Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Movie Review: Encanto

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Animation, fun moments in songs
Cons: Overly serious and too quickly wrapped up
The Bottom Line:
Magical fam’ly
Surprisingly serious
It’s not Disney’s best




“How Do I Save a Miracle?”

I’m always up for an animated Disney movie.  While I’ll watch trailers, they don’t influence me one way or the other.  I know I’m going to see them.  I waited to watch Encanto until it was on Disney+, but I was really looking forward to it.  Sadly, it didn’t work for me.

The movie tells the story of Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz), the only member of her family not to have a magical gift.  While the rest of the family uses their gifts to help the village around them, Mirabel tries her best to help out in ordinary ways.  However, the magic that has helped the family and the village for years might be cracking, and Mirabel appears to be tied in to the magic’s fate.  Can she figure out how to save it?

I’ve got to admit, that premise was intriguing to me.  I thought I knew where it was going to go before I sat down to watch it, but I was okay with that.  I was expecting something fun.  Who wouldn’t with that premise?

Unfortunately, it wasn’t as fun as I was expecting it to be.  The story is pretty serious despite all the magic going on.  It might just be me – that I identified with Mirabel a bit too much – but it was somber.  My initial predictions for the plot proved to be wrong, and even once I got a bead on where the movie was going, it still surprised me a time or two along the way to the ending.

Then there’s the moral.  Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree with what they were going for with it.  But in a kid’s movie?  They aren’t going to understand the lessons about family expectations.  Furthermore, that part of the movie is so quick, and the resolution so abrupt, that it really doesn’t feel like a good resolution to things.

What kids will enjoy is the animation.  This movie is gorgeous!  The colors pop off the screen, and there are many fun moments in the film.  Heck, the scenes with the house acting magically alone will keep them entertained.

Then there’s the music.  While these aren’t the most memorable songs we’ve gotten from Disney, and I don’t see any hits coming from this film, the animators went to town with many of them, conjuring some of the best musical fantasy scenes we’ve gotten in recent Disney animated films.

The voice cast is also fantastic.  I’m not familiar with any of them, but that just helped me get lost in the characters they were creating on the screen.

This is Disney’s 60th animated movie.  For such a landmark film, I wish I had liked it more.  Encanto isn’t a bad movie, but it’s not up to Disney usual magic, either.  I don’t think it will have the rewatch factor of their better films – at least for me.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard lots of adults saying how much they loved it but I kind of thought it sounded a bit too depressing for me. It sounds like I was right!

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