Encanto Movie Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

During the civil war in Colombia, the Madrigal family – spouses Alma (Maria Cecilia Botero) and Pedro, along with their three babies – had to flee their hometown, fleeing from the soldiers. Several other families followed. The path turned out to be very difficult, and at some point Pedro died protecting his family. However, after the death of the head of the family, Alma and her children were granted magic: the candle that Alma had shone with a magical flame and created a magical enchanted place called Encanto. The same magic was created for the Madrigal Casita family – the house that sheltered Alma and her children.

When the children grew up, magic endowed them with a magical gift: Pepa (Caroline Gaitan) can control the weather, Bruno (John Leguizamo) can see the future, Julieta (Angie Cepeda) is able to heal people. And when their children were born to Pepa and Julieta, they also received their gifts when they reached a certain age: Luisa (Jessica Darrow) is extremely strong and is able to lift an entire house with one hand, Isabela (Dian Guerrero) is incredibly beautiful and is able to materialize flowers directly from the air , Dolores (Adassah) has a unique ear, and Camilo (Renzi Feliz) can take on the form of anyone.

And only Mirabelle (Stephanie Beatriz), Julieta’s daughter, has no gift. Somehow, the magic escaped her. And Mirabelle feels that Grandma Alma is very, very disappointed by this. And then the younger Antonio (Ravi Cabot-Conyers) is about to receive his gift, and Alma fears that after the story with Mirabelle, the magic of receiving gifts by the Madrigal family will be interrupted.

But Madrigal is not just one big family, it is a kind of center around which all the inhabitants of Encanto exist: the Madrigal family helps all the inhabitants of the village and grandmother Alma considers helping the community a sacred duty of the family.

Everything went well with the receipt of Antonio’s gift, but during the celebration, Mirabelle suddenly discovers that cracks have started in Casita and the light of the magic candle has begun to go out. And she realized that something was wrong with the house and with the Madrigal family.

Mirabelle wants to find out what is wrong here, and for this she begins to look for her long-lost uncle Bruno, whom everyone in the family refuses to talk about. But Mirabel is sure that it is from Uncle Bruno that she will receive answers to her questions.


This is the jubilee, sixtieth, full-length animated film of the Disney studio. (Twelve years ago, the studio’s fiftieth film, Rapunzel: Tangled, was released.)

The project was created for a long time – it was launched in 2016. Originally directors Byron Howard and Jared Bush (both creators of the wonderful Zootopia and also Byron Howard creator of Rapunzel) did not plan to make a film directly about Columbia. They discussed the idea of ​​this film with the composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (he is the author of the popular musical “Hamilton”), who wanted to work on the music for the Latin American musical for Disney, and Brazil was first chosen as the setting.

However, since the creators of this film are clearly big fans of the epoch-making novel One Hundred Years of Solitude by the Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez (I note that this was not explicitly stated anywhere, however, references to this work are made quite clearly in the film), as a result, the action was postponed to Colombia.

And in order to get to know this country better, Howard, Bush and Miranda went on a trip to Colombia, and there they gathered a whole group of Colombian journalists, architects, musicians, artists and representatives of other professions who introduced Americans to many cultural and other features of this country.

The trio visited many Colombian cities, including Bogotá and Cartagena, but most of all they liked the small town of Barichara, where their guide was Alejandra Espinosa Uribe, who impressed them so much that Alejandra not only became the technical consultant of the project, but also gave her appearance the main character of the picture is Mirabelle.

Alejandra Espinosa Uribe at the premiere of “Encanto”

“Encanto” is, of course, a purely Disney animated film, and it is practically a musical: in Disney films, characters often interrupt to sing a sad song that shows how lonely they are, or to sing a cheerful song that solves all problems, – however, there are several more song numbers here than, for example, in “Rapunzel: A Tangled Story”.

And then it got ridiculous – at some point, Mirabelle, in order to sing another song, even stopped time, which caused a slight surge of indignation in Young Catalan, with whom we watched this film, and he exclaimed: “Chika, why are you complaining that you don’t have a gift, did you just stop time?!”

Also note that Mirabelle has glasses, which is the first time Disney princesses have (and there is no doubt that Mirabelle is a Disney princess, despite the fact that she not only does not have Prince Charming, but even a funny chatty companion, for which thanks to the creators of the film, because these satellites are already tired, honestly), but she has huge eyes half a face, which are good that at least the boundaries of this face still do not leave.

However, I completely disagree with those critics who write that this is supposedly a typical Disney movie, where there is no intelligible plot, where everything is predictable, where everything is sussi-pussy and where the heroes solve any far-fetched problem either with the help of a stupid song, or with hugs.

In fact, the story here is quite intelligible – this, of course, if you do not touch on that very sudden magic and gifts to members of the Madrigal family. However, magic and gifts are ordinary cinematic (especially cartoonish) conventions.

And the story is next. First of all, as I said, there are clear allusions to One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Márquez. In the novel, a husband with his wife, children and a group of associates leave their village far into the forests and found a new settlement there, which they called Macondo. In the movie, it’s Encanto. Marquez José Arcadio Buendía remains alive, here Pedro dies. In the character of grandmother Alma, on the one hand, there are some features of Ursula – the founder of the clan in the novel, who leads this entire huge family – but there are also obvious differences.

Also from Marquez in the film there are obvious elements of the so-called “magical realism” – Marquez periodically used some fantastic episodes in his novel, although his plot was quite realistic. In Encanto, this is clearly easier – after all, animation – but the yellow butterflies here definitely migrated from One Hundred Years of Solitude. (And they also appear on the Disney intro in the movie’s official trailer.)

But back to the Madrigal family. As we have already agreed, we will not ask questions about where the magic came from and why almost every member of the family receives some kind of gift (“Superbeavers,” Bublik the cat squealed hysterically, “at maximum speed!”). But then it is clearly shown that grandmother Alma, with her somewhat fanatical (and quite understandable) manner of protecting her family and the settlement, becomes practically a dictator, and she herself does not understand this at all. That the wonderful Mirabelle, who is a member of the family and a fan of the family, becomes practically a pariah due to the fact that, you see, she did not receive the gift (as if it depends on her), so the girl turns out to be kind of mediocre – a cut off chunk, in fact!

Well, what is most interesting is that for each gifted family member (their husbands do not count, they are not entitled to any gift by definition), this gift is a heavy burden, and not at all some kind of advantage. Grandmother Alma so pumped them all up with her words that only the Madrigal family can save Encanto, that all family members have their own serious psychological problems, and this is directly shown in the film!

Pepa knows how to control the weather. More precisely, the weather reacts to Pepa’s mood. And now what? Pepa has no right to either get angry (there will be a thunderstorm right away), or just be sad about something (gloomy sky and clouds at once). And she has no power over her emotions – everyone demands from her sheer cheerfulness, so that the sun always shines and the weather is cloudless.

Luisa is extremely strong, but at the same time she is forced to constantly pump up her muscles (I read that the filmmakers fought with the studio management about the presence of pumped muscles in Luisa) and is afraid that someday she will not be able to lift something and then everyone will understand she’s not that strong.

The gift of Dolores to hear everything that is said or done in the whole settlement – in general, some kind of curse! Try to keep in yourself all the secrets of the inhabitants of the town – it’s just going crazy!

Gorgeous beauty Isabela, showering everyone with flowers – so she is the most unhappy of all! She doesn’t want to produce those damn flowers she’s allergic to! She wants to grow majestic cacti: although they are thorny, they have their own personality! (By the way, one cactus is shown in profile, and it’s Mickey Mouse, honestly, it’s a cool “Easter egg”!) And she doesn’t want to be an ideal beauty that her grandmother will pass off as some half-wit from Encanto, because this is required by the political situation of the settlement – no, Isabela wants to dress in oddly colorful colors and do what she sees fit, and not be some free gardener on call. She does not want to be seen as an ideal beauty, she wants to be seen as an individuality – who will condemn her for this, who? It’s obviously not us with the cat Bagel.

Well, and the unfortunate Bruno, who only had the gift of foreseeing the future, but he quickly realized that people simply did not want to hear unpleasant news about what was to come (“Yes, in real life you yourself will shoot me” (c)), after which he had to hide like a cockroach in the bowels of this dimensionless Casita, and rats became Bruno’s company for many years – very, I note, funny.

In the end, the falling apart Madrigal family will be saved – surprise, surprise – by Mirabelle, who has no damn gift, so she is the most normal in this whole fucking gifted family!

So tell me it’s not brilliant? In my opinion, absolutely brilliant, Disney has never set foot on such thin ice before! Before that, somehow everything was easier. There was a princess who was looking for her Prince Charming, while there was some kind of villain who started a terrible trick, the princess was actively helped by a chatty companion – a monkey, a piglet, a lamb, a rat, a crocodile or a war horse, and when there was a real danger, birds, squirrels and the fish immediately began to sing together an excellent song by Sir Elton John, after which all problems receded.

However, I will not argue with the fact that here the problems of the Madrigal family were sorted out quite quickly (and good songs were in abundance, although the authorship of Lin-Manuel Miranda, not Elton John). It was necessary to hug Isabela Mirabelle and just listen to her, and the stern and impregnable grandmother Alma suddenly suddenly sharply admitted her mistakes. However, this calmly fits into the paradigm of a children’s (let’s not forget about it) film.

Therefore, I believe that here, contrary to the assurances of some critics, it is still quite an advanced and more complex story than in ordinary Disney films. How to exist in a world where everyone knows that you have a special gift, and you are afraid of not meeting expectations with this gift. Or – oh horror! – it turned out that you are from a well-born gifted family, but you don’t have any gift at all, they cheated you. And how to live after that, Uncle Gabriel Garcia Marquez?

But we only talked about the plot, which, as we have already found out, is good and not easy. However, there is much more to talk about here.

First of all, it’s really beautifully drawn. The film crew carefully and scrupulously worked on the Colombian costumes and scenery – and this is clearly visible. I was also completely struck by the fact that in certain scenes the shooting in animation absolutely corresponds to modern real cinema: the camera circles the main character, follows the heroine, and so on – it looks incredibly impressive.

The characters, their hair and hairstyles, their movement, their gestures and so on – the level, of course, is absolutely fantastic: it is clear that they worked on it very seriously, and it is clear that the animation has now reached a new level, allowing you to convey such shades, oh which previously could only be dreamed of.

Songs are a different story. This, as already mentioned, is practically a musical, that is, the songs play a prominent role here, and these songs were written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, an iconic composer who also took part in the work on the script in the film. So the musical compositions from the film are a separate pleasure. And very special.

Some viewers are annoyed that the main characters of the film every fifteen minutes, instead of answering a question, suddenly begin to sing, and in the song they either tell their whole life, or at least answer the question in detail. Well, these are the laws of the genre! It not only did not annoy me, but on the contrary, the musical numbers here work perfectly together with the rest of the production. And here there are, if not masterpieces, then no less memorable compositions.

Mirabelle’s musical performance of the Madrigal family is excellent. And wonderfully drawn.

Surface Pressure, performed by Luisa, a strong woman, accompanied by a group of graceful donkeys, is also impressive, and this video has only 117 million views – it looks like someone still liked it.

We Don’t Talk About Bruno (“We don’t talk about Bruno”) – this is probably the main masterpiece of this film (roller), and it is also drawn absolutely wonderfully. And there are certain “Easter eggs” in the video itself, but I won’t reveal them – it’s more interesting to discover them yourself while watching.

By the way, during the performance of “We don’t talk about Bruno”, at some point each participant sings his own part at the same time as the others. This is the musical style of the Renaissance, and this style is called – madrigal.

In the Russian voice acting, most of the songs were covered for some reason, which, of course, spoiled them: if you think that children must know what they are singing about, well, turn on subtitles on the songs, which seems to be quite easy.

However, thank God, two Spanish-language songs from the film were not translated into Russian. Dos Oruguitas (“Two Caterpillars” – meaning the caterpillars from which the butterflies will appear), written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and performed by Sebastian Yatra, is kind of simple, but cool. It’s already popular, and this song is accompanied by a touching visual in the film. It was her that Disney nominated for the musical “Oscar”: some critics think that this is a clear mistake, but I think that the studio bosses did not miss, this is a pretty and catchy song that Yatra performed perfectly, and it is completely in the spirit of those Spanish-language tunes , which become super hits in the vast Spanish-speaking world.

What else? All sorts of other subtleties that are met here and that can be seen.

Each room (a young member of the Madrugal family receives his own room at the time of accepting the gift) has its own characteristics: these rooms are large and hide the whole world in themselves. Other children from the settlement, entering Antonio’s room, say: “It is much more inside,” and this is almost the same phrase from Doctor Who – it is said by people when they first enter the TARDIS: “He is more inside.”

Pepa’s family (Felix, Dolores, Camilo and Antonio) mostly wear warm colors (yellow, orange and red) and Juliet’s family (Agustín, Isabela, Luisa and Mirabelle) mostly wear cool colors (blue, green and purple) .

The toucan Antonio, who appears in the film at the moment when the Antonios receive their gift, and then the toucan accompanies Mirabelle when she begins the search for the missing uncle Bruno, is voiced by Alan Tudyk: he also voiced the idiotic rooster Hei-Hei from Moana.

What is the result? An excellent film with a complex and multi-layered plot, wonderfully drawn, which has a lot of cool songs. More than a worthy work for the anniversary, sixtieth, full-length film of the Disney studio. We approve completely!

Encanto review


Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Charise Castro Smith


Stephanie Beatriz, Maria Cecilia Botero, John Leguizamo, Mauro Castillo, Jessica Darrow, Angie Cepeda, Carolina Gaitan, Diane Guerrero, Wilmer Valderrama, Renzi Feliz, Alan Tudyk


Worldwide gross: $234 million
102 min.

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