Enchanted by Encanto

I love the movie Encanto. Here’s why.

by Taylor Hayes, Writer

The movie “Encanto” has become an instant classic for me. I’ve always been big on movies and music, and I’d say this film is pretty impressive 

There’s so many things to love about “Encanto.” The representation, the way it hits home to Hispanic families and traditions and the music. In recent years, as Disney has been dissected more, the public has started to criticize Disney for its racist past and problematic movies. “Encanto” is a game-changer in Disney’s attempts at reparations for its past actions. 

One of the biggest and most important topics to me is the representation in this movie. While Hispanics are often shown on television as stereotypical “Ranchero” men, or “Chicana” women, “Encanto’s” representation is phenomenal. 

When you break it down, there are four things I loved the most about “Encanto.” One of these is that Luisa, the oldest sister, with the power of strength, isn’t given the typical features of Disney characters from the past. She is illustrated as actually big, strong and broad-shouldered, while still having a feminine frame. The difference between Luisa and the typical feminine Disney character is that Luisa is given the body structure of an actual body builder — not the frame of the thin waist and small features typically portrayed in different Disney princesses like Ariel or Snow White. 

The second thing I love is Isabella’s native features. Isabella is the stereotypical feminine character, having the power to grow flowers and plants out of nowhere. Isabella is also forced into the category of the “perfect child,” with every implied meaning from that archetype. She has beautiful hair, perfect skin-— she’s everything feminine is supposed to be, but she does not lose her traditional Colombian features. Isabella has the crooked nose, the black hair, and the dark skin that many Colombians have. 

I mention the crooked nose because speaking as a Hispanic person, I know a lot of Latinx people feel insecure about this specific characteristic. I loved seeing people break this movie down on TikTok — especially when Colombian and other Latinx/Hispanic people related loving that Isabella was the “pretty” one while not altering her crooked nose. 

The third thing I love about this movie is the range of skin tones in one family. For example, Pepa is white passing. Her husband, Felix, has traditionally African American features. While the ethnicity of Columbians is considered Afro-Latino (some consider themselves white), not all Columbians have the same skin tone as what is traditionally thought for Hispanics/Latinx people. I love that Disney really represented different skin tones within one family. 

The fourth aspect I want to point out is the amount of relatable content there for Hispanic/Latinx people. While not all families feel like this, I know a lot of “Encanto”-related-content that I’ve seen on TikTok and Instagram has mostly related to the song “Surface Pressure” that Luisa sings. Eldest sisters online have really talked about feeling like they have to keep the family together. Youngest siblings  relate to Mirabel, feeling unseen in their families and believing they have to be just as good as their perfect older siblings. Some really relate to having an extremely traditional family—the grandmother being the matriarchal archetype and feeling like everything has to be perfect for them. 

Either way, if you watch “Encanto,” I can guarantee you will find something relatable in the movie. I made all of my friends watch and dissect it with me, and I know they all feel the same way — especially a lot of my friends with first, second, and third-generation immigrant backgrounds. I love the movie “Encanto”, and I think it’s going to be a family favorite for generations to come.