Disney’s 60th animated film, ENCANTO, is here just in time for the holidays. The movie introduces the magical Madrigal family, which lives in a literally charmed home in the mountains of Colombia.
Tragedy led the Madrigals to the home, called an Encanto, but the house blesses every child in the family with a unique gift to protect them from future threats. Every child, that is, except Mirabel. But when the magic of the Encanto is in danger, she may be the only one who can save it.
The movie's voice cast helps bring the story's magic to life. We spoke to the actors about Colombia, and seeing Latin culture highlighted by Disney.
"I think it’s huge," said Stephanie Beatriz, who voices Mirabel. "Many of us associate people that we meet in real life with their presentation on our screens, right, so that’s why media representation is so important...we need to see the breadth of who people really are and I think for Colombia especially to have this beautiful story."
Some of the actors helped define their characters with inspiration from their own lives.
"I feel like my character, Isabela, portrays this sort of like perfect, sort of put together character that should only really be feeling happiness and flowers and magic and rainbows...everything is perfect," Diane Guerrero said. "While that’s a positive emotion, it’s also positive to feel anger and sadness and it’s always good to express them, even though sometimes, it can be scary and seemingly negative. Anger is an emotion. You can use that anger to fuel creativity. To fuel getting past a challenge. So many things can come from it."
John Leguizamo, who voices Bruno, said he really connects with his role. "My character is like really awkward socially - awkward guy. He is just not good in social situations. Everything he says is too truthful and the family, you know, has to get rid of him. I feel like I do that at all our family gatherings. I always say the wrong thing. I always put my foot in my mouth. I’m the guy that everybody goes cut, cut him off, cut him off!"
ENCANTO is a Disney musical, and Lin Manuel Miranda was tasked with writing new songs for the movie. He said it was a dream come true working with Colombian musicians in creating this score.
"We work on our story with our incredible filmmakers and our animators and our job is to figure out their pulse and their rhythm as the songwriter, '' he said. "We set ourselves the challenge of, we wanted to explore the dynamics of a big, complex family and that’s complicated, so you start with what is their heartbeat and what do they sound like and then you start to smash them against each other and that’s how you build the score."
Watch the full interview with the cast of ENCANTO and find out what magical power each would like to have:
ENCANTO is in theatres now!
All images courtesy of Walt Disney Animation.