When is Encanto coming to Disney Plus?

The cast of the Disney movie Encanto
(Image credit: Disney)

Families everywhere want to know when Encanto hits Disney Plus. It's the latest animated Disney film, telling the tale of the Madrigal family, who live in Colombia and all have magic powers. Or at least everyone but Mirabel (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz of Brooklyn Nine-Nine).

Encanto Disney Plus release date

Encanto hits Disney Plus (opens in new tab) on December 24, 2021.

But when her family's powers are in danger, Mirabel's the one who may actually save them all. Possibly because she's the one without magic, she's the one who will discover the truth about where her family's magical powers come from to try and save it all.

The only problem, though, is that Encanto wasn't a Disney Plus Premier Access movie. Disney's method of releasing movies in theaters and on Disney Plus (under a $30 paywall) was, yet again, skipped. It may appear to be dead, since it hasn't been used since July 30 for Jungle Cruise. 

But let's break down everything we know about Encanto coming to Disney Plus, and Disney's plans regarding big movies and its streaming service.

When will Encanto be on Disney Plus?

Encanto is the sole exception for the traditional patterns of movies hitting Disney Plus after theatrical runs. While Shang-Chi took 70 days to make it from theaters to Disney Plus, Encanto is taking 30 days, arriving on Disney Plus on December 24, a whole 30 days after its November 24 theatrical release.

Disney made this official in a press release (opens in new tab) this past September. 

Big movie Disney Plus releases examined

Disney's other big movies listed (The Last Duel, Ron's Gone Wrong, Eternals, West Side Story and The King's Man) will all have at least 45 days between their theatrical and streaming (we doubt The Last Duel will be on Disney Plus) dates. Ron's Gone Wrong is taking a little under two months, arriving on Disney Plus and HBO Max on Dec. 15 (after releasing on Oct. 22).

And as of now we still don't know when Eternals is arriving. If it follows Shang-Chi, expect an early January release. We would not be surprised, though, for Eternals to arrive earlier, as a Christmas Eve release would make some sense. Encanto and it serve different audiences, and this would give more people a reason to boot up Disney Plus during the holidays. Hawkeye ends on Dec. 22 and Book of Boba Fett hits on Dec. 29.

Streaming Guider (opens in new tab), which doesn't have a big track record, claims that Disney Plus told it that Eternals will arrive on Disney Plus on January 12, 2022. The reason to believe this is it's a 68-day gap, which is close to Shang-Chi's 70-day window. We doubt it, though, because January 12 is a Wednesday, and Disney seems to like to drop big movie releases (including Jungle Cruise, Shang-Chi and Encanto) on Fridays.

Why is Encanto not a Disney Plus Premier Access movie?

Disney didn't explain this decision outright, but it's the culmination of a series of decisions, starting with Shang-Chi's amazing opening weekend. Then, days later, Disney confirmed its plans in the aforementioned press release (opens in new tab) announcing Encanto's Disney Plus release date. 

The release quoted Kareem Daniel, Disney chairman in charge of Media & Entertainment Distribution as saying "As confidence in moviegoing continues to improve, we look forward to entertaining audiences in theaters, while maintaining the flexibility to give our Disney+ subscribers the gift of Encanto this holiday season."

In short, Disney believes that the box office is good enough for now. Who knows if the Omicron variant will change its calculus or change audiences' interest in going to theaters.

Henry T. Casey
Senior Editor

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.