Encanto: Spoiler Space

We don’t talk about plot holes…

… in a standard review so I’ve created a spoiler space to share my thoughts on Encanto.

Disney’s 60th animated feature follows Mirabel, an empathic teen, and her magical family. The opening scenes quickly introduce the lore, the characters and the mystery. But soon the cracks start to show. The rules of the magic grow unclear and the screenplay struggles to balance the giant ensemble cast.

The emotional message makes sense. Mirabel teaches her over achieving family that it’s okay to embrace their flaws. It’s the fantasy side that left questions.

  • Who were the “invaders” that killed her grandfather?
  • Have they conquered the land outside her village? Is that why no one leaves?
  • How has the magic “protected” them since? Does it repel outsiders with violence? Or make the village invisible?
  • What caused the “miracle” in the first place? Grandma’s trauma? Grandpa’s ghost? The river they stood on?
  • Is the house sentient? Or is it powered by one of the aforementioned causes?
  • Why can’t the magic reach some rooms of the house?
  • Why did the magic door reject Mirabel, leaving her without magic?
  • Are the gifts manifestations of the individuals psyches? Or are they bestowed at random?
  • How upset are we supposed to be about the trauma inflicted on outcast Uncle Bruno?
  • I thought the moral was that the family could survive without magic. (As long as they don’t get set upon by more “invaders.”) But once they hug it out everyone gets their magic back.
  • Except Mirabel, who’s power is emotional therapy?
  • So… the message is don’t stress out about grandma? Is she, technically, the film’s antagonist?

The animation is gorgeous, the characters are likable, and the emotional beats hit. I’ve heard the score twice and still haven’t caught all the pattery lyrics. But I’m willing to give it a third listen.

Do you have a favorite song? Favorite character? Any answers to my questions? Any questions of your own? Did the film “work” for you? Can we all agree it’s at least more coherent than Frozen 2?

Let me know below in the comments.