Encanto

Encanto ★★★½

Disney's "Encanto" is packed with dazzling animation and some captivating tunes, but a thin storyline and a low-stakes conflict keep it from being truly wondrous. The story takes us to a magical Colombia where the family Madrigal discovers the true purpose of a miracle. Each generation of the family possesses magical powers except for Mirabel, who is continually set aside due to her lack of gift. Conflict arises when a threat that will destroy the Casa and make everyone lose their powers emerges.

The 3D animation is spectacular, as can be expected from Disney Animation Studios. Mirabel is also a compelling heroine, thanks to Stephanie Beatriz's spot-on voice work. John Leguizamo's Bruno is also a noteworthy character. While the scenes do not transition well to the musical performances and the Lin-Manuel Miranda-penned songs are not consistent in quality, there are some solid tracks, including the instant earworm "We Don't Talk About Bruno" and the lovely ballad "Dos Oruguitas."

The film, however, does not have a high-stakes drama or a strong villain that will propel its narrative. It's about building harmony in the family and accepting differences and imperfections at the same time, but the tensions between the characters get resolved in a quick and cheery manner. The world-building is also not as immersive. The characters barely leave their house and venture instead inside their massive, diverse rooms. Beautiful to look at and still a fun, head-bopping experience, but the story is not particularly memorable.

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