Directors: Jared Bush/ Byron Howard/ Charise Castro Smith
Disney has really doubled down on the "here's a big ol' metaphor, but we're also going to explicitly spell it out" style of storytelling that Pixar's been doing for a while. That's not a dig. You're playing to an all-ages audience that needs some hand-holding, and in general, for who these movies are for, I think it works.
I'm not surprised I liked Encanto (2021). I'm honestly far more surprised when I am not onboard with a Disney film or find it just "meh". After deconstructing the idea of the Princess movie with Frozen and Tangled, and doing some fun character stuff with Wreck It Ralph, essentially doing a family dramedy is a good pivot. And it's kind of remarkable we're in an era where we aren't depending on wicked stepmothers and cheesed-off sorceresses to tell a story. Sometimes the conflict can be person vs. themselves. But this one also has baked in protagonist vs. society and fate, I guess.
There's a lot going on.