Disney+ subscribers get a Christmas gift this year in Encanto, the Mouse House’s new animated musical about a Colombian family with magical powers. Notably, the film’s original songs were penned by Lin-Manuel Miranda, further adding to his ubiquity here in 2021, a year in which he directed tick… tick… BOOM!, produced In the Heights and voice acted in, produced and wrote songs for Vivo. Anyone experiencing LMM fatigue – likely to be further tested considering the high probability of his receiving Oscar nominations – will be happy to know that his presence in Encanto isn’t immediately prevalent, because the film stands on its own as a perfectly delightful fantasy for the whole family.
The Gist: DATELINE: COLOMBIA. A place out of time – we’re always looking for cell phones to get a specific idea of a movie’s setting, aren’t we, and there are none here, nor even a radio or, unless I’m mistaken, an electric light. So this is a kind of fairy tale then: Got it. It’s about the Madrigal family, led by Abuela (voice of Maria Cecilia Botero), widow, mother of triplets, founder of a village paradise for her kin and fellow refugees, keeper of a flame on a magical candle that endows her children and grandchildren with superhuman “gifts” and keeps the town safe. She’s one hell of a woman, is what I’m getting at. IMDB