"Encant" Review Roundup: Disney's magical Realist fable is one of the best for Years 1

Thanksgiving has given cinemas something to be thankful for: this weekend sees the release of Encanto, the most high-profile animated film to get a U.S. theatrical window so far this year. The film - the 60th from Walt Disney Animation Studios - will play for a month in theaters before heading to Disney+ on December 24.

Set in a magical-realist version of Colombia, Encanto revolves around the Madrigals, a family whose members are each endowed with a magic power - except Mirabel, the smart, conscientious teenage daughter. Needless to say, she's assigned a mission through which she'll discover her own special abilities, yet the film plays out more like a domestic drama than a typically Disneyesque adventure.

The directors are Jared Bush (co-director, Zootopia; writer, Moana) and Byron Howard (director, Tangled, Zootopia). Playwright and tv writer Charise Castro Smith makes her film debut here, serving as co-director and co-writing the screenplay with Bush. The film also features eight original songs by the ubiquitous Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana, Vivo).

Reviews have been broadly very positive so far, with many praising the sumptuous visual production and nuanced story in particular. The film's Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes currently stands at 92%.

For Vulture's Bilge Ebiri, this “might be the best Disney animated film since Frozen”:

Maya Phillips praises the film's rich representation of Latino culture in her positive New York Times review, adding:

Variety's Owen Gleiberman was impressed by many things in this “lively, lovely, lushly enveloping” film:

Monica Castillo gave Encanto three stars out of four on RogerEbert.com, but found fault with Miranda's songs:

A rare dissenter was Peter Bradshaw, who awarded the film two stars out of five in The Guardian: