Are we in the midst of another Disney renaissance? Disney has had a couple of ups and downs in their time; it usually comes in waves. Lately, I feel like Disney and Pixar both have had a lot of mediocre films; they have potential but never blow me out of the water. “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Frozen,” and “Big Hero 6” were the last of the newer wave that impressed me. “Encanto” is more of the same; I feel like “Moana,” “Raya and the Last Dragon,” and now this were all good but not great. I don’t think any of them will become “classics” in the long run. There is a magic formula to a genuinely magical animation; Disney is hit or miss even though they created the recipe themselves. It’s hard to describe; I watch these films and enjoy them, but I walk away from them just feeling “eh,” which draws conflict from within myself. I want to enjoy them, but sometimes it feels like they’ve just been trying too hard. It’s become the norm for Disney to have beautiful animation (even though I still prefer hand-drawn to computer animation); however, there’s more to it than just some pretty visuals. I liked that this one didn’t have the traditional “villain” but more so the battle with living up to “your own potential” and family conflict. As per usual, Disney knocked it out with a fantastic voice cast. I can only assume that they have people lined up at the door to work on a Disney film. So to some extent, that’s almost unfair, but I will still give credit where credit is due. I was incredibly impressed with Stephanie Beatriz (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) as the lead Mirabel and John Leguizamo (“Spawn”) as Bruno. I’m a big fan of the Oscars, but Disney/Pixar usually always win; my issue is that they win for the wrong reason. A mix of them “paying” for the victory with promoting it to voters and their films get a more significant release area. Cartoon Saloon has released four animated films, all four have been nominated for an Academy Award, and all four lost to either Disney or Pixar. I realize that the Oscars have their issues, but it would still be nice not to be that predictable. I also feel like I need to point out that the Oscar-shortlisted song from the “Dos Oruguitas” sounds very much like “Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid.” Which ultimately makes sense, Lin-Manuel Miranda helped score, compose, and write the lyrics to “Encanto.” He’s credited “Under the Sea” as the moment he decided what he wanted to do in his life (and also named his son Sebastian.) On a somewhat unrelated note, Pixar’s film “Turning Red” will be released on Disney+ instead of in theaters as initially projected. It will be available on March 11th, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing my thoughts on it shortly after that! If you’ve been to a movie in the last few months, you’ve likely seen a trailer for it (a girl that changes into a giant red panda.) I will say that the trailers have sold me, and it’s one of the first films that I’m looking forward to from either Disney or Pixar!