Jackson’s review published on Letterboxd:
The most fun I’ve had with an average film this year, but Encanto really tries to elaborate on a touching subject of togetherness but with every rushed plot line, it was hard to connect on an emotional level. Disney has always allowed for their films to apply relatable main figures, and I don’t know what it was with Encanto that didn’t do it for me. The problem wasn’t necessarily Mirabel, but the characters surrounding her as they come plain annoying most of the time. Then again, Mirabel really didn’t have that relatability like ones Disney have made in recent years like Raya or Judy Hopps. Just no connection to her that pulls you. Each song was written well enough, but it’s nowhere near defining Lin-Manuel Miranda’s career as they really died down from his normal, incredible caliber of song writing. Miranda is an extraordinary musician. He’s created far more than anyone else. The rhythms in his songs are very recognizable, but that’s where a problem could form for him later on in his career because if it continues not everyone will be impressed with what he writes and I think that’s a main complaint for me in Encanto cause that’s starting to sneak up on him and that affected the film.
The story felt insanely safe, it sped up in a lot of places, it never took the risk to become more than it is, whenever someone tried to be funny it was uncomfortable where they were placed and forced, but allowed for a few good chuckles here and there, and the big emotional spot with Mirabel & Abuela at the river was good until the writers decided to use that cringy comedic relief with Bruno. I was actually feeling something for the first time then it was ruined. Yet, while Disney didn’t hit it out of the park with this one, they still continue to blow my mind with their animation and here it was the best quality of the entire film. It was what kept me from being zoned out most of the time actually, and suited its style with illuminating colors and extravagant scenes whether it was Casita or the visuals of Isabel’s flower power(HA), it was my favorite part for sure.
Overall, don’t expect a phenomenal 60th Disney Animation Film, but expect to at least have fun with it. What I’d say about it, to sum it up, is imagine mixing Coco & Moana and dialing down on the emotional weight and making it more of a filler in on the sappy, cheesy stuff. But I had fun, and I’ll say it’ll be a revisit to examine further.
🔙AFTER. WE. FUCK.