The Madrigal family celebrating in Encanto.Image: Disney
This Thanksgiving weekend, there’s a ton of brand new content you can watch with your family, but how much of it is actually about family? One title in particular stands out and that’s Encanto, the latest film from Disney Animation.
Encanto is about the Madrigals, a Colombian family who live in a small mountain town and have superpowers. Wait, what? Yes, that’s true, but not in a comic-book way. The family all use their powers to help the people in town. At a very young age, each member of the Madrigal family finds out what power they have, such as super strength, super hearing, the ability talk to animals, and so on. Throughout history this has happened to everyone in their family, except one of the younger children, Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz). That Mirabel doesn’t have powers makes her feel like an outsider in her own family, so to make up for it she goes on an adventure to try and solve some problems the super family is having, when their abilities and magical house seem to be on the fritz.
A big part of that journey has to do with her uncle Bruno (John Leguizamo), who disappeared after a seemingly mysterious event. The audience learns this when Mirabel starts to ask her family about Bruno… and that’s when Lin-Manuel Miranda takes over. Miranda wrote all of the songs in Encanto and Disney has released a brand new clip of one if his catchiest songs. It’s called “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and it’s about the whole family talking about Bruno. Warning though: this is going to be in your head all day.
“Every verse and every stanza introduces a different character,” Miranda said in a press release. “They’re all riding the same musical landscape, but they ride it completely differently. Everyone sings the same chord progression with a totally different rhythm and a totally different cadence.” And then, of course, there’s the clever twist that a song that’s about not talking about Bruno explains exactly what happened with Bruno. “I think every family has stories you’re not allowed to talk about—we all have land mines inside our families,” Miranda said. “The more forbidden something is, the more you want to talk about it.”
Encanto is a lovely film with incredible music, visuals, and a real emotional family story. That it’s about a bunch of people with super powers almost doesn’t even matter. And that’s why it’s so great. It opens in theaters today.
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