Encanto ★★★★

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A young Colombian girl has to face the frustration of being the only member of her family without magical powers.

Encanto is easily one of the most joyous times at the theater this year. Effortlessly mixing a celebration of culture with top-notch animation, this Disney outing does everything it needs to and more. While it may be one that includes a few more kid-centric jokes than most of the modern Disney movies, that audience is going to love it even more because of that. All of this starts with Stephanie Beatriz as Mirabel because her performance injects so much life into this already stunning experience. Mirabel’s entire life has been a bit more difficult than that of her siblings because she does not have a special gift. She is surrounded by individuals with super strength, the ability to heal, and more, and this causes her to feel less important than she actually is. When this prophecy involving her is revealed, our journey begins, and this is one that involves so many unexpected elements.

The road itself leads us to familiar territory, but the journey features some incredible character-centric moments. Almost every supporting player gets a song or portion of one, and each song is filled with beautiful animation. Disney is always providing us with phenomenal visuals, but this movie is as good as it gets. The detail is impeccable here, but the character movements and choreography standout. The characters are moving and dancing in a way that makes these scenes feel real. Not only is the dancing great, but a few of these songs are ridiculously catchy. You expect nothing less with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s touch, but there is something extra special about this one. Not every song is top-notch, but most of them are excellent. The overall story is one that features a great lesson. I’m always on the lookout for something the kids will be able to take home with them beyond the art style and songs, and our lead’s journey is genuinely moving. It may even be a film that is too fast-paced for some, as two or three scenes move a bit too quick, but most of the story is expertly paced. It just a rock-solid animated film. Encanto is absolutely worth watching on the big screen.

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