Is Disney’s Encanto ok for children to see? Encanto Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, an honest parent guide to the new Walt Disney Studios animated film release. No spoilers! #Encanto May contain commissioned links.
Encanto Movie Review | Safe for Kids?
The magical of feeling of being almost “back to normal.”
Thanksgiving dinner with family followed by a new family movie to watch together in the theaters. You can almost taste the holiday season right around the corner. Walt Disney Animation Studios is back again creating the magic of an original animated film. After Raya and the Last Dragon‘s success, the Disney fan in me couldn’t be happier to see another NEW original film for a change. No live-action remake. No unasked-for sequel.
But with the all-new animated film, Disney’s Encanto, will we be charmed by the magic – or will families find the magic sorely lacking? In this Encanto Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, we explore the visuals, the story line (no spoilers!), and fully breakdown that PG rating for parents, including my age recommendation for kids wanting to watch. Another Raya and the Last Dragon success or too extraordinary for 2021?
Per usual, Walt Disney Animation Studios does NOT disappoint. Take the vibrant color combo of Pixar’s Coco and the CGI animation of Moana rolled into one beautiful film set in the mountains of Columbia. A South American influenced film, you are immediately drawn to the architecture, the culture, the dress, the colors. And Disney does an amazing job as usual making the animation the absolute shining star of the movie.
The Encanto story premise is magical. A fairy tale sprinkled into a magical, deep rooted family combined with Disney songs, it sounds too good to be true. And honestly, it was.
Maybe I’m spoiled because Walt Disney Animation already came out with an AMAZING animated film earlier this year (hello, Raya – and yes, that was released in 2021). But Encanto for me was missing some of the key elements to EVERY successful story. Unfortunately, I cannot share what those are because um, spoilers. But I will say on the scale of Tangled/Zootopia amazing to Bolt/Meet the Robinsons blah (yeah, I’m going there), the Encanto plot line is no Tangled nor Zootopia level.
While I can appreciate the rich culture and diversity of South America introduced in this film, for non-Latin folks (aka me), Encanto may feel a little familiar. Pixar’s Coco really drove home a message of love, family, music and one heck of a story – that you really felt the depths of each character.
However, with Encanto, everything is a little fast – a little too fast. The character building is dizzying fast-paced with multiple family members, setting, culture and history to all be revealed to the audience in a finite amount of time. Understood considering the unusually short runtime for a Disney film. With muddled characters, and HUGE anticlimactic story parts missing (see above), you come out of Encanto feeling a little cheated of the “Coco feels.”
But I’m a story lover. And for me, Disney missed the mark on the story telling, a huge identifier of what sets Disney apart from any other movie franchise. It’s hard to describe, but I walked away with Onward vibes. Was the story good? Yes. Was it Disney great? No.
But then we get to the music. Surely the Disney songs will tie everything together with a sweet bow? It’s true, Disney animated musicals are back. And with Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Moana“) at the helm, I had high hopes and even higher expectations for an award-winning original Encanto soundtrack that’s moving, catchy, sing-along belt in the car worthy, and 100% Disney feels.
But honestly Encanto is not Moana soundtrack level either. Maybe a little rushed for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s mind, but I felt that the catchy-ness was not on par with what was delivered in the 2016 Moana film. Perhaps the pandemic has gotten to all of our creative juices, even some of the great musical geniuses.
But all of this to say that Encanto is not a failure. This post-pandemic movie still charms us with the magic of family. With huge lessons to be learned about individuality, acceptance, love, empowerment, mental health and the importance of family, unexpected plot twists and a few laugh out loud moments, Encanto delights even the youngest kids with awe and wonder that has Disney written all over it.
With enough movement and action to keep everyone in the family engaged, Encanto still a good movie choice as we move into the holidays which is all about, yup you guessed it, family. Not quite as low as a Treasure Island, Atlantis or Bolt level, Encanto holds it’s own as a movie where the audience will embrace Mirabel and the Madrigals as part of the Disney family.
That PG Rating
Is Encanto safe for kids? It’s no secret that I am highly skeptical of all children age ratings (um hello, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker not disclosing any language??). But you also know how I feel about PG ratings especially. With MPAA ratings unpredictable these days, PG rating oscillating between Incredibles 2 intense and Luca calm, having fully disclosed parent guidelines can be super helpful in determining if a movie is safe for your whole family to watch, especially for your littlest kids. (I see you, Soul.)
Why is Encanto rated PG? In this Encanto Movie Review | Safe for Kids? Disney’s Encanto movie is rated PG for “some thematic elements, mild peril.” Is Encanto movie safe for kids to watch? Or should parents be worried about another questionable PG rated Disney animated film? Let’s breakdown that MPAA rating for parents.
Language. None. So happy to see that this family film being release around the Thanksgiving holiday is safe for even the littlest ears. No swear words or bad language to report. However, cautious parents will want to keep in mind that there is one “Oh g-d” reference said by a main character that may be seen as offensive. There’s also references to comparing oneself to being a “loser” or “dumb.” Very mild.
Violence. Is Encanto movie too scary for kids? When the MPAA says mild peril, they’re referring to some of the action and suspense in the film. One scene with implied death/grief. There is also swords present but not used. Mild cartoon blood is present (scratch level, not copious), and potentially grotesque human disfigurement is seen (but used as comedic relief). Very mild overall, this is easily comparable to the peril level of Frozen, Coco, or Raya. Very Disney-esque.
Adult Themes. So here’s where the “some thematic elements” come into play for that PG rating. Some mild scary character moments are seen but are quickly diffused within the same scenes. Again, very mild. There are glasses of wine present and the pouring of wine from a bottle, though no character is seen drinking alcohol from the glasses.
What Encanto Movie Age Rating Is Recommended for Kids?
Is Encanto movie kid friendly? Disney’s Encanto is an original animated film with a runtime of 98 minutes, the perfect length for kids, even those wiggle worms. With sing-along songs, inviting colorful visuals and enough action to keep children engaged for the full hour and a half, it’s tempting to pack up the whole family after a full Thanksgiving meal and run to the theaters. But what Encanto age rating is recommended for kids?
From this mom movie reviewer’s perspective, what age is recommended to watch Encanto movie? The MPAA rating actually surprised me. I would recommend Disney’s Encanto movie for kids of all ages. I’m actually shocked this wasn’t rated G (like Toy Story 4) instead of PG. While certainly geared towards younger kids (preschool and up), older kids, teens and even adults will find this Disney movie to be good.
Has Walt Disney Animation Studios delivered another successful animated film? Just barely. While I definitely had the “pull at the heartstrings” and tears in my eyes, Disney’s Encanto movie is not quite the animated film that I hoped for. With huge story elements missing, quick once-over characters, and lower tier music, the audience is unable to relate to the characters with their full hearts – as much as one would with Pixar’s Coco.
I said it. Encanto is no Coco. Overshadowed by the Pixar movie cousin, I feel that families will forever compare but not fully embrace Encanto as a stand-alone Disney film. I walked away from Coco with a new appreciation for Mexican culture and the Day of the Dead. I walked away from Encanto still having no clue what Columbian culture is.
That isn’t to say that Encanto is a failure. With some unexpected plot twists, a couple of catchy songs (Luisa’s song is my favorite), a few laughs, important life lesson messages, an overall happy vibe, and an 8 minute Far from The Tree short, Encanto is a good, but not great Walt Disney Animation Studios film to welcome in the 2021 holiday season.
But is Encanto good enough to be memorable? We’ll have to let the family decide.
Don’t forget to grab your 16 pages of FREE Encanto Printable Coloring Sheets and Kids Activity Pages too!
Follow Disney’s Encanto movie on social:
- Website: https://movies.disney.com/encanto
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EncantoMovie/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/EncantoMovie
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/encantomovie/
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The all-new original movie, Disney’s Encanto debuts in theaters on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday November 24, 2021. Will your family be watching?
I was invited to screen this film in exchange for this Encanto Movie Review | Safe for Kids? All photos courtesy of Disney. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more movie updates, celebrity interviews, entertainment and behind-the-scenes info!