Encanto Movie Review: Three Sisters, Their Struggles, and a Killer Soundtrack

Mabel Higgins, Contributing Writer

If you haven’t yet seen Disney’s relatively recent movie Encanto, directed by Byron Howard and Jared Bush, I would definitely recommend a viewing soon. The characters in the movie are so much more complex than the ones you find in most animated features and, on top of this, it has an excellent soundtrack that you might find hard to keep out of your head.  

The movie deals with the struggles of an unusually gifted family, focusing mainly on three sisters: Luisa, Mirabel, and Isabella. They all have their own unique magical abilities as well as struggles that go along with them. Isabella struggles with the pressure of being seen as perfect all the time, so much so that she almost marries someone she doesn’t like just to make the family happy. Luisa struggles with the pressure of doing everything and carrying the family’s and towns problems on her back (literally, in one scene) with no time to relax. She is so scared of cracking under the pressure that she begins to lose her gift of strength. Mirbel has no gift,  unlike everyone else in her family, and this in itself becomes her struggle. 

The music, which was created by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton fans know they are in for a treat), was nominated for an Oscar. Miranda was the perfect choice for creating the eight songs for this film because he’s a great song composer and had previously worked on hit songs for Disney’s Moana. My top three favorite songs from Encanto are “Surface Pressure,” “What Else Can I Do?” and “Waiting on a Miracle.” These are my favorites because each of these songs allow the sisters to reveal their inner thoughts and struggles to the viewer. In “Surface Pressure,” Luisa expresses the feeling of having to meet everyone’s high expectations of her. The lyric “I’m pretty sure I’m worthless / if I can’t be of service” describes her feelings of all the pressure that is on her.

The character Isabella sings “What Else Can I Do?” where she expresses that she has to be perfect all the time. With the help of Mirabel, she has a breakthrough during the song. “Waiting on a Miracle,” sung by Mirabel, expresses that she feels the only way to be noticed or be seen as important is to have a gift like the rest of her family. In one lyric she relays this by saying, “I can’t heal what’s broken / Can’t control the morning rain or a hurricane / Can’t keep down the unspoken invisible pain / Always waiting on a miracle, a miracle.”

You may have noticed I haven’t talked about Bruno yet. “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is probably one of the most popular songs in the movie and was even performed at the Oscars. In hopes of keeping too many spoilers out of this review, I also won’t talk too much about Bruno. Just know that he is an important character in this must-see hit movie and one that you should stream as soon as possible.