FILM REVIEW | Encanto

Disney's latest animation is a celebration of colour, culture, music, family and individuality.

And while those themes might seem like the ingredients which make up most of the House of Mouse's output, they're especially evident in Encanto.

The beautiful and lively film is set in the Colombian mountains and follows the magical Madrigal family.

The family has provided protection to their village for three generations thanks to the magical powers bestowed upon them by an enchanted candle.

When each Madrigal child reaches a certain age, they learn their gift, and use those abilities to help the village around them.

But when it's Mirabel Madrigal's turn to find her gift, the candle has nothing for her.

Colour and culture: The uplifting, heart-warming riot of colour and music that is Disney's latest animated picture, Encanto, rated PG, in cinemas now. Picture: Disney

Colour and culture: The uplifting, heart-warming riot of colour and music that is Disney's latest animated picture, Encanto, rated PG, in cinemas now. Picture: Disney

Now, with her younger cousin about to come of magic-bearing age, the family is on tenterhooks waiting to find out if young Antonio will be magical, or end up like Mirabel.

The storyline is perfect family fodder, but it's the rich music - from maestro Lin-Manuel Miranda, of Hamilton, In the Heights and Moana fame - and attention to cultural detail which really makes Encanto sing.

From the costuming to the close-knit family, food and tradition, the film (from the directors of the also-excellent Zootopia) takes great care to represent and celebrate the beauty of Colombian culture. Some of the darker aspects of the nation's history are also explored in a particularly harrowing flashback.

Encanto has an excellent message - everyone is special in their own way, but their talents are not all they have to offer.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Stephanie Beatriz voices Mirabel, who could not be further from the show's low-voiced, tough-as-nails Rosa Diaz.

The animation is stunning, and every frame is its own standalone piece of art.

Encanto is truly a beautiful movie that will delight not only the kids, but also the parents.

It should have even greater resonance with anyone who can recognise their own family traditions or cultural celebrations in the film.

An excellent addition to the Disney catalogue for its 60th animated feature - and not a princess in sight!

Rating: 8/10