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Stars: Voices: Stephanie Beatriz, John Leguizamo, Maria Cecilia Botero, Jessica Darrow, Angie Cepeda, Carolina Gaitan, Wilmer Valderrama, Diane Guerrero, Adassa

Director: Jared Bush, Byron Howard

This noisy, tuneful Disney show brings new meaning to the word colourful, moves at the pace of some vivid, toe-tapping Colombian dance, and has an enchanting heroine (not a princess for once) who's a cross between Moana, and Phoebe from the new Ghostbusters film.

The Madrigal family live deep in the heart of Colombia in a vast hacienda protected both by the mountains that surround it and by magic that has endowed the multiple members of the family with superhuman powers that mostly resemble those given to the X-Men.

Chief among them, and the source of most fun, is Luisa (Darrow), who can lift houses and slay monsters (she does both), and least of all is Mirabel (Beatriz from TV's Brooklyn Nine Nine), who has missed out on super powers completely. So, when huge cracks appear in the family mansion, and the magic begins to fade away, it is, of course, up to bespectacled, shock-haired Mirabel to solve the mystery and save the day.

Still, she does have unlimited pluck, a belting singing voice, and an assortment of animal friends including a toucan ('Quitter' she yells at him, as he flies away in the face of imminent danger), rats, tapirs, a 'leopard' (shouldn't this be a jaguar?) and sundry donkeys.

Lin-Manuel Miranda's songs are tailored to their characters and swing along joyously in the main; it's probably his best score since he burst on the music scene with Hamilton, though the animation of the musical numbers sometimes seems almost too rushed and frenetic in this fast and furious feast of kaleidoscopic fun. Encanto, by the way, can be translated as 'enchantment'.

David Quinlan

USA 2021. UK Distributor: Disney. Technicolor.
99 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 28 Nov 2021