10 behind-the-scenes facts you never knew

The 60th Disney Studios animated film, Encanto lives up to its name – “enchanting in Spanish – by combining the patented magic of Disney with the distinct cultural flavor of Colombian storytelling. Through extensive reporting, interviews with cast and crew, and in-depth discussions with acclaimed songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda, fans will find out how Encanto has become a multicultural event that the whole family can enjoy.

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Whether it’s going out there to properly animate the wonders of Colombia, researching Colombian artists for the soundtrack, and honoring the healing power of food in Latinx culture, the film demonstrates the work. hard work of everyone involved to create something very diverse and inspiring. When the magic begins to wane from the Encanto, Mirabel must decide how to balance the expectations of her extended family with her own personal journey of self-discovery, and it’s clear that making the film – like Mirabel’s Quest – couldn’t be. possible only with the attention to detail found behind the scenes.


Lin-Manuel Miranda put a lot of detail into the music

For Lin-Manuel Miranda, music is an essential element of storytelling in Encanto. In an interview with Rotten tomatoes, he explained the role Colombian music played in the history of Mirabel and her family and how it took years to research Colombian rhythms and instrumentation to get it right. Despite Disney’s difficult soundtrack, the musical numbers associated with each character have become important for specific reasons surrounding their development.

Taking Mirabel as an example, he explained why his song was a waltz, a piece of music that is beautiful but “timeless”, and not in tune with the rest of the music that surrounds it. It suited Mirabel’s character perfectly, who because she doesn’t have any superpowers feels out of place with the rest of the Madrigals.

All actors related to the healing power of food

Julieta and Mirabel touch their heads and hands in Disney's Encanto.

In the Madrigal family, just about every member has a special power, one of which focuses on the healing powers of ancient family recipes thanks to Julietta, the matriarch of Madrigal who heals with food. Each member of the cast conjured up a special dish from their own family that had the same effects as Elixirs from Encanto. In the same interview with Rotten Tomatoes, the cast discussed how their own mothers’ dishes cured their woes, from physical illnesses to spiritual illnesses.

One dish that the entire cast found most restorative was sancocho, a hearty broth filled with vegetables and meat that varies across Latin America, from Colombia to Venezuela. It helped them identify with their characters while also inspiring fans to seek out similar items to share with a taste of Colombian culture.

It’s based on a true story

Mirabel and the Madrigal family in Disney's Encanto

Towards the end of the interview with Rotten Tomatoes, the writers explained that with the help of their Colombian experts, who helped clarify feelings of displacement in Colombian culture, they were able to ground the characters’ emotions with a magical realism and mix them with real life-influences of Colombian culture.

By basing the film on aspects of Colombian culture that fans can relate to and understand, it impacts audiences by raising awareness. Focusing on magical realism, he reminds fans that magic can represent personal fulfillment and the actualization of dreams.

It took 5 years to make

Alma looks shocked as she holds a candle in Disney's Encanto.

Whether it’s having the perfect cast and the perfect songs to make sure the animation is up to Disney standards, animated movies can take years to make. Encanto took a total of five years once Lin-Manuel Miranda decided he wanted to make a Latin American-focused film.

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Director Byron Howard explained that one of the reasons it took so long was because of the cultural research in the region of that part of the world, and ultimately the selection of Colombia because of its vibrant crossroads. for culture and magic. Colombian storytelling’s long history of linking magic with personal identity would provide the perfect basis for the messages presented in the film.

The crew went there

In order to capture the beauty and magic of Colombian culture, the crew had to go there. In a behind-the-scenes featurette of Stream Wars, the crew takes fans on an adventure as epic as Encanto, showing that to liven up a story featuring the country’s real cities and majestic vistas, he has to experience them.

Co-director Jared Bush explains that the team visited Cocora Valley, widely regarded as one of the most lush and beautiful places in the world, and immediately decided it would become the home of the Madrigal family. .

It featured a collection of popular Colombian artists

Félix and Pepa dance together in Encanto

Some fans might not understand all of the Spanish used in Encanto, but it was important for Lin-Manuel Miranda to seek out prominent artists from Colombia to bring the cultural heart of the film to life in his own language. In the same interview for Stream Wars, he explains that he wanted not only to capture the “Spanish 90s moment” he remembered from his youth, but also the vibrancy of Colombia today.

That meant looking for artists like Sebastian Yatra, who sings the Spanish and English version of “Dos Oruguitas”, or longtime Colombian superstar Carlos Vives, who sings “Colombia, Mi Encanto”. Whether or not fans understand Spanish, there is no denying the powerfully inspiring qualities that Colombian singers bring to this uniquely Colombian story.

Arianna Grande’s vocal coach songs

Disney songs become memorable and iconic thanks to performers who bring drama and passion into their notes. In a YouTube interview for Entertainment studios, stars John Leguizamo and Stephanie Beatriz discussed the interpretation of all songs in the film. among others.

Considering the film is being written by Broadway’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, it’s no surprise that the songs are filled with excitement to reach the back seats. Leguizamo explained that he needed more practice, while Beatriz quickly took Vetro’s advice. Having a talented vocal coach like Vetro, and having a patient and supportive songwriter, made them both shine despite different preparation methods.

John Leguizamo is as superstitious as his character

Bruno stares in wonder at a shot in Disney's Encanto.

Encanto is all about magic, both in the environment and within the characters, some of whom are more concerned with the repercussions of its use than others. Uncle Bruno, played by John Leguizamo, is quite a superstitious person, with whom the actor identified. In the same interview with Entertainment Studios, he explained that “as a theater actor you get very superstitious because you have too many shows and you don’t want something to go wrong.”

RELATED: 10 Character Details You Didn’t Notice In Encanto

Of the many superstitions he acquired during his years in the theater, one is “no whistling allowed in the theater”, there can be no mention of “the Scottish play” (aka “Macbeth”) in the theater, none of which could cause misfortune to happen to the production. At the heart of Bruno’s superstitions is the desire for his loved ones to be successful, something Leguizamo seems to share with his talented costars.

This is the first Disney film to focus specifically on Latinx characters.


Some viewers might wonder how Encanto was labeled the first Disney movie focused solely on Latinx characters when coconut already exists, but even with Disney’s connection to Pixar, this film is not considered part of Disney canon, which makes Encanto put a new bar for representation.

With movies like Raya and the last dragon and Moana In recent years, Disney’s has started to ramp up its production of films featuring not only diverse characters within a cohesive cast, but also stories devoted to cultures around the world. The symbolic has given way to inclusiveness, and the Disney canon is all the richer and more enchanting.

Stephanie Beatriz got in touch with her Colombian roots

Disney’s 60th animated film presents a special place filled with kaleidoscopic color and a vibrant heritage – Colombia. Talk to The AV Club, Stephanie Beatriz was happy to reconnect with her Colombian roots to play Maribel, especially since she had always wanted to know more about her ancestors.

Being seven months pregnant at the time of recording, she hopes to one day be able to show the film to her daughter and have important discussions centered on family ties and having a connection to a specific region. As she memorably puts it, “You can go anywhere, but that’s where you come from.” Giving importance to heritage can help young people to feel grounded even when their personal journeys take them away from their origins.

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