Beautifully enchanting and original while still following the familiar Disney Animation model, Encanto thrives with its vibrant visuals and catchy tunes, though a flawed story and rushed resolution hinders its success.
Young Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz) is the only one in her family not to receive a unique magical gift, but she may the Madirgal’s last hope to save the magic itself. A story of family acceptance and individuality, Encanto hooks viewers from the very beginning with all of the charm and intrigue one would expect from a Disney film. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s songs are immediately recognizable as the product of the talented writer and insatiably melodious, especially “Surface Pressure.” The voice acting, particularly the efforts from Beatriz and John Leguizamo, are well cast while the animation is stunningly sharp. The story, however, grinds to a halt in the third act, taking the exceptionally heavy momentum and quickly settling the plot’s drama in an unsatisfying manner.
Encanto suffers from the lack of a true villain, a mainstay of Disney projects and not a usual inclusion that I would be upset about a film missing, but the relied upon family drama isn’t enough to carry the day. The idea behind the film is unique and fresh, but could have used more fleshing out; the third act seems as though it was thrown together at the last minute. Still, Encanto is a typical animated film from Disney that is sure to be a hit with families over the holiday season.
Disney’s Encanto hits theaters this Wednesday.
Photo from NBC News