Review: Encanto

Title: Encanto
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Charise Castro Smith

What It Is: La Familia Madrigal are magical. Each member possesses a gift. These gifts vary and they’re used to strengthen and further the community they live in. Lemme rephrase that…not ever member possesses a gift. You see Mirabel (Beatriz) did not get a gift. That doesn’t stop her from loving her family and her community. It seems though that the magic is desipating. The candle that has lit the families casita for two generations is fading. They think this is the fault of Maribel and her uncle Bruno (who we aren’t going to talk about).

What We Think: I dispise giving Disney credit for literally anything. That said they earned it here. From the incredible music (written by genius Lin-Manuel Miranda) to the stellar animation this is the first time in a while (Moana) that I can say Disney put in effort and it pays dividends. I’m not talking about Pixar. I’m talking Disney proper here. All the characters feel fresh and fleshed out in a simple song (listen to it above). All the voice actors are incredibly well cast and do an amazing job with their roles. Everything breathes with the life and culture of Colombia from the decision made by Miranda in regards to instrumentation right on down to how each character looks. Everything so perfectly wraps itself into a story I found myself thoroughly enjoying.

Our Grade: A, One of the most enjoyable pieces I’ve seen in all of 2021. With it’s aesthetic and feeling planted firmly in the culture of the country the film takes place in, this is a great animated film that will surely push for the Oscar and it as well as The Mitchells vs the Machines will be the frontrunners…assuming Flee gets the love it deserves as a documentary as well as it being animated.