Disney has a long history of films that combine iconic songs with beautifully animated sequences to create some really good musical numbers and the latest movie, Encanto, lives up to this heritage. With original music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the musical numbers capture the characters’ individual personalities as well as family dynamics in an energetic and visually stunning way.
The film contains a nice balance of large numbers that include the whole family such as “All of You” and The Family Madrigal “as well as numbers that allow audiences to see the inner emotions of individual characters such as Luisa in” Surface Pressure ” and Isabela in “What else can I do?”
7 “You all”
The final issue of the film features the family working together to rebuild their home. Although they do not have their powers, they can use teamwork and help from all over the city to build the house.
The song isn’t one of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s best songs, but it’s heartwarming to see the locals rally around the Madrigal family. Seeing the family welcome Bruno and watch Mirabel hook up with her sisters is a sweet and satisfying ending to the film, but the number is not as inventive or interesting as the others in the film.
6 “We’re not talking about Bruno”
When Mirabel realizes that her mysterious Bruno’s prophecies are somehow related to Casita’s cracks, she tries to find out more about him, only to be told by different people that they don’t talk about him because ‘he always caused bad things.
The issue features a funky beat with a catchy chorus and fun visuals as audiences see prophecies come true as people describe them, including rain on Pepa’s wedding day, a dying pet fish, a man getting fat and a man who leaves bald.
5 “While waiting for a miracle”
In a number similar to Jasmine’s song from the live-action Aladdin, time freezes during Antonio’s gift ceremony as Mirabel sings about the disappointment and frustration she feels at not having powers.
While the other numbers illustrate the internal feelings of the supporting characters, this is the only one that allows the audience to see inside Mirabel’s mind. The number is a classic song “I Want” that makes the protagonist’s desire tangible as she imagines what it would be like to finally have a gift.
4 “What else can I do?”
In an attempt to realize Bruno’s vision, Mirabel tries to get Isabela to give her a hug by going to her room and talking to her. When Isabela admits her true feelings, she inadvertently grows a cactus, causing her to sing about what it would be if she stopped trying to be so perfect and learned to be more spontaneous.
The musical number makes great use of Isabela’s powers, filling the stage with vibrant and colorful flowers. The upbeat and inspiring song is paired with some of the best visuals in the whole movie, creating a truly memorable scene that ranks with other iconic Disney musicals like Ariel’s “Part of Your World” one of the best. songs from The little Mermaid.
3 “The family madrigal”
In the first issue of the film, Mirabel explains the magic of Casita to children in the neighboring town. She also introduces each of her family members and reveals their powers such as Luisa’s superhuman strength and Pepa’s ability to control the weather.
It’s a fun number that takes out much of the exposure and introduces all of the main characters while making Mirabel a Disney underdog that audiences will support. The fast paced scene is a fun and informative way to start the movie and orient the audience with this colorful world.
2 “Surface pressure”
As Mirabel begins to investigate what is happening to Casita, one of the first people she talks to is Luisa, who is showing signs of stress. Luisa ends up singing about how she starts to crack under all the pressure of being the strongest in the family and wonders if people would still appreciate her without her strength.
The song’s lyrics are deep and relevant, making Luisa a supporting Disney character who deserved more screen time. The number does the song justice by visualizing all the different metaphors Luisa sings, showing her fighting Cerberus, trying to keep the Titanic from hitting the iceberg and literally carrying the weight of the world like Atlas.
1 “Dos Oruguitas”
After their family home collapsed, Mirabel fled. When Abuela finds her near the river where Abuelo was killed, she admits that she has forgotten that her family is the real gift. The song is then played as Abuelo and Abuela’s relationship unfolds on screen.
The scene is by far the most moving and defining moment in the film. The moving song perfectly underscores the love and sadness of the relationship as the audience sees Abuelo and Abuela meet, get married, have a family and ultimately say goodbye. It’s a beautifully animated scene that captures life’s ups and downs and the inevitability of change in a scene.
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