When Disney first announced that they were making a movie based in Colombia, I was both excited and scared. I was happy because finally we were going to have a movie that showed my beautiful country, and I was scared because I knew I was going to be very critical of the movie and its description of my place of birth. Keep reading to see what I think about the movie.
About the movie
The Madrigals are an extraordinary family who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a charmed place called the Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift -- every child except Mirabel. However, she soon may be the Madrigals last hope when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is now in danger.
Watch a trailer
Did we like it?
I have never considered me a movie critic. I normally tell you if we liked the movie or not, if you should take your kids to watch the movie, and if there was a message to be learnt from the movie. Today, however I am going to be more critical of this review, because as a Colombian, I have a better understanding of how truthful to Colombian culture, history, and details this movie is.
Let me start with the part I am not an expert on and then let's move to the part I consider myself well versed.
1. The animation: I loved how real the characters feel. It is Disney's Animation 60th movie, and the graphics and details in the animation are amazing.
2. The plot: I loved that the story includes the violence that Colombia experienced for so many years that displaced the farmers (campesinos) form their lands. It also shows how the communities came together to build a better future for them. Although we do not have magic houses in Colombia, the magic is the Colombian people that never lost their faith. I appreciate the fact that the studio had an original story to tell and didn't refer to any legends or myths about the country.
3. Character development: I feel this is the part the movie lacked the most. I understand having so many members in the family, after all, Colombian families were very big. My grandmother had 13 kids, so I get it, but to try to develop each character in 98 minutes was an unrealistic goal. The story felt rushed at times. But there is one thing we loved, and it is that there isn't a villain, because the country has suffered enough and doesn't need more stereotypes with a villain.
4. The soundtrack: I was totally dancing on my seat. Cumbia, Salsa, Vallenato. Without spoilers, stay until the credits, because you will be able to listen to more music that truly represents the variety of music genres. Colombia is known as "The land of a thousand rhythms" but actually holds over 1,025 folk rhythms. All songs are catchy and beautiful. I loved the have some songs all in Spanish and some songs that combine English and Spanish. The song Dos Oruguitas totally deserves an Oscar.
5. Cultural authenticity: The details about Colombian culture are outstanding. Disney did an amazing job. Let's break it down
Encanto is a love letter to Colombians and it displays Colombian heritage at its best. I love all the details on the movie and I am glad that after so many years, there is Disney character that looks like me!