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Today’s Prayer Focus
MOVIE REVIEW

Encanto

also known as “Encanto, la fantastique famille Madrigal,” “Encanto: Naš čarobni svijet,” “Encanto: Vùng Đất Thần Kỳ,” “Enkanto,” “Enkanto: Sihirli Dünya,” See more »
MPA Rating: PG-Rating (MPA) for some thematic elements and mild peril.

Reviewed by: Blake Wilson
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Family
Genre:
Animation Musical Fantasy Adventure Comedy Family
Length:
1 hr. 39 min.
Year of Release:
2021
USA Release:
November 24, 2021 (wide release—3,980 theaters)
DVD: February 8, 2022
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Fantasy miraculous or magical powers

Superpowers

Importance of family relationships and friendships

Importance of honesty Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Living in the mountains of Columbia

Jungle animals

Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation in Christian Answers’ site for kids—activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, coloring pages, and more
The Rainforest: People, Animals and Facts
Learn about the rainforest by meeting some native peoples, seeing where and how they live, and more! A cross-cultural photo-rich journey that will leave you with a lasting impression.
Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Featuring Stephanie BeatrizMirabel Madrigal (voice)
Diane GuerreroIsabela Madrigal (voice)
María Cecilia Botero … Abuela Alma Madrigal (voice)
John LeguizamoBruno Madrigal (voice)
Alan TudykToucan (voice)
Jessica DarrowLuisa Madrigal (voice)
Angie CepedaJulieta Madrigal (voice)
Wilmer ValderramaAgustín Madrigal (voice)
Carolina Gaitan (Carolina Gaitán) … Pepa Madrigal (voice)
Ravi Cabot-ConyersAntonio Madrigal (voice)
See all »
Director Jared Bush
Byron Howard
Charise Castro Smith
Producer Walt Disney Animation Studios
Walt Disney Pictures
See all »
Distributor Walt Disney PicturesWalt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Somewhere in the mountains of Colombia, a group of families are looking for a new home. After losing her husband to marauders, Alma Madrigal says a prayer for safety to a candle. Unknown to her, the candle all of a sudden comes to life with a miracle. From that candle, a house appears, along with a thriving village for the rest of the group.

As the years passed, each Madrigal family member is given a magical gift from the candle. That is, all except Mirabel (voice of Stephanie Beatriz). Why not her? That’s a mystery. And, things continue to get more mysterious when Mirabel notices her family’s casita starting to crack and break. In addition, several family members are losing their gifts. It’s up to Mirabel to solve this mystery and help protect her family.

Entertainment Quality

“Encanto” is a high-quality film. The animation is lush and breathtaking. Full of picturesque choices and authentic backgrounds, Disney Animation continues to push the envelope when it comes to creative choices. There’s also more detail in the costumes, as well as some fantastic choreography to the musical numbers.

Speaking of being a musical, Lin-Manuel Miranda has delivered another superb soundtrack here. The stand-outs are Mirabel’s “I Want” song, “Waiting on a Miracle,” and the terrific ensemble piece, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” Older sister Luisa’s number, “Surface Pressure,” is a catchy number as well. Two of the songs, “Dos Oruguitas” and “Colombia, Mi Encanto,” are in Spanish and add to the film’s authenticity. The only song that didn’t seem to click for me was “What Else Can I Do?”, which isn’t a great match for the film tonally. Even so, it serves as strong character development for the middle child.

It is also nice to see the film stick to Central American-based talent in the voice cast. Beatriz and John Leguizamo are the exceptions, but they are terrific in their lead roles. Jessica Darrow nails the toughness of Luisa, while Carolina Gaitan nails the changing moods of her character, and Ravi Cabot-Conyers is adorable as Antonio.

Meanwhile, the story does a wonderful job balancing its characters, giving them each a distinct personality, while keeping the focus on Mirabel. There are a few twists in the script that work really well, and the ending succeeds in being emotionally-compelling.

On the downside, some of the dialog does zip by at such a quick rate that it may inhibit overall understanding (I had a similar issue with “In the Heights”). This is true in a couple of the songs as well.

Positive Messages

“Encanto” stresses the importance of familial love, and the importance of honesty and transparency. Mirabel kindly shows love to each and every family member, even when they may not include her in several events. She gives Luisa a big hug after hearing her open up. She helps Antonio during a scary moment for both of them.

Now. Of course, Mirabel has moments where she might cross the line, but everything she does is purely out of love for her family.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Madrigals certainly mean well, but they learn a thing or two about appreciating each and every one’s gifts and talents. And they also learn that it’s not just someone’s gift that defines them, and that it’s important to use your gift wisely. And, like almost any family, there’s some tension here and there.

There’s a verse in Proverbs about how the family unit is to be respected and valued.

“The one who troubles his family will inherit nothing, and the fool will be a servant to the wise person.” —Proverbs 11:29

Another strong message in the movie comes in the form of community and helping others. When the Madrigals are shown to be at their most vulnerable, their community steps up to help in a tremendous way. This reflects Galatians 6:2, which encourages us to bear each other’s burdens.

Negative Content

SPIRITUAL: The film’s main note of caution involves the family’s magical abilities. One person is able to look into the future (using leaves and sand) and tell people their future, another controls the weather, and another can heal others’ injuries. The Madrigal’s house appears to be alive and communicates with Mirabel. However, all of the family’s powers stem from a candle that appears to be miraculous or magical. The family seems to believe they have been divinely blessed and that they should use their miraculous gifts to bless others.

The characters seem to be rooted in Roman Catholicism. They pray in front of the candle, a priest character appears a few times, two characters are married in a church, and crosses appear in a few scenes.

LANGUAGE: The worst we hear is an “oh my gosh” and “jeez.”

ADULT CONTENT: The only thing of note here is a brief comment about someone expected to be a Mom to five children (her face looks shocked), and there are a few kisses between married couples.

DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Glasses of wine are seen at dinner.

VIOLENCE: There are some scenes of peril. People are blown away in a windy rainstorm. Mirabel leaps across a gorge and nearly falls during a sudden earthquake. She’s nearly trapped by raging sand as well. There are some close calls, and a semi-scary image of a three-headed Cerberus during a musical number. A house collapses. In a flashback, someone is suggested to have been murdered by sword-wielding marauders. Someone is bonked in the nose repeatedly. Someone has a swollen hand and nose in response to bee stings. A black eye and broken arm are briefly seen (but healed).

Elsewhere, Mirabel is disrespectful to her grandmother at one point. Some family members argue in a few places. One member of the family is able to shape-shift into different people of opposite genders.

Conclusion

“Encanto” (which translates into English as “charmed,” “spell,” “joy” or “delight” ) is a different film for the Mouse House. Instead of a fairy tale or a story that is all about female empowerment, this one is all about the bonds of family (and an imperfect, magical one at that). It’s an infectious, entertaining, well-crafted, and moving film that hit all the right notes emotionally for me. The music is fantastic, the animation is beautiful, the characters are fun, and there’s a strong, heartfelt story at the center. For me, this is definitely one of Disney’s best from the past decade.

There are a few intense moments here and there for little ones, and the Madrigals’ miraculous or magical abilities might be a red flag for some families (particularly Bruno’s attempt to contact the other side and his ability to see and predict the future). The Bible is clear that attempts at divination are wrong and forbidden by God.

Q & A

What is divination?

What is a necromancer and what does the Bible say about them?

What is a “familiar spirit”?

The Occult—What does the Bible say about it?

That being said, the film’s magical elements seem fantasy-based and do not appear to originate from witchcraft, demonic or occultic influence. Rather the message is that despite ups and downs, belonging to a caring, loving family is the real magic.

Ultimately, with strong positive messages on familial love, honesty, and community, and relatively few content concerns, “Encanto” is a film I enjoyed overall.

  • Scariness: Moderate
  • Violence: Mild
  • Occult: Minor
  • Drugs/Alcohol: Minor
  • Profane language: Minor
  • Sex: Minor
  • Vulgar/Crude language: None
  • Nudity: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
Positive—As a Christian mother of 2, my lovely kids Crustard, Baba, a family friend of ours Franklin, and my lovely husband Lauru I approve of this film. We are blessed with 5 lovely cats Tiny Bird, Ophelia, Loki, Tempest, and Xena. We also have had two lovely dogs Sugar and Bella who live on in our hearts. Our little nest of a family enjoyed this absolute joy of a film!!! It was so heartwarming, I even shed a tear during some of the scenes. It reminded me of my own childhood where my mother didn’t love me as much as my sister. The townspeople reminded me of our little nest and how crowded it’s gotten over the years. We too had a man living in our walls !!! It’s so goofy how similar our stories are.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
Calberta, age 45 (USA)
Positive—Kind of liked the movie. The dialogue had a tendency to be fast and at times hard to understand. The music was catchy and uplifting. The plot was good, the importance of family, and that you are the gift you may have. I would guess that forgetting that was one of the reasons their powers began to fade.

Religion was part of the story in a positive way, with a few appearances by a priest, and the family’s praying.

Animation was beautiful and well done. The choreography, how the songs were blended. Was great.See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
David Pyle, age 57 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—The positive is the message that everyone is special. “Encanto” draws the viewer in to see Mirabel find her “gift” that will make her special and we discover she is special for having good values. With that said the focus for a first time viewer is on “gifts” and dealing with “no gift” as Mirabel is reminded all to often that she has no gift. I think the questionable content would be the magic and divination. I feel the magic was typical of a Disney and makes for an interesting fantasy story. The divination I do feel crosses the line for a Christian family and should be discussed at some level to our children.

Though this movie is playful with its magic being good, there enters a bad magic that is hidden and we are to believe that it is good too. If the house miracle is considered good magic, then what magic is in Bruno’s room that distinguishes it and prevents the good from helping Mirabel? I believe Brono’s gift of divination is really being in touch with a demonic spirit. This “gift” that visits him, changes his eyes to another color, and reveals a future is ungodly. The family says his visions are bad but we are lead to believe that this type of “gift” is not bad because we haven’t seen the vision completed yet. Making bad things seem good and cool happens too often today. Add divination to this list.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Kevin Kirchhoff, age 40 (USA)
Neutral—This movie is about magic and spells. The Most High is adamant about us not engaging with witchcraft, much less be entertained by it. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: no opinion / Moviemaking quality: no opinion
Jade, age 40 ()
Negative
Negative—Recently I volunteered at my church for a night for kids to come and have fun and give the parents a night off. So I teach Sunday School to 4/5 graders but the group was from kinder to 5th at this event. They chose to show this movie to the kids and I observed the movie but also the kids. Most of the kids had seen the movie and knew all the songs and were dancing and singing along. The visuals of the movie are amazing but for me, they are clouded by the storyline. A child said to me during the movie with excitement in her voice that the main character could talk to animals and that she had a gift. I ask her if she knew that God gives gifts to those who believe on Jesus. She also said she wanted to go to Columbia just based on the movie??? I told her she can go to Columbia to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Although as an evangelist I was able to use this moment as an opportunity to teach there were 40 other children I did not talk to. And no one else was talking cuz the movie was playing.

So here is the problem with indoctrinating children to embrace magic or the subtleties of New Age or occult practices into their mindset. Being raised Catholic and also New Age combined was a potential slippery slope that God rescued me from BUT most of my family members do not believe in only the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. So unfortunately the movie mesmerizes the children by its singing and beautiful imagery to having unChristian beliefs about “gifts” and how we approach God with our needs and all areas of our life.See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
Sharon M Ulstad, age 62 (USA)
Negative—I over all really enjoyed this move. It was absolutely beautiful in scenery and the songs were executed perfectly! However, towards the end of the movie I started seeing the negative in this movie. I understand that all Disney movies have magic and villains in them, and we can’t shield our kids from absolutely everything. However, when there is blatant introduction to witchcraft, it leaves such a sore taste in my mouth and a disappointing heart because it will not be something I can allow my kids to watch.

When Mirabel meets with Bruno to discuss about his vision… that was intense. If you notice he puts salt around in a circle and “starts seeing a vision” (contacting the other side). This is what the Bible tells us to stay away from. The circle is a huge thing for satanic devil worshippers/witches/wiccans when used with salt. I wish they hadn’t added that into the movie. Look it up. They prepped to dabble into a spiritual realm, and I don’t like that they’re teaching my children about that. Can’t believe this forum didn’t mention that.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Genesis, age 29 (USA)
Negative—It is a beautiful film, vibrant colors, gorgeous animation, catchy and clean music. It seems in innocent enough and does have a strong emotional moral story of loving people for who they are, and not for what they can do for you (Abuela learns to let go of the idea of the perfect family with everyone playing their perfect family roles and finally accepts Mirabel)

It is heartwarming, fun, overall a feel-good movie… so much so that it could be easy to overlook the blatant OCCULT symbolism and practices throughout the entire movie, to include shape-shifting, psychic scrying, doors to bedroom doors to the other side/spiritual/magical “realm,” demonic possession (Bruno when his eyes turn green), controlling/changing weather, witchcraft, and a possessed house that interacts with the humans as though it were itself a living creature. THERE IS A BLOOD SACRIFICE when Morabel’s hand is sliced by the roof tile!!!… It doesn&rsquot;t LOOK like a sacrifice, but what else is the purpose of bothering to animate her hand being cut open by the magical house and blood showing? The fact that this scene is so easily missed is concerning. They really snuck it in.See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
K, age 36 (USA)
Negative—Thank you for all the previous answers on here, I’m truly grateful that I looked further into the meaning of this movie as I had many concerns as I watched the movie twice, both with my kids and with kids from church like someone mentioned previously. My thoughts were immediately “why don’t we talk about Bruno”… is he Satan or some type of demonic entity? As they sing the song “we don’t talk about Bruno,” you can see him sneaking around in the background like the slithery snake Satan himself.

It makes me sad because it was such a great film overall, but like someone mentioned I don’t need Disney indoctrinating my children or placing subtle yet obvious witchcraft practices in their psyche. I was concerned about this “Bruno” character which we see in previous Disney films and was surprised to find that Bruno goes back to Cinderella where the dog Bruno feuds with his rival enemy the cat “Lucifer.”

This is alarming as a parent that not even Disney can be trusted anymore to bring a wholesome clean family message. Satan is a counterfeit, so as fun and entertaining as this movie was there was just too much pulling my attention away from the message that didn’t sit well with me. Hope this was helpful.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Alana, age 39 (USA)
Comments from young people
Negative—The movie “Encanto” is so demonic! The way they display this in front of children as well, is mind-blowing! Remember, Satan comes as the angel of light. They make this movie seem so innocent, so intriguing, that the watchers are actually captivated into the story. Pay attention to what they are actually doing and what they are actually saying! They are doing occult practices! And they aim for children to accept this movie—because children are naivé and innocent-and they make them believe that magic is normal!

Go back to the scene where Bruno is fortune telling: his eyes light up green (hold up-how is that not demonic?), and he has “visions”, and he is a “prophet” (a false prophet) but they make him seem so innocent by the way he acts and create his “personality” to seem innocent, causing many to believe this is only an innocent children’s movie. Wrong. Back to the scene with Bruno: he throws around salt and other powders and gets sand and spills it around to make a circle. That is occult practices! Pagan religion! He then buries objects in the small sand circles he makes in the middle, and then a whirlwind forms around them! That is not God’s power, that is Satan’s power!See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: no opinion
Emma, age 15 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Comments from non-viewers
Negative—What in the world is going on here? Why would any Christian defend this movie when the name its self means enchantment, charm, spell? Disney does not make good fruit it is very clear in Matthew seven that a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Although this movie may have “positive messages” that does not mean it’s good. Only God is good. I know some people may not want to hear this but we need to step away from the world, it does not mean that we cannot be in the world but we need to let the light of God shine upon the world by not partaking in what the world partake serve. I don’t understand why we have come to this to where we are actually defending a movie such as this just because it shows a strong family bond. If it is not God who builds the house the labors build in vain. That means that although we can build a great house, if God is not the foundation then it is not worth anything. Step away from Disney, step away from the things of this world, be different, be set apart. As God calls us to be.
My Ratings: Moral rating: no opinion / Moviemaking quality: no opinion
B, age 44 (USA)
Negative—“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.” —Deuteronomy 18:10-12 NIV

Need I say more? Not a movie for Christians in my opinion based on the word of God!
Jess, age 23 (Canada)
Negative— …I only watched the trailer and immediately saw how demonic it was. Multiple times people stood in circles while spells were being cast and/or flames rose up. The house is clearly possessed. Just another movie pumped out by satanic Disney to brainwash the masses with entertainment with progressive storytelling. I encourage Christians to wake up to the Disney deception and quit showing this garbage to your kids.
Robin (Canada)