Interview: Making the Magic of Disney’s “Encanto”

Disney’s upcoming film Encanto is about a loving family who lives in a beautiful mountain town, in a house that gives them all magical powers. That is, except for 15-year old Mirabel who is the only member of her family without a magical gift.

This story about love, family, adventure, and finding yourself is a visually stunning journey that takes place in beautiful Colombia. With vibrant colors, beautiful landscapes, and also a lovable family this movie is an adventure you will never forget.

Also, Encanto is a musical! Full of magic, heart, and hit new songs from the iconic Lin-Manuel Miranda Encanto is a treat for viewers of all ages! Catch Encanto in theatres on November 24th!

Here is the scoop on Disney’s Encanto!

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Meet The Encanto Team

Clark Spencer is a producer of Encanto and president of Walt Disney Animation Studios. His other works include Lilo and Stitch, Bolt, Zootopia, and the Wreck It Ralph movies.

Yvett Merino is also a producer of Encanto. Her other works include Big Hero 6 and Moana.

Byron Howard is the director of Encanto. His other works include Tangled and Zootopia.

Jared Bush is also the director and Screenwriter. He’s also worked on Zootopia and Moana.

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Charise Castro Smith is Encanto‘s co-director and screenwriter. Her other works include The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez and The Haunting of Hill House.

Lorelay Bové is the associate production designer on Encanto. Her notable works include Tangled and Wreck It Ralph.

Renato dos Anjos is one of the heads of animation on Encanto. His other works include Bolt and also Big Hero 6.

Creating A Magical Home

The creators of Encanto discussed their inspiration behind the story and characters in the film. Charise Castro Smith reveals, “We realized that if the family in our story lived in one of those magical Encantos, maybe the children born there would be special.”

She further explains, “But special in a way that is a nod to family dynamics that we can all relate to, that we all know.  Like the strong, dependable child who is the rock of the family. Or the perfect golden child whose happiness blossoms, or the quiet kid who isn’t comfortable talking to people, and so he talks to animals, or the worrywart who can see the future, but he only sees the bad things.”

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Smith also adds, “So, as we thought about that, we had a big breakthrough because we realized that the family’s house didn’t have to just be a house.  Because in an Encanto, the house itself could have powers, too.”

Jared Bush chimes in adding, “Like the ocean in Moana, the house of Encanto is a character. Uh, as opposed to Moana, uh, our house is a little more opinionated and flawed. It’s a house that plays favorites, like families do. A house that messes with people. This is Casa Madrigal, the magical home of the Madrigal family.”

Meet the Madrigals

Encanto follows 15-year old Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz) and her family.

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Jared Bush introduces Mirabel’s sisters, “Isabela, who was gifted with the magical power that makes plants grow and flowers bloom. Mirabel’s oldest sister.”

Bush continues, “Her other sister, Luisa, is strong and hardworking and extraordinarily athletic. She’s the rock of the family whose magical gift, uh, is super strength.”

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Charise Castro Smith introduces Mirabel’s parents, “Augustin and Julieta. Uh, warm and nurturing, Julieta has the magical power to heal through food. This makes her the Madrigal family caretaker. Augustin is a kind and slightly awkward fish out of water, having married into the Madrigal family.”

Byron Howard then introduces, “Pepa and Bruno are Julieta’s triplet sister and brother and Mirabel’s aunt and uncle. Estranged from the Madrigal family, Mirabel’s uncle Bruno was gifted with visions of the future.”

Jared adds, “Let’s talk about Pepa. Uh, she is one of our favorite characters. She was gifted with the ability to control the weather with her emotions.”

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He continues, “Pepa is married to Felix, who is definitely the life of the party. And together, they have three children, who are cousins to Mirabel.”

Charise says, “Felix and Pepa’s children, who are Delores, Camilo, and Antonio. So, Delores has been gifted the magical ability of extraordinary hearing, so she often hears things that she probably shouldn’t. Camilo was gifted with the ability to transform his appearance at will. He’s a shapeshifter.”

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She ends introducing, “Sweet Antonio, who receives his magical gift, which is communicating with animals. So, he is warmhearted and shy and he’s Mirabel’s favorite cousin and the two are very close.”

Creating and Designing Encanto

Disney is famous for their lovable characters and great design, so the effort shows in Encanto!

Associate production designer Lorelay Bové describes the creative process for designing the Madrical family home. She says “It is inspired by traditional Colombian homes, uh, of Barichara, Cartagena, and Salento.”

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She also shares, “We talked to Colombian architects, and they gave us a lot of great information about the construction of these homes.”

One specific example Lorelay gives is, “In the coffee region, there’s, like, a lot of, uh, haciendas with an indoor-outdoor feel because of the temperature of the weather” saying, “We added this in our casa design.”

Bové also shares details about individual rooms. She says, “Each family member has a uniquely designed room.”

Antonio’s room design takes inspiration from “the Choco rainforest on the Pacific coast of Colombia.” Lorelay also adds, “We really wanted to reflect the immense biodiversity of Colombia.”

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As for Mirabel’s design, Lorelay says, “Since the beginning we had an idea that Mirabel would do embroidery in her costume that was really fun and not perfect.” She also explains, “Sort of, like, what a teenager would do in a-in a diary with their drawings.”

Each character’s design is unique to their personality so audiences will love getting to know everyone!

All About Encanto

Encanto is clearly a magical story about a magical family, so where does the movie’s title come from? Director Byron Howard says, “The title actually came up pretty early.”

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Howard explains, “A lot of these movies typically start with research. And one of our, uh, friends, in our familia trust pointed out this book that mentioned encantos and this idea that, um, places that have this natural magic, this-this spirituality.”

He also adds, “We were looking for a way to incorporate magic into the movie. It felt very important to do that, but in a way that felt specific to Latin America. And that combined with this idea, being inspired by magical realism, where magic is, it’s everywhere. It’s tied to emotion and roles in the family. That all seemed to really, uh, speak to each other.”

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This film brings viewers from theatres into the magical home of the Madrical family. Get to know this loving family in gorgeous Colombia and enjoy the show!

We are so looking forward to watching Disney’s Encanto. Audiences of all ages will love this charming film full of stunning visuals, a lovable family, and just the right amount of magic. Also, be sure to watch Disney’s Encanto in theatres on November 24th!

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