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Criticism | “Encanto” is the BEST Disney animation since “Moana – A Sea of ​​Adventures”

Walt Disney Studios did not establish itself as the empire of Western animation for any reason – and since the 1937 premiere of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” it has almost always delivered impeccable narratives. and engaging, speaking not only to children. , but with all those who took the time to discover countless productions. In recent years we’ve had the sequel to “Frozen”, which expanded the universe of Elsa and Anna, the incredible journey “Moana – A Sea of ​​Adventures”, which featured House’s first Polynesian princess. Mouse, and the impeccable “Zootopia”, which deservedly won the Oscar for Best Animation – not to mention the entertaining story of “Raya and the Last Dragon”, which saved the classicism of the hero’s journey with stunning visuals.

Now it’s time to meet the new character of the Disney family, Mirabel Madrigal (Stephanie Beatriz). The protagonist of “Encanto” is a young woman who lives in the mountain community that gives her name to the title of the feature film, a Colombian refuge built with the fantastic powers of a candle whose flame never goes out. The mystical object, given to matriarch Alma (Maria Cecilia Botero), also bestowed on each family member a special gift – such as super strength, super hearing, transmutation, and even the ability to predict l ‘to come up. That is to say with the exception of Mirabel itself, which since the first production sequence has been an “exile” of the family. However, the power of magic soon begins to wane and challenge the structures that rebuilt the Madrigals, leaving the young heroine to find out what is going on and do all she can to save those she does. she likes.

It’s safe to say that the structure of the film is familiar to those who are already used to the “Disney formula”, so to speak. “Encanto” is based on the musical genre with full and enviable exuberance, putting the responsibility for the soundtrack in the hands of Germaine Franco and the multitalented Lin-Manuel Miranda – immediately imprinting the sound identity that placed it. on top of the world with “Hamilton” and “Moana”. Unlike so many songs that have eternalized the pantheon of Casa Mouse, the instrumental epic receives a distinct treatment, in which the orchestral elegance is transformed into a breathtaking celebration, which includes the use of cajóns, guitars, rattles. , bass drums, flutes and many more (and here I make a special mention of the impeccable tracks “Surface Pressure” and “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”, which paddle against the tide towards a stunning originality that highlights the plot in the best possible way).

The names behind this new animation gem are Byron Howard and Jared Bush – and if you’ve never heard of such names, you might remember the much-acclaimed “Zootopia,” commissioned by the duo. In search of another Oscar statuette, Howard and Bush dive headlong into Colombian culture and team up with a talented artistic team who demonstrate appreciation and care in every visual aspect, from vivid costumes to palette. of colors that accompanies the arc of the protagonists and supporting actors. (as well as numerous references to chibchas, quimbayas and taironas, indigenous peoples of the country whose aesthetics appear in the objects and relics of Madrigal). There is a poignant and iconic naturalism that dates back to the company’s recent 3D animations and permeates both the lighter and more subtle aspects of the work, in which the residence itself, engulfed in a fun personification , follows the mood of Maribel and her family and reflects the issues there.

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Of course, we have already seen these inflections exploited to the extreme in other Disney titles such as Beauty and the Beast. However, perhaps the mimicry promoted by Howard and Bush was deliberate and, in fact, helped build a mythology that will immediately fall on viewers’ liking for the intricate equipment he created and the conflict. explosive characters. And, technical details aside, it’s remarkable how the cast creates magic with a chemistry that hooks us from the first few minutes: Beatriz shows off her growing versatility after starring in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “In a New York City”, as the striking voices of John Leguizamo, Diane Guerrero, Wilmar Valderrama and many others foster a mix of unique personalities who dialogue with the timeless archetypes that guide the heroine.

As the events of the film can be predicted – in which the comfort zone, the “cosmos” in which Mirabel has been confined all these years, becomes something of a battleground for the protection of the family – the storyline takes advantage of paradigms within. which he leans to paint important themes and which, in an evocative context, reconstruct the hard history of Colombia and the multiple civil wars that have always accompanied this Latin American people. Alma lost her husband to the military who evicted them from their home and, left alone with three newborns, she had to face many obstacles, which is why her austere presence arouses fear in the other members. of the family. Forays into belonging, abandonment, and multigenerational conflict also emerge throughout the film.

“Enchantment” is Walt Disney Studios’ best animation in five years. The narrative might not be the most original, but it’s the driving, the voice acting chemistry, and the appreciable imagery that turns what could be another forgettable, throwaway adventure into a fight for those who will always be around. our sides and to understand that each of us is important in how we came to the world.

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