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Blu-Ray : Recommended
Ranking:
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Release Date: February 8th, 2022 Movie Release Year: 2021

Encanto

Overview -

Encanto is the latest animated Disney film that impresses with its uncanny, beautiful visuals, along with its memorable music cues, and teaches the masses more about the greatness of Colombian culture. While doing this though, it strays into its formula Disney story tropes and does nothing different in that regard. Other than that, this is a wonderful film, fun for the whole family. The 1080p HD transfer looks beautiful and bright but is a slight step below the 4K version and the DTS-HD 7.1 track is virtually the same as the Dolby Atmos track sans the height speakers. The special features though are wonderful. Recommended!

Read our Encanto 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Encanto tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto.

Special Features:

  • Introduction – Heads of Story Jason Hand and Nancy Kruse present four scenes not seen in the film's release, but were part of the journey toward the final version of the story.
  • Chores! – Abuela has sent most of the family to town on various assignments that bring them acclaim, while Mirabel, her father and uncle are asked to clean the house.
  • Another Way In – Mirabel attempts to understand a clue found in her uncle's vision. To make this happen, she must go through Antonio's room, where adventures unfold.
  • Isabela Goes Into the Woods – When Mirabel sees her sister head for apparent danger in the woods, she races to save her, and encounters the surprise of a lifetime!
  • Back to the Mural – Feeling rejected, Mirabel goes back to town. Abuela seeks her out and reveals a part of her personality that her granddaughter has never seen.
  • The Family Madrigal
  • Colombia, Mi Encanto
  • Waiting on a Miracle
  • Surface Pressure
  • We Don't Talk About Bruno
  • What Else Can I Do
  • Dos Oruguitas
  • All of You
  • Sing Along with the Movie – Sing along with your favorite songs with on-screen lyrics as you watch the movie.
  • Familia Lo Es Todo – Members of the Disney Animation "Familia" cultural trust share real-life experiences in this exploration of the lovable Madrigal family members. We learn what inspired each character, and about how the artists' designs bring realism to their personalities.
  • Discover Colombia – The filmmaking team discusses how the multiple cultures, biodiversity and vibrant colors of Colombia are expressed in Encanto. They describe how satisfying it was to fully celebrate this beautiful country and support the theme of magical realism.
  • A Journey Through Music – The filmmakers invite us to discover how each character came to be represented musically. We follow the creation of Encanto's Colombian-inspired music, featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda's songs and Germaine Franco's score, from concept to final recording.
  • Let's Talk About Bruno – Learn how the song "We Don't Talk About Bruno," with its intriguing undertones, was created. Discover the extensive collaboration between Lin-Manuel Miranda, choreographer Jamal Sims, the voice cast and animators in bringing it to the screen.
  • Our Casita – La Casa Madrigal is alive with magic, and its emotional state is affected by other family members. From its colorful doors to its fine stonework, the magical house was designed using principles of Colombian tradition.
  • Outtakes – From the thrill of "nailing" a take in the presence of an entertainment industry icon to the hilarity of losing a wrestling match with tongue-twisting dialogue, join the cast for some good-natured fun from behind the microphone.
  • Journey to Colombia – With the help of the Colombian Cultural Trust, a dedicated team of consultants, the filmmakers of Encanto embark on a journey of discovery to learn more about Colombia and how best to reflect the country's cultures and environments on the big screen.
  • An Introduction to Far From the Tree – Writer and director Natalie Nourigat introduces the Walt Disney Animation Studios short film Far From the Tree.
  • Far From the Tree – Parenting is hard, especially when curiosity tugs at a young raccoon whose parent tries to keep them both safe. In the Walt Disney Animation Studios short Far From the Tree, this youngster learns to live with an open heart… even as danger lurks.
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Song Selection – Jump to your favorite musical moments, with on-screen lyrics.

OVERALL:
Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Blu-ray + Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p AVC/MPEG-4
Length:
99
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.85:1
Audio Formats:
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish
Release Date:
February 8th, 2022

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:


[Excerpt from our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review]

Disney certainly has a formula for animated movies that are tried and true. Rarely does the studio giant deviate from its projected path with the exception of different characters and music, but the story always remains the same for most cases and purposes. With their most recent animated feature Encanto, the story resembles everything that's come before it in Disney but features a wonderful and original cast of characters and magic that bring this story and family to life. With some memorable music and characters, Encanto impresses with its visuals, songs, and voice work, despite its rote storyline. Recommended!

Disney has jumped into the Colombian realm with Encanto, something they really haven't done before as the film examines the fantastic elements of the Colombian culture, traditions, and its people. The wonderful original song cues emote those excellent sounds of South America at every needle drop and give way to some exquisite new ideas and tunes that are not just pop tunes in the top 40 chart. Navigating a wide array of characters in this family could be tiresome, but the filmmakers do a good job in letting everyone have their own personality quirks and time to shine to make a fluid and smooth movie.

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Encanto conjures its way to a two-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital release from Disney. The discs are housed in a hard, blue plastic two-disc case with an identical cardboard slipcover. The artwork features the wonderful visuals of the animated cast and their home. There is an insert for the digital code as well to Movies Anywhere, along with some more Disney promotions.

Video Review

Ranking:

Encanto enchants with a glorious 1080p HD transfer in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 that is simply divine. The 4K image is better, but this HD picture is very beautiful. Colors are vivid and striking with every nuanced color having a life of its own. The South American color palette of the village and of the Madrigal house is ripe with primary colors and is beautiful every time it's on-screen. This is the brighter image of the two versions, but where it excels in brightness, it lacks perfect black levels in nighttime sequences, which tend to be on the brighter side of things.

The detail is fantastic as well, revealing individual strands of animated hairs and textures in clothing and inside the house. The magic elements look wonderful too but can look a little soft at times. This is where the 4K with HDR picks up the slack. This is a fantastic look HD image with zero problems of aliasing, banding, or noise.

Audio Review

Ranking:

This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio mix instead of the 4K's Dolby Atmos track. The track is pretty much identical to that with the exception of the height speaker sounds, which again, don't release a ton of sound. But the same issue with the bass and low end are still present here.

 

Special Features

Ranking:

There's a whopping 152 minutes of bonus material here, involving some great info on the Colombian culture, their research, and the production of the film. These were a lot of fun to watch. 

  • Sing-Along With The Movie - While watching the movie, a text track of the lyrics pops up.
  • Far From The Tree (HD, 8 Mins.) - The short film that played before Encanto in theaters, that follows a couple of raccoons.
  • Familia Lo Es Todo (HD, 24 Mins.) - A three-part featurette that covers most elements of production, including the story, themes, tones, origins, the family, the research of Colombian culture, voice work, and more. There are some great interviews with the cast and crew here.
  • Discover Colombia (HD, 18 Mins.) - A two-part featurette that explores Colombia with the filmmakers scouting locations and using real-life settings for their film.
  • A Journey Through Music (HD, 25 Mins.) - A three-part featurette that covers all aspects of the music in the film, from the original songs to the score, and its Colombian influences.
  • Let's Talk About Bruno (HD, 9 Mins.) - A fun extra that reveal the secrets about the film's most fascinating character.
  • Our Casita (HD, 11 Mins.) - A two-part featurette that covers the elements of the magical house, village, and more.
  • Outtakes (HD, 3 Mins.) - Some fun gags with the voice cast reading their lines.
  • Journey to Colombia (HD, 3 Mins.) - Another brief look at the scouting trip to Colombia to draw inspiration visually for the film.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 21 Mins.) - There are four deleted scenes here with intros by the writers and story-heads.
  • Song Selection (HD, 30 Mins.) - Click these buttons on-screen to access the songs from the film.

Final Thoughts

Encanto is a great, wonderfully made, visually stunning, musically lifting Disney film. The attention on the Colombian culture is fantastic and its characters are memorable, despite the same old story being told that everyone's seen time and time again in Disney films. The 1080p HD image looks stunning and the 7.1 DTS-HD audio track sounds pretty good. That being said, the 4K Disc outshines this Blu-ray Disc with its better visual enhancements. There are some truly fantastic bonus features here as well. Recommended!