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FEATURED REVIEW

Encanto

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Directed by Byron Howard (Bolt, Tangled, and Zootopia), Jared Bush (co-director on Zootopia), and playwright Charise Castro Smith, Encanto is the most purely delightful, transporting Disney animated feature in some time, maybe since The Princess and the Frog. And its tunes by Lin Manuel-Miranda are the best since the days of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. Some of Disney's more recent features have been comedies (or sequels), and many of them are quite good, but this one feels like a real Disney film, open to the ideas of magic and wonder, as well as a big-hearted, wonderfully messy family relationship (and funny, too). Our "princess" this time is Mirabel Madrigal (beautifully voiced by Stephanie Beatriz), and rather than a long-haired vixen, she's a little dumpy, with a head of bouncy curls, and big, round spectacles, but she's darn cute in the most lovable way. Her family is the keeper of a magic candle that bestows certain powers on every Madrigal child, such as super-strength, super-hearing, or her mother's ability, healing any affliction with her cooking... More...

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