“Encanto” Review: Disney Animation's 60th Film Shows Just “Waiting On A Miracle” Isn’t What Makes Magic

Mirabel (voice of Stephanie Beatriz) in “Encanto,” Disney’s latest animated feature film. Photo Courtesy: Walt Disney Animation Studios/The Walt Disney Company

Rating: 8.5/10

Over the last decade or so, some of Disney’s most outstanding animated films, from Moana (2016) to Wreck-It Ralph (2012) to Big Hero 6 (2014), have had a lot to say about family, both biological and chosen. What sets these movies apart from other Disney fare is that they don’t shy away from examining the nature of trauma — the way it can be passed down, unwillingly, like a wristwatch. And, to put it simply, Encanto, which opens exclusively in theaters on November 24, certainly joins the ranks of these other lauded films.

Until now, it seemed pretty clear that Sony Pictures Animation’s The Mitchells vs. the Machines was 2021’s runaway animated hit. (Personally, I also stand by the severely under-promoted Raya and the Last Dragon, but that’s a different article entirely.) As awards season approaches, it’s clear that Encanto is an Oscar contender; although Mitchells’ frenetic energy and beautiful stylization packed a punch and felt very of-the-moment, Encanto truly feels timeless. More than that, it tells a story we all need to see — no matter our age and no matter the makeup of our families.