After nearly two of the worst years in recent history, we could all use a bit of magic. So when Lin Manuel Miranda released the magic that is Encanto late this past November, people were quick to devour and praise it. In fact, the movie was recently awarded the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film of 2021.
The movie follows the adventures of a Colombian girl and her massive and magical family. Each person in her family — which spans many generations — has a different magical power from the ability to cook healing food to the ability to commune with animals. However, our protagonist, Mirabelle Madrigal, does not have any magical ability. With the help of some familiar and unfamiliar family members, Mirabelle searches for her place in the family and how she can possibly help save the dying magic.
Many have given Encanto credit for having incredible Latinx representation, showcasing the many indigenous skin colors, body types, and deep cultural traditions. In the past, Disney and similar companies decided that this sort of representation wasn’t worth the effort; if it didn’t make them money, why would they try to do it? Recently, however, accurate depictions of diversity have become much more popular so to keep up, Disney has given the green light to projects like Encanto, Coco, Soul, and more.
Beyond the politics, Encanto has been praised again and again for its incredible score. Lin Manuel Miranda has built himself a reputation as the composer for modern musicals and it doesn’t look like that is going away anytime soon. In its fifth week on the Billboard 200 albums chart, the soundtrack jumped from number 110 to number 7 just as its hit songs “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” reached number 50 and “Surface Pressure” hit number 54 on the Billboard Hot 100. Many songs have gained attention as candidates for an Oscar nomination for best original song, most especially, “Dos Oruguitas.”
These songs haven’t just gained critical acclaim, however. Both Encanto’s “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and “Surface Pressure” have grown increasingly popular on TikTok. A trend where users learn the lyrics of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and try to make their own cover has gained some people hundreds of thousands of views.
Encanto is already regarded by many as a modern classic in children’s and animated cinema and it only seems to be increasing in popularity. With its recent release without paywalls on Disney+, Encanto seems to be reaching a whole new group of people and becoming more and more beloved as time goes on.