5/10 It has been quite the year for Lin-Manuel Miranda who, in addition to creating the music and lyrics for this movie also made his feature length directorial debut with “tick…tick…Boom!” While he shows great potential as a director, I’ve found his music to be largely overrated. “Hamilton” was good but not great and “Into the Heights” didn’t have a single memorable song. Similarly, one problem with “Encanto” is that it also doesn’t have any truly great songs that will stick with you once you walk out of the theater. The opening song “The Family Madrigal” starts things off on a rocky note because due to a combination of sound mixing problems and the singer’s diction, I couldn’t understand half of the words being sung in the song. When the song speeds up near the end, I literally couldn’t make out a single word as the song came to an end. Thankfully, the rest of the songs didn’t have this issue but there was no excuse for that in the opening song. The sound mixer must have gone to the “Christopher Nolan School of Sound Mixing”. Besides the music doing nothing to impress me or stick in my mind, the movie has other problems. The story was mediocre and when the end credits began to roll you could see there were about eight different people working on the story, which is never a good sign. The only thing about the story that I loved was that our main character, Mirabel, had both parents alive, which is extremely rare for a Disney movie these days. None of the male characters in the movie get any attention or development so the script feels very uneven and one-sided, which is a problem. There is nothing wrong with female characters leading the movie (i.e.- “Frozen”) but you have to at least pretend to care about your male characters, which this movie does not. Even minor moments stood out to me. In one scene, Mirabel, swings on a rope across a big gap but the scene cuts before we see her return home because realistically, there would have been no way for her to swing back across to get back home. As for what worked, the visuals, as expected, look incredible and particularly during the musical numbers, we get some beautiful, colorful moments. The pacing is strong as the movie is constantly moving forward and remains entertaining from start to finish. The voice cast is perfectly cast as each voice is distinct and talented. There is a strong moral message at the heart of the movie about love of family and not comparing yourself to others. While the kids will surely enjoy the movie with its eye catching visuals, solid pacing and the fact that this is an original movie, which was refreshing, the mediocre plot, forgettable music and no developed male characters makes this one of the weaker Disney animated efforts compared to their usually strong line-up. On another note that doesn’t add or subtract from the movie’s quality/score, the animated short movie that plays before “Encanto” was also one of the weaker short movies I’ve seen in recent memory which was a big disappointment.

#enCANTo / #SavedByTheMirabel / #TheBestExoticMadrigalHotel / #IfYouCatchMyGift / #Romeo+Julieta / #DoesntHoldACandleToZootopia

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