Encanto

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Encanto Movie Poster Image
 Popular with kidsParents recommend
Vibrant visuals, catchy songs, moving messages.
  • PG
  • 2021
  • 99 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 16 reviews

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.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Includes many aspects of Colombian culture, like traditional dress, dancing, music, even cuisine (arepas, a national food, are made and eaten several times).

Positive Messages

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.

Diverse Representations

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.

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.

Sexy Stuff

A married couple is affectionate: kisses, embraces, and partner dances in flashbacks to their wedding and other occasions. 

Language

Mirabel calls her sister "stupid perfect."

Consumerism

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byZarleys November 25, 2021

No story, no plot

Theme seems to be family something something magic something something. There is nothing age-inappropriate about this movie, but it is long, boring and has no d... Continue reading
Parent of a 8-year-old Written byKina1962 November 25, 2021

Beautiful animation, great voices but forced story

My two 8 year olds did not understand the plot and frankly, I found myself struggling to explain it.
As huge fans of Moana and Coco, we had high hopes. This fe... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byMonkey123476 November 27, 2021

Beautiful, amazing!

This movie was incredible! It is definitely appropriate for most kids but younger ones likely won’t understand the deeper messages and themes about family relat... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byyogurt12156 November 25, 2021

Great movie!

Great movie for the whole family! This movie may be a little confusing for younger kids but has great messages, great role models, and nothing inappropriate. I... Continue reading

What's the story?

In ENCANTO, Mirabel (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz) is a member of the magical Madrigal family, who were bestowed with supernatural gifts emanating from a miracle candle that also created their village and magical house, la casita. Unfortunately for Mirabel, while her relatives have gifts as wide-ranging as controlling the weather, super strength, making flowers grow, healing with food, shape-shifting, super hearing, and seeing the future, she didn't receive a supernatural gift during her coming-of-age ceremony. As her youngest cousin approaches the day that a magical door will reveal his gift, the family nervously prepares. On the day itself, Mirabel has a vision of the casita cracking and crumbling, and she dedicates herself to saving the Madrigals' magical home -- even if it means looking for her mysterious estranged Tio Bruno (John Leguizamo), who could predict the future, and putting herself in dangerous situations. 

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Encanto's messages about embracing differences, learning to rethink weaknesses and strengths, and the importance of family togetherness. What are some other positive themes in the story?

  • Talk about the family dynamics in the movie. Why does Mirabel feel like she has to prove her worth to her family? How does she display courage, empathy, and teamwork? Why are those important character strengths?

  • What aspects of Colombian culture are highlighted in the story? How do costumes, music, dance, and food play a role in the movie? How is magical realism, which is associated with Latin American literature, a big part of the movie? 

  • Why does representation behind the camera matter as much as in front of the camera? While most of the movie's cast and the soundtrack's performing musicians are Colombian, the filmmakers themselves aren't. How could a Colombian filmmaker have enriched the film? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love magical adventures

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate