Encanto: A love song for Colombia


Walt Disney Studios

Disney’s “Encanto” has captured the hearts of many with its catchy music and relatable themes.

Paola Zapata, Reporter

Following the movie “Coco,” Disney decided to make another movie revolving around another Hispanic family. “Encanto” focuses on a Colombian family and shows us what generational trauma can be like.  

According to its website, “Encanto tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift from super strength to the power to heal-every child except one, Mirabel. But when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is in danger, Mirabel decides that she, the only ordinary Madrigal, might just be her exceptional family’s last hope.”

This movie really hits close to home as we can see many emotions being expressed, whether it’s being happy to feeling sad. In “Encanto” Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz) feels as if she is not good enough for her family, since she wasn’t gifted a magical power of her own like the rest of her family.

Heavy topics like carrying heavy burdens are addressed, with Luisa, (Jessica Darrow) who feels as if she has incredible amounts of pressure hoisted on her as the oldest sister. Everyone leaves the literal heavy lifting to her. In her song “Surface Pressure,” Luisa says “I’m pretty sure I’m worthless if I can’t be of service” while engaging in fantastical feats of strength.

Another example is Isabela (Diane Guerrero), who feels pressure to be perfect all the time, despite her innermost desires to break free. 

In “Encanto,” unlike all other American depictions of Colombia, there’s no room for The Violence or its perpetrators. The focus is on the survivors. It’s about the miracle of thriving when you seem cosmically predisposed to suffer ad infinitum. Because that’s what Colombia is: a country of people trying their best to thrive despite themselves. (José María Luna)

I personally enjoyed the movie and loved the catchy music by Lin Manuel Miranda. This movie is important, not just because of the representation but because of the meaning. Many people online (dreamgxrl420, straddleyomind ahgasnapple) really wanted to pin Abuela (María Cecilia Botero) as the villain, but she didn’t ask to have all this trauma. Abuela didn’t ask to see her husband die in front of her and get left with her three children.  

You can see the generational trauma that has been passed down on the younger generation. Abuela is strict and can seem mean, but it’s not like she wants to be. Abuela doesn’t seem to notice it at first and that’s how it usually is in many families. Grandparents pass the trauma to their children, who then pass it to their children, without talking about it. I think that until Mirabel brave to stand up to Abuela. She truly saw what was going on.  

I also enjoyed the fact that this was a movie about family and not about some man coming to save the ‘damsel in distress.’ It was the family that was able to help each other out and figure out what was going on. I applaud Disney for that, because we got to see a strong female lead without some guy coming to save her.  

Another factor is the diversity in this movie, I love how Disney added Latinx people of all skin tones. I was happy when I got to see Afro-Latinos in the movie. Disney is changing and evolving and I hope to see many more Latinx people in Disney movies in the future.  

Watch “Encanto” on Disney+