Pssst, want to check out Encanto in our new look?
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Characters weren't really developed and the plot was all over the place. But the aesthetics were amazing.
Gorgeously realized and rich in culture and the value of family, but relies too much on slapstick and Lin Manuel-Miranda, neither of which really delivers.
I know people love Encanto, but if I give it a positive review, it's largely on the technical merits. It looks great, with what I feel are advances in hair and fabric physics and beautiful effects, imaginative musical sequences, and life-like "acting", and you can't go wrong with Lin-Manuel Miranda writing the songs (though I don't think this is one of his most memorable soundtracks). But we're pushed into the deep end immediately with two back-to-back info dumps (one of them a frenetic musical number), trying to introduce every member of a family with super-powers (of magical gifts), and then the house is alive and magic too, and it was all a bit confusing. Even now, I couldn't explain what the rules of this world are. Seeing some six writers credited confirms my impression that there's too much going on. It's not just the premise, but the themes as well. Ultimately, it's about acceptance, and the family unit as the best structure for that acceptance (so there may be something to the idea that Mirabel and We-Don't-Talk-About Bruno are stand-ins for gay characters), but this is dueling for attention with other (accidental?) metaphors. The older generation sticking their heads in the sand as the magic starts to fade seems akin to our leaders' lack of response to climate change, for example, and I just can't get behind a film where the "exceptional" privileged family gets to rule a community portrayed as so inept it needs its beneficent rulers to do everything for them. How patronizing. And then the lesson is that the outsiders and "little people" have to forgive misrule and protect the status quo? Either the messaging is out of control here, or Disney is training kids to accept their corporate masters. Either way, it's why Encanto falls apart for me.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!