When Disney first announced their latest feature film, Encanto, I knew I wanted to see it would be a must-see for our family. I’m a Latina mom who holds on tight to my family’s roots and I adore Disney. I would never expect that this movie that intertwined our language and culture with dynamic and colorful characters would capture my heart (and my daughters’ hearts) as much as it did. Here is one Latina mom’s honest review of Disney’s Encanto.

Representation Matters

The fact that the characters were all of varying skin tones with their unique  hair types shows that Disney genuinely took a look at the makeup of Latino families. Latino families can oftentimes trace their roots back to African heritage, as much as to Spanish colonialism. 

Within one of the Madrigal children’s famlies, there are mixes of Afro-Latinos and lighter-skinned Latinos and that is how so many of our Latinx families look today.

Protect the Familia

Nearly 1/3 of of Latino homes are multigenerational. While all cultures emphasize family, Latinos are unique in that they make up less than 5 percent of those in nursing homes. When it comes to our families, we do anything and everything we can for them. Our first friends are our cousins and holidays are spent with distant relatives and even those lifelong friends that we call “familia”.  Disney’s Encanto captures this beautifully as three generations live in one home.

Strong Female Leads

As a mom of two girls, I want to be sure to teach them that they can save themselves when it comes to problems. While it’s okay to seek help from others, it’s still important to be capable. This can be seen in three characters: Abuela, Maribel and even Isabela. Abuela had to raise her three children alone – a feat reminiscent of my own Abuela once my grandfather was no longer around. Maribel takes it upon herself to save her family’s magic – albeit with some help of a male family member – without waiting for others to push her towards it. Luisa, the oldest of Mirabel’s sisters even takes it literal as she is the physically strongest one in the family. Isabela – I won’t spoil this too much – also learns some lessons along the way.

Overall, Disney’s Encanto is hands down one of the most visually stunning films we have ever seen and their soundtrack is still our go-to for road trips or quick rides.