Encanto – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

For years now, Disney’s animated studios have given us whole new ways to tell a story. Instead of the usual princess and good versus evil films, we get movies that touch upon deeper emotional themes. We saw this in flicks like Frozen and Inside Out, and we get it again with Disney’s Encanto. The film is another splendid version of this type of storytelling. Encanto is a beautifully rich world full of compelling characters, culture, and self-discovery. It’s also high on family drama and low in the action department.

That’s not to say that Encanto isn’t bursting with energy and life. The characters and Colombian setting are engaging, exciting, and fascinating. Mirabel’s journey of self-discovery rarely takes her outside her own home, which is completely fine in this case. This inanimate house is overflowing with personality, culture, and charm—something that Disney has always been very good at doing. 

Of course, the film wouldn’t be what it is without the musical numbers by Lin-Manuel Miranda. He previously worked on songs for Moana, and his work here is up to that level. Sure, the hip-hop rhyming schemes aren’t as refined as the one he brought to Hamilton, but it’s still very catchy. The film’s standout song is obviously “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” The medley features some intricate rhyming and storytelling that only Lin-Manuel can provide. Although it’s seemingly flown underneath the radar, “Dos Oruguitas” is a sweet ballad that’s deserving of its recent Oscar nomination.

Overall, Encanto ranks up there with Mitchells vs. the Machines as one of the best-animated films of 2021. It’s also a superb visual and musical experience with a heartfelt message about family. It is remarkable how much Encanto expands upon the boundaries of the Disney formula while also showcasing the studio’s artistry and ingenuity. It’s an all-in-one package.

Movie Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Encanto - Wilmer Valderrama, Angie Cepeda, María Cecilia Botero, Carolina Gaitan, Stephanie Beatriz, Diane Guerrero, Adassa, Ravi Cabot-Conyers, Rhenzy Feliz, Jessica Darrow, and Mauro Castillo

Video

Encanto hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with an HDR10 transfer and a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. With a film such as this, the brightness and animation always look fantastic. Also, the black levels are deep and inky, which gives way to nice-looking nighttime scenes. The added HDR grading also allows these details to live in these darker scenes along with the more action-packed scenes, never getting lost in the shadows.

However, the real highlight of the Ultra HD release is the color palette, and it looks stellar from start to finish. The primary colors are vibrant and bold on all fronts. It’s a cornucopia of colors that’s a perfect balance of colors true to South America. At the same time, the textures, clothing, and the house and village all look wonderful. Of course, you should expect this from Disney animation.

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms

Encanto - Stephanie Beatriz

Audio

Encanto hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This review will reflect Encanto‘s Dolby Atmos track. This is one of the better Dolby Atmos tracks that Disney has released. The sound effects in the mix have excellent directionality and seamlessly travel through the soundstage during big action sequences. Not to mention, the overheads get some love on this track too. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s something you’ll distinctly hear—especially when cracks form around the house or when a storm occurs over Pepa’s head. At the same time, the atmospheric effects of the Madrigal magic, along with the noise in the village, are exceptional as well.

Of course, music plays an enormous role in this flick. The instruments are separated and sound dynamic across all channels in the soundstage. Dialogue is clean and clear and free of any audio problems. Unfortunately, the Atmos mix is devoid of any bassy punch in the mix. There just isn’t any power to any of the songs or special effects. It’s one of the few downsides of this stellar mix.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Encanto - Stephanie Beatriz and John Leguizamo

Special Features

Encanto‘s Ultra HD Blu-ray disc doesn’t have any special features on it. However, you can find the following special features on the 1080p Blu-ray disc:

  • Sing-Along With The Movie
  • Far from the Tree: Theatrical Short Film
  • Familia lo es Todo
  • Discover Colombia
  • A Journey Through Music
  • Let’s Talk About Bruno
  • Our Casita
  • Outtakes
  • Journey to Colombia
  • Deleted Scenes (with Introductions by Jason Hand and Nancy Kruse)
    • Chores!
    • Another Way In
    • Isabela Goes into the Woods
    • Back to the Mural
  • Song Selection
    • “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”
Features Assessment

Of course, it should be without saying what the sing-along and song selection is all about. The same thing can be said for the cute and touching animated short, Far from the Tree. “Familia lo es Todo” is a three-part featurette chronicling much of the film’s production. From the research on Colombian culture to family experiences, this comprehensive documentary looks at the facets of the film’s production.

Both “Discover Colombia” and “Journey to Colombia” are featurettes that take a look even further into the amount of research and inspiration the Disney team did into the look and feel of Encanto. “Journey Through Music” is a three-part featurette that showcases all aspects of the film’s Colombian-inspired music—from the original songs by Lin-Manuel to the score by Germaine Franco. With “Our Casita,” the feature highlights the magical house and the village. 

Next, “Let’s Talk About Bruno” is an entertaining feature that focuses on the black sheep of the Madrigal family. At the same time, the outtake reel is a hilarious montage of the behind-the-scenes recording session screw-ups by the voice cast. The deleted scenes come with introductions by the writers and story-heads. Thus, you get a look into why the scene was cut in the first place.

Special Features Rating: 4/5 atoms


Overall, Encanto is a heartfelt celebration of family and Colombian culture wrapped up in a sweet little package. Thankfully, the video and audio are on the same level as the stunning animation in terms of quality. Also, there is a lot of quality content to see in the bonus features section.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Encanto is now available in stores on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment.

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