A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Includes many aspects of Colombian culture, like traditional dress, dancing, music, even cuisine (arepas, a national food, are made and eaten several times).
Lots of positive messages about value of empathy and teamwork, importance of honesty and acceptance in families, the need to acknowledge various talents and character strengths of people you love.
Positive Role Models
The Madrigals are helpful, strong, loyal. They love one another and want to protect and defend their family, house, town. The family exhibits the pride of serving their community, learns to accept help later in the movie. Mirabel is selfless and wants to solve problems even as she's occasionally overlooked because of her lack of superpowers.
Depicts multigenerational, multiracial Madrigal family, as well as Encanto village that's full of residents who are Black, Brown, White. Women are strong, men are supportive (in this family, husbands don't have magical abilities, but their wives and children do), and a matriarch (Abuela) leads the family and village. Colombian culture is well portrayed in form of music, costumes, dance sequences, even food, but filmmaking team, including songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda, isn't of Colombian heritage.
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Violence & Scariness
Flashbacks to a confrontation with armed men who kill Mirabel's abuelo with their swords while her abuela watches, holding newborn triplets. The family's home begins to crumble, and a nearby mountain splits in two, posing a danger to the family and entire village. Bruno is frightening at first sight but is just lonely. A character dangles from the edge of a cliff, and it looks like they're plunging to injury, but they end up fine. The house eventually falls, and it's occasionally scary to see all the family members fail in their attempts to save the house and their magic candle.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A married couple is affectionate: kisses, embraces, and partner dances in flashbacks to their wedding and other occasions.
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Mirabel calls her sister "stupid perfect."
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Products & Purchases
Nothing on camera, but off camera, the movie has tie-ins to apparel, toys, figurines, even instruments.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A kid drinks coffee even after being told it's for adults. Family toasts with an unspecified drink (presumably water) at a meal/event.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Encanto is an animated Disney musical set in Colombia and featuring Mirabel Madrigal (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz), the youngest granddaughter in a family that protects their enchanted village with the magical powers they've had for two generations ... except for Mirabel. As she helps her cousin prepare for his coming-of-magical-age ritual, she begins to question her role in the family. Expect a few scenes of violence: Mirabel's grandfather is killed by armed men (the actual death isn't shown), and supernatural events and catastrophes threaten the characters. There's also mild name-calling and affection between married characters. Themes of empathy, teamwork, and courage are clear, and there's strong diverse representation on-screen, with White, Black, and multiracial characters all part of the same family and voiced by famous Colombian and Latin American actors. Colombian culture is also well portrayed in the form of music, costumes, dance sequences, and even food, but the filmmaking team, including songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda, isn't of Colombian heritage. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Disney's delightful animated musical is a tribute to Colombian culture, magical realism, and the power of multigenerational families. Encanto works on multiple levels. It's a kid-friendly musical with a magical house and relatives, most of them teens and tweens. Main character Mirabel is lovable and loyal, but also the family's beloved but underappreciated underdog, which makes her easy to cheer for and relate to as she tries to prove she's worthy of the family name. Deeper still, the movie's thematic elements are an homage to magical realism, the literary genre that legendary late Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez was famous for elevating, with magical golden butterflies reminding viewers of migration, change, and hope. Beatriz is terrific as Mirabel, and the cast of Colombian actors and singers does a great job with the Germaine Franco-composed/Lin-Manuel Miranda-penned songs, particularly "The Family Madrigal," "We Don't Talk About Bruno," and "All of You." Colombian superstars Carlos Vives and Sebastián Yatra are also prominent on the authentic, cumbia-infused soundtrack (listen for the accordion and percussion!). The movie's attention to cultural detail also includes traditional dress (the embroidered, ruffled tops and skirts and the black-and-white cane hats are iconic) and the making of typical foods like the healing arepas that Mirabel's mami (Angie Cepeda) feeds family and villagers.
Beyond the cultural sensitivity (and it should be noted that, behind the scenes, none of the writer-directors -- Jared Bush, Byron Howard, and Charise Castro Smith -- are Colombian), this is a funny and deeper-than-it-looks family adventure. Audiences will laugh aloud at the animal cameos (Tio Bruno's pet rats are especially entertaining) and the chorus of three village kids who pop up at various key moments for comic relief. They'll also sing along to Miranda's toe-tapping choruses "We don't talk about Bruno-no-no-no" and the Anna-and-Elsa-like duets between Mirabel and each of her two sisters -- big-and-strong Luisa (Jessica Darrow) and perfect-and-pretty Isabela (Diane Guerrero). It's a joy to watch Mirabel bravely protect her family and her town. There's also a simmering truth to the idea that people are much more than what they initially seem. Everyone has gifts and strengths, whether they're obvious or subtle, and what's meaningful is how people use them.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.