The soundtrack of Disney’s Encanto: An excellence in storytelling

On 24th November, Disney released their 60th animated movie, Encanto, which initially slowed down in the box office and popularity, but soon became the highest grossing animated movie of the year 2021 and also one of the most critically acclaimed animated movies of the year. The movie was not only well received for its story and plot, but the soundtrack of the film played a major role in its success. Today, we will see what makes the soundtrack of Encanto so special that everyone is a fan of.
Encanto revolves around the life of Mirabel Madrigal, a 15 year old Colombian girl who lives with her large joint family in a magical house known as “Casita”. The head of the Madrigal family is Abuela Alma, who escaped an army war with her husband, Pedro, along with their triplets Pepa, Bruno and Julieta. However, in an unfortunate event Pedro is killed and hence the magical house Casita rises from the candle that was guiding them. Since then, every child born in the Madrigal family has received some kind of miracle, except Mirabel.
Mirabel’s oldest aunt Pepa has got the power to control weather according to her mood, while Mirabel’s mother can heal any kind of injury with her food. Pepa was married to Felix, and Julieta was married to Agustin. Since Felix and Agustin do not have any Madrigal blood, they don’t have any miracles. Mirabel’s uncle, Bruno, has got the power to see the future, but because of this miracle people think that Bruno is a nuisance, and hence he has locked himself inside the walls of Casita.
Pepa and Felix have three children: Dolores, Camilo and Antonio. Dolores has a very good hearing power and she can even hear a pin drop from miles away, while Camilo can shapeshift, and Antonio can talk to animals. Beside Mirabel, Julieta and Agustin have two other daughters: Isabella and Luisa. Isabella is a beautiful and perfect girl who is loved by everyone, and she has the power to grow flowers. On the other hand Luisa is very strong and she can even carry a whole house on her back.
Since Mirabel is the only one who doesn’t possess any magical power, she is not favored by Abuela a lot, and is always outcast by her family. The movie focuses on how Mirabel discovers that the magic in the family is slowly disappearing, and then sets out on a journey to save her family and Casita from the catastrophe.
With the increase in globalization, Disney has been making movies that are based in different parts of the world. For example, The Hunchback of Notre Dame was set in France, Tangled was set in Germany, Frozen was set in Norway, Coco was set in Mexico, The Jungle Book was set in India and so on. Like this, Encanto is set in Colombia, and the heritage and the culture of the South American country is very beautifully represented here.
Now let us talk about the music and songs of Encanto, which had a very huge role in the success of this movie. The songs of Encanto are based on the setting of the story, and if we just listen to it without knowing the context, then we will have difficulty in understanding it. Since every song in the movie has a certain story to tell, we must watch the movie to understand the meaning behind these songs.
All the songs of Encanto are written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and the scores are composed by Germaine Franco. The album peaked at number 7 in the Billboard 200, and the songs like “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and “Surface Pressure” also made it to the chart.

Let us start with the song “The Family Madrigal”, which is performed by Stephanie Beatriz, Olga Merediz, and the cast of Encanto. This song is played at the beginning of the movie and it introduces the characters, their relation with Mirabel, and their magical powers.

The song is composed in such a beautiful way that the different genres are blended together and tell the story in the most understanding way.

Another beautiful song is “Waiting on a Miracle”, which is performed again by Stephanie Beatriz, who voices the character of Mirabel. As mentioned above, Mirabel is the only Madrigal child without miracles, and she is always left out, this song portrays her pain and emotions in a very beautiful way.

Mirabel cries that even though she doesn’t have a miracle, she is still a part of the family Madrigal, and if she had some power she could have done a lot of things, so she is still waiting to get some kind of power. This emotional song will make you cry if you look deeply into the character of Mirabel.

The third song we will talk about is “Surface Pressure”, which is performed by Jessica Darrow, who voices the character of Mirabel’s 19-year-old sister, Luisa, who has the miracle of strength. We can say that this is Luisa’s song as we get to know a lot about her character through this. Luisa is introduced as the strongest one who can move mountains and churches, but still, under these miracles, she has a doubt on herself if she is perfect or not.

She is worried that people will think she is unworthy if she doesn’t have that much strength. She has to hide her emotions because she is strong as the crust of the Earth, and she has a lot of responsibilities for being in that position. A lot of people on the internet say that “Surface Pressure” perfectly describes what being an elder sister is, and must say that Luisa is a very perfect elder sister to Mirabel.

“What Else Can I Do” is another song from the album, and it is performed by Diane Guerrero, who voices the character of Isabella, Mirabel’s 21-year-old sister. All her life, Isabella, was taught to be perfect from the inside and also from the outside. Since she has the miracle of blooming flowers, she represents beauty and perfection, and because of this, she is favored by Abuela a lot. She is loved by Mariano, a hunky and kind-hearted man in the town, and wants to marry her.

However, Isabella doesn’t want to marry Mariano but she can’t refuse the offer as she needs everyone to think she is perfect. This song is played in the movie when Isabella accidentally grows a cactus and hence her imperfect side is revealed. This is totally Isabella’s song who realizes that she should embrace her imperfections and break the image that everyone has made about her all these years.

The next song we will talk about is “Dos Oruguitas”, which translates to “Two Caterpillars”. This song is performed by Sebastian Yatra, and it tells the story of Abuela Alma and Abuelo Pedro, about how they fell in love and how strong their relationship is.

They were both young like caterpillars when they fell in love and got married, and together they explored their life. But the unfortunate events arrive and now they have to change themself to butterflies in order to fight for their survival. “Dos Orguitas” is a very beautiful song and it will surely make you emotional, and the lyrics are also very beautiful and meaningful.

Probably the most popular song of the movie is “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”, which has been stuck in the tip of the tongue of everyone who watched this movie. This song is performed by a lot of cast members of Encanto and tells the story of Bruno Madrigal, Mirabel’s uncle. Bruno had the miracle to see the future and because of this, he is not preferred by anyone as they think he only predicts bad things to happen. He predicted that there will be rain at Pepa and Felix’s wedding, and hence they got married in a hurricane.

As Dolores can hear everything, she can hear Bruno inside the walls of the house, and Camilo goes on to explain how Bruno is friends with the rats and how he can spoil the future of everyone. He even predicts the future of the townspeople, Dolores and Isabella. The storytelling of this song is amazing and it is really appreciable how the song is a medley of different genres combined in one.

“Colombia, Mi Encanto” is another song from the movie. Since the movie is set in Colombia, this song is a way of telling how much we love Colombia. The song is played during the ceremony of Mirabel’s youngest cousin, Antonio, getting his power, and the whole town comes together to see that moment. The song is like a tribute to the country of Colombia and appreciating the beauty the nation holds.

Finally, we will be talking about the song “All of You”, which is played at the end of the movie. This song perfectly fits the ending by explaining and clarifying things. The song goes on to say that even if the magic is broken, their magic is not everything in their life. The song also clarifies that Bruno actually talked about Pepa sweating during her wedding, which she misunderstood as rain.

The song says that even if the seasons change, the family will remain together forever. The song also tells how Isabella is not interested in Mariano and matches him with Dolores, who had a crush on him. This is the song where Mirabel finally gets her own magical door which is the door of Casita itself as she is the one to keep the family together.

Encanto will definitely be incomplete without the music as the songs have such a strong storytelling and a plot. We must really praise Miranda for writing all these songs and giving the magic to the movie through the music.

Which one is your favorite song in Encanto? Do let us know.


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