Encanto Movie Review
In the spirited Disney animated movie Encanto, a magical family living in a magical house discovers their empty lives have no meaning when the magic begins to fade, exposing them and their vapid existence. The actual plot is much more family-friendly and engaging than that, of course, but what’s very true is that this unassuming film is easily one of the best of the year.
As colorful and energetic as Coco and boasting the best music since Moana, Encanto is a truly magical experience, one that injects itself into every pore of your body and gives you that warm, tingly feeling you get when you do things that give you that warm, tingly feeling.
It’s an entrancing piece of filmmaking, and my three-year-old daughter would agree. She spent much of the movie staring with mouth agape, drawn in by the lively characters and creative musical numbers. The lyrics are in line with what you’d expect from Lin-Manuel Miranda, fast-paced and full of spunk and vigor (of course, if you find his style of music obnoxious, watch out). The screenplay, by Jared Bush, Byron Howard, and Charise Castro Smith (the trio also directed the movie), is equally good.
Unlike most Disney movies, Encanto doesn’t have a villain. Nonetheless, the trio establish a sizable threat and ominous outlook for the joyous characters that drives the picture forward and creates motivation for its lead and momentum for the story. Also helpful is that Mirabel, voiced perfectly by Stephanie Beatriz, is one of the most likable characters in recent memory.
I watched Encanto at home but wished I’d seen it on the big screen; it’s a beautiful film, both visually and in its heart. Recommended.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.