Disney Animation's new feature, Encanto, is a beautiful film with some of the most stunning computer animation in recent memory and a score from Hamilton legend, Lin Manuel Miranda.

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Disney Encanto Movie Review

The movie tells the story of the Madrigal family and their enchanted house that provides them with magic and their village with protection. When new Madrigal family children come of age, they are granted a special magical talent to share with the village. Of course, something goes “terribly wrong” with this tradition and the young Madrigal that is our protagonist does not receive a power. Through her grappling with this fate she uncovers the true power of the house and meaning of family.

The computer animation in the film is stunning with a diverse set of visuals in the transforming rooms throughout the house. I was blown away by the popping colors and details throughout the film. This is next level animation. The animators perfectly capture the popping colors of the Colombian culture from the details of the architecture to the clothing pieces worn by the characters.

The film tells a story that is rooted in and respectful of Latino culture. It is always exciting to see less frequently represented cultures on screen and Encanto is no exception. With the base of incredible animation, the story weaves a beautiful background with believable cultural elements.

The storytelling throughout the film is powered by the great music from Lin Manuel-Miranda. The songs were upbeat and big. While there was nothing as catchy or ear worm inducing as his songs from Moana or Hamilton, the music was a nice addition to the film – think In the Heights.

The movie does not follow a traditional animation structure of a hero and villain and instead focuses on shifting family dynamics. While I appreciate the family movements and character development, I felt that the film lacked tension and heightened stakes. The film also didn't feel as large as some other Disney Animation films as the entire story was set in and around the magical house. I kept waiting for the story to explode into a bigger theatrical worthy adventure.

The film is a nice addition to the Disney Animation library. It is not a top 10 film for me, but is a fun movie for the holiday season. The movie is in theaters now and is coming to Disney Plus on December 24th just in time for Christmas.

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