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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

By now most of you have seen or heard about the new Disney movie, Encanto. The film follows an extraordinary family, Los Madrigals, set in the Valle de Cocora in Colombia. The main character, Mirabel Madrigal, is the only one in her family that does not have a magical trait, but is proud to be in her family regardless. With many obstacles, secrets, and songs from our favorite broadway founding father, Lin Manuel Miranda, this story, you could say, has it all. Chances are, you’ve also already heard the hit song We Don’t Talk About Bruno (whether it be willingly or not). It has become one of the top Disney songs, beating out Let It Go, The Circle of Life, and more. Encanto has taken social media by storm, flooding with TikTok videos on how the characters finally give representation in the Latino community and display a beautiful culture that isn’t seen among older Disney movies.

Now that we’ve talked about what Encanto is and its effect in the media so far, today I’m going to tell you what I think of the movie from my point of view.

Being Colombian, my family and I had many expectations for this movie and was ready to see if they did it justice or not. When we saw the first teaser, I can tell you we were excited yet hesitant about what was to come. I was counting down the days and sharing any little information I could find on the release of this movie up until it came out in theaters. Once it premiered, we all finished up our Thanksgiving dinners and went to the movie theater to see Encanto. As excited as I was, I was also very nervous because Disney sometimes has a reputation of missing the mark just a little bit. Since Moana, they have been doing a better job, however, my culture means a lot and even more to my parents more so than my siblings and me. At first, I was impressed by the animation features, representation, and songs. I was also shocked at how accurate certain situations felt closer to home. Even to the point when the grandmother yells Mirabel’s name! Her tone was spot on and I know this from personal experience (lol). They did a lot of things right within this movie, but at the same time, there was still something missing. Encanto’s storyline felt like they were trying to pack a lot of content into one movie and overall felt rushed. I kept waiting for that umph surprise factor that I feel when I watch Tangled or Moana. Even most of the songs I felt weren’t there at first, but have grown on me. While my family and I enjoyed seeing the representation of clothing, settings, traditions, and food (which also made us pretty hungry), there was one big thing for me personally that disappointed me about the movie.

As I mentioned before, there was a variety of representation with Latino characters shown in Encanto. Ironically, Mirabel looks like my sister with curly hair and glasses, but in the movie, I kept searching for someone who looked like me. A lot of Colombians I know, especially within my family, are fairly lighter-skinned with long thick straight dark hair and I didn’t find much of that in this film. Again, I’m not saying that the characters aren’t representing Colombians correctly just because they don’t look like my family specifically, but I’ve been to Colombia and have seen them differently. The only time I could find someone who resembled me was a background character or the young grandmother. This was extremely disappointing since I was excited to finally have a movie that was inspired by my culture and I could finally stop saying that I looked like Belle or Snow White. Nevertheless, I am only just one person, but I know there are others out there that also feel the same. I think films like these are finally giving us the representation of what people look like in the real world and not just what they think they should look like. It promotes culture and insight into what other regions celebrate. The movie has themes of family, embracing being different, growing expectations, learning how to be yourself, and generational trauma. I don’t think we talk about generational trauma enough, but I can safely say that part of the movie felt extremely close to home for me. Growing up in a different setting than my parents and siblings did, I feel the pressure that I constantly have to be perfect and do my best because I was given different/better opportunities. I love my family and every opportunity I have been given, but I know I am not the only one who feels this way. Finally, we have a movie to relate to on an emotional level for many in this case. That’s Encanto in a nutshell and I think this movie is a great step to something even bigger than I know Disney will eventually unlock. I am proud to know not only all the songs in English and in Spanish, but that our Colombia culture is finally getting some love and representation.

Now if only we can finally get people to spell it correctly…

Colombia not Columbia ;-)

HCXO, Valentina

Hey everyone! My name is Valentina and I am a Junior at Millersville University! While I’m a Media Arts Production major, I also have a passion for fashion and nerd culture. I am a proud Latina who is always ready to try new things and isn’t afraid to take on life. Follow me into the unknown that is college, dating, and more! I hope my work inspires you as you read <3
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