Encanto: Disney creators explain Lin-Manuel Miranda’s reggaeton musical

Encanto, Disney’s latest cartoon animation due in November, is a rich musical about a wonderful household that resides in a captivated home in the mountains of Colombia. Each of the Madrigals has actually been blessed with a wonderful present — other than for Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz), the movie’s wacky lead character, who matured with no apparent power. When the household’s presents are threatened, Mirabel needs to find out a method to conserve the magic, and find her covert household tricks. While a wonderful musical about a teen with huge dreams seems like common Disney fare, directors Byron Howard and Jared Bush, along with film writer and co-director Charise Castro Smith, see some subtle distinctions that make Encanto stick out.

From the start, the Encanto group wished to develop the Disney musical. Throughout a press day for the movie, Howard and Bush informed Polygon about their time dealing with Zootopia, and how they brought more maturity into the familiar concept of a talking-animal dream. While each of them had actually dealt with Disney musicals in the past, Encanto was their very first musical together, and as artists themselves, they desired music to be a big part of the story. That suggested tapping Lin-Manuel Miranda and meddling various categories, like reggaeton and montuno, along with integrating dance relocations from choreographers throughout the animation procedure. The various designs formed the unique characters on screen.

“A lot of Disney musicals have been sort of like buddy movies: two people going on an adventure, learning things. And this movie is certainly very different than that,” states Smith. “There are 12 members of this family who all have their own personalities, preoccupations, journeys through the movie.”

some of the Madrigal family standing side by side and looking at something

Image: Disney

Attempting to make all those characters pop was a complex procedure. Encanto is more of an ensemble musical than any previous Disney film previously, which alone develops on what audiences usually associate with an animated Disney musical. It likewise implies the filmmakers couldn’t squander at any time on filler tunes that don’t particularly impact the story.

“Every song speaks to character and is emotionally driven,” Bush discusses to Polygon.

However the most significant — and subtlest — distinction with Encanto is that rather of a common Disney film with magic, like Frozen, Moana, or Twisted, it is a work of wonderful realism.

The category of wonderful realism has strong ties to Latin America, especially Colombia. In literature, wonderful realism stands out from dream stories with contemporary settings, due to the fact that the magic and supernatural aren’t acknowledged as something wonderful or supernatural. Typically, those components are effortlessly incorporated into the representation of the sensible, utilized to make a point about truth. Naturally, it’s a bit various in Encanto than it remains in Gabriel García Márquez’s books — the Madrigals acknowledge that the presents they have are wonderful. However the distinction in between Encanto and other Disney films is the method magic manifests, and how it’s utilized in the story.

Mirabel and her mother standing together, with the comfort of her mother’s magical arepas

Image: Disney

“We really were interested in exploring what magic is that is born out of human emotion or human need, or great relationship stakes. It’s born out of human action and human relationship and want,” says Smith. “We really tried to use that as a guidepost as we were working on this movie, just this idea that the magic is not arbitrary. It’s not given to people by fairies, or something like that. It’s an extension of emotion and character, and it’s really born out of the people and who they are and what they want and what they need.”

The movie was originally crafted around the idea of family roles, with the magic added afterward. Bush says that while Disney films do typically have magic, for Encanto, they didn’t want the magic to feel “forced or inorganic.” The film’s setting sparked the concept of integrating magical realism and linking the magical gifts to the familial functions — but it was very important that the story work without the magic.

“This movie has to function if magic doesn’t exist. You could tell the story if there was zero magic in this family. That has to work as well,” Howard explains.

Encanto hits theaters on Nov. 24.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long included to this report.