years together, which broke my heart more than it should have. (Also, how did Antonio get such a dope room with a treehouse, and Bruno got some worse version of a tomb out of Tomb Raider? Imagine getting the Tower as a kid. Hard pass!) 

My Favorite Character

By far, the best character in the movie was Antonio. He was the sweetest innocent kid ever. He never saw Mirabel as less like some in the Encanto. He said right before his ceremony that he wished Mirabel had her door. He didn’t say a gift, which speaks volumes about how he views her. For him, it wasn’t about obtaining a magical gift from the miracle, but it was that she was an individual who deserved her room that wasn’t the nursery. She deserved, at the very least, the minimum. He was the only character in the movie to rely on Mirabel before the danger of the magic disappearing. It was never about magic to him. He needed her because she was her, and that was all there was to it. (Antonio also hands down had the coolest gift.)  

My Rating

5 out of 5 Colombian Arepas (Yes, there are different kinds.)  

Closing Thoughts

While this movie was amazing and highlighted many key experiences in Latin culture, there is just one major flaw with it. There is no way on this green earth that you will ever get the matriarch of a Latin family to admit they were wrong and apologize for it. You have a better chance of seeing a magic house. But outside of the impossible, this movie gave breath to why representation matters. Hearing all of the small Hispanic-isms scattered throughout the movie was amazing. Watching Mirabel point at the present for Antonio with her lips, hearing her mom calling her ‘mi vida,’ ‘mi amor,’ and all the other cute little names that most of us grew up hearing was heartwarming. It felt like home. I loved Encanto.

And if you are looking for more movie reviews, check out some of our past movies of the month. 

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