I Went to See ‘Encanto,’ and Well, Here’s What Happened

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Encanto (CREDIT:
Walt Disney Animation Studios/Screenshot)

Starring: Stephanie Beatriz, John Leguizamo, María Cecilia Botero, Diane Guerrero, Jessica Darrow, Angie Cepeda, Wilmer Valderrama, Carolina Gaitán

Directors: Jared Bush and Byron Howard

Running Time: 109 Minutes

Rating: PG

Release Date: November 24, 2021

When I went to see Encanto, I was all ready to stay awake and enjoy a movie, but then … I started nodding off. And it kept happening throughout most of the movie! (This is becoming a bit of a pattern for me when it comes to animated Thanksgiving Disney releases.) I thought I would be able to make it all the way through just fine! The showtime wasn’t that late, and it wasn’t a particularly tiring day! But movie theaters just always make me sleepy now that I’m the age that I am. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t fully unconscious for any prolonged stretches, but it still felt like I missed something, although my viewing companion assured me that I got the gist. I wish I had more to say about the actual content, but my drive for shuteye was undeniably the biggest force of this cinematic experience. Oh, well. I hope Stephanie Beatriz shows up in more movies soon enough.

Grade: Tres Maribels out of Cinco Madrigals

Onward I Go with My Thoughts on ‘Onward’

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CREDIT: Pixar/YouTube Screenshot

There’s a certain trope that’s kind of popular in TV and movies. And you can tell that it’s popular because the characters are always so enthusiastic when it happens. In fact, it’s kind of defined by its enthusiasm. I’m talking about, you guessed it, the almighty Title Drop! It’s that triumphant moment when movie characters say the name of the movie within the course of the movie itself. If they do it really well, it makes you go, “Hey, that’s the name of the movie!” (Thanks, Arrested Development!) And Onward, as it turns out, has a doozy of a title drop. In fact, I’ve decided I would like to evaluate the entire film based on how strong that title drop is.

But first, I’ll run through some more straightforward thoughts I have. This tale of elf bros Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt) attempting to resurrect their dad for one day feels like a pretty straightforward quest adventure, although it does have the added twist of taking place in a world where magic has petered out despite the population of magical creatures. Ultimately a big part of your enjoyment of Onward will likely depend on how much you connect to its message of brotherhood. And as a brother, and someone who has a brother, I must fairly say, I felt the brotherly vibes. If you too are a brother, or have ever imagined what it feels like to be a brother, you might feel similarly.

Now, back to that title drop. As the action is really starting to ramp up, with Ian taking the wheel of Barley’s trusty van Guinevere, Barley commands, “Put it in ‘O’ for ‘Onward’!”

Did that moment make me go … well, you know?

Indeed it did.

Success!