Encanto

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Disney;
Animated;
Box Office $95.36 million;
$29.99 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray, $43.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG’ for some thematic elements and mile peril.
Voices of Stephanie Beatriz, María Cecilia Botero, John Leguizamo, Jessica Darrow, Angie Cepeda, Carolina Gaitán, Diane Guerrero.

The 60th feature film from the Walt Disney Animation studio, the colorful Encanto provides a heartfelt story with strong Latin American flair that will keep audiences thoroughly entertained.

With songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the film tells the story of a small Colombian village protected by magic and watched over by the Madrigal family. The family’s matriarch, Abuela (María Cecilia Botero), was fleeing oppression with her three children when her husband was killed by a pursuing force. Out of anger and despair, she unleashes a magical blast that propels her attackers and creates the encanto, a charmed realm hidden by mountains. The magic protecting the new village is contained in a perpetually lit candle that gives members of the Madrigal family special powers on their fifth birthday, with the exception of Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz), who is seemingly given no gift.

Now 15 and coping with being the only member of her family without powers, Mirabel finds herself as the key to resolving a prophecy that could mean the end of the encanto and the destruction of her family.

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Among the slew of extras is a sing-along mode that displays lyrics on screen, and the ability to jump to any song in the film.

Featurettes include the 24-minute “Familia lo es Todo” about the film’s strong family themes, the 17-and-a-half-minute “Discover Colombia” about the cultural touchstones of the film, the 24-minute “A Journey Through Music,” the eight-minute “Let’s Talk About Bruno” about a key character and the signature song focused on him, the 10-and-a-half-minute “Our Casita” about the film’s magical living house, and the two-and-a-half minute travelogue “Journey to Colombia.”

There’s also a three-minute clip of outtakes, and four deleted sequences in storyboard form that with filmmaker introductions run a total of about 20 minutes.

Also accompanying the film is the delightful nine-minute animated short Far From the Tree about a family of raccoons that imparts harsh survival lessons down through the generations.

Netflix to Open Office in Colombia

Netflix will open an office in Bogotá, Colombia, the company announced.

“Ten years ago Colombia opened its doors to Netflix, a new way to enjoy the best series and movies directly in their homes,” read a Netflix announcement. “A few years later we embarked on our first local production and quickly witnessed the incredible talent of the country and the opportunity to create Colombian stories, by Colombians. This led to series such as ‘Siempre Bruja,’ ‘Distrito Salvaje,’ ‘Chichipatos,’ ‘Frontera Verde’ and ‘El Robo del Siglo’; comedy specials such as those of Liss Pereira, Ricardo Quevedo, Antonio Sanint, Julian Arango and Alejandro Riaño; and movies such as Lavaperros, but our story in Colombia is only starting.”

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The new office “will allow us to be even closer to the creative community and our members, taking Colombian stories to millions of homes around the world so that they can discover the incredible potential, talent, landscapes and culture of this country,” according to the Netflix announcement.

Additionally, through 2022, Netflix will bow more than 30 new projects, which include the already announced “Ritmo Salvaje,” “Locombianos,” “Juanpis,” “Nada Es Igual,” a comedy show starring Alejandra Azcárate, “Goles en Contra,” ‘Pálpito,” “Perfil Falso,” “Diomedes” and “Chichipatos” season two.

The titles are part of Netflix’s local content investment of more than $175 million since 2014, according to the announce.

Report: Netflix a Fiscal Deal in Colombia; Less So in Iran

Netflix invented the loss-leader subscription streaming video-on-demand market, a business model that has essentially upended how Hollywood markets movies and TV shows to consumers.

But apparently that’s not enough of an incentive for some pundits.

An extensive report by London-based research firm Comparitech analyzed in which country Netflix  offered the best/least economic value to consumers.

In short, Netflix Colombia and Netflix India offer the best value to subscribers, while Netflix Iran  and Netflix Denmark offer the least value following analysis of 77 countries the Los Gatos, Calif.-based service offers service. The SVOD behemoth is available in 190 countries.

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Comparitech took the total number of movies and TV shows Netflix offers in country analyzed and then divided that number by the monthly subscription price — from basic to premium tier.

Notably, despite offering the most content in the United States, Netflix America did not rank among the Top 10 economically favorable (or unfavorable) markets for subscribers.

Indeed, the report found the United Kingdom fell out of the Top 10 when factoring in premium plans. The U.S. dropped to 18th from 13th when upgrading from basic to premium service.

Comparitech said the average cost of a title (worldwide) is $0.00202 for basic plan subscribers, $0.00134 for standard subs, and $0.00085 for premium.

Thus, the average Netflix sub globally pays 55% more per title for a basic plan than Colombians, and about 50% more per title for standard and premium plans than do subs in India.

Colombia also offers the least expensive Netflix monthly subscription at $4.90 per month for basic service. This is 60% less than the comparable basic plan in the United States; 50% cheaper than the premium plan.

On the flipside, basic subscribers ($9.99) in Iran pay an average of $0.00347 per title, based on a catalog of 2,301 titles, including 586 TV shows and 1,715 movies.

Basic subs ($14.84) in Denmark pay $0.00336 per title based on a catalog of 3,525 titles, including 1,063 TV shows and 2,462 movies.