Here are 15 things you probably didn’t know about our new favorite Disney movie Encanto. We are here answer all of your lingering Questions about Encanto, and throw some light on the facts that you didn’t even know you needed to know!
Encanto is the new Disney movie we have been waiting for. This movie from Walt Disney Animation Studios is unlike other’s in Disney’s catalogue in that there is no clear villain in this story. The “villain” of the tale is actually family conflict.
“Encanto” means “enchanted.” And as the name suggests, it is a magical and enchanting story about family which will definitely make you fall in love with it. Encanto deals with family expectations, love, acceptance, sibling rivalry, and inter generational trauma, and we are here for all of it.
Encanto is the 60th animated film from Disney Studios, and with such a milestone number they had to make something special. Encanto delivers all of that!
Encanto introduces the Madrigals, a compelling and complicated extended family who live in a wondrous and charmed place in the mountains of Colombia. They all live together in in an Encanto, which has blessed every child with a unique gift from super strength to the power to heal—every child except one, Mirabel.
Why is Mirabel called Mirabel?
The name Mirabel was inspired by the Spanish word mira, meaning “look,” and refers to the film’s theme of looking at people for who they truly are.
This meaning is also reflected in the fact that this character, our main Protagonist Mirabel, wears glasses, and she is the first Disney main character to do so – got to love that representation!
And what about the meaning of Madrigal?
A Madrigal is a type of song, normally sung without instruments and for a group of multiple voices.
Luisa’s Super Strength
Luisa was gifted with super strength, representing the rock in many families who everyone depends on to do the heavy lifting—supporting family members unconditionally and shouldering their burdens. Her character and her song “surface pressure” sum up the pressures of the older sister, in a way that’s so relatable to many of us.
Her room is not shown directly in the movie, but film makers have shared that the concept for her room was to be made purely of stone to represent her strength.
Inside the room would be a secret door that only Luisa knew about, giving her access to a theme park or funfair type area so that she still had chance to have some fun, despite the heavy burden of her duties and power.
Why Do Luisa’s Ribbons always face one direction?
Filmmakers paid special attention to Luisa’s muscles, ensuring she looked the part of the Madrigal with super strength. But it was the ribbons in her hair that called for the most effort.
The character’s model looked best with the ribbons situated on top of her head facing camera. So—not unlike efforts behind Mickey Mouse’s ears in classic cartoons—filmmakers ensured Luisa’s ribbons would always face the camera.
Luisa could have been called Lydia
In early production, the Encanto team were working with Lydia as a name for this character before settling on Luisa.
It’s also mentioned that the design team had to fight for Luisa to have the big muscles that she has in the final version.
Julieta’s Healing Power
Mirabel’s Mom, Julieta was gifted with the ability to heal through food. Filmmakers worked with botanists familiar with the healing herbs in Colombia to help shape the character and in the movie, the pockets of her apron are filled with specific herbs like chamomile and mint.
This character’s gift was of course inspired by filmmakers’ memories of homemade dishes when they were kids that would seemingly fix almost any ailment.
For example, co-director/co-writer Charise Castro Smith calls her mom’s chicken soup “magical” with its own healing powers.
Bruno Was Almost Called Oscar
Bruno, of the most catchy song and huge hit of the movie was almost called Oscar but the name was changed due to legal issues, as there were several real life Oscar Madrigals.
Bruno was one of 5 suggested name replacements, and was a perfect fit… especially when it comes to the song “We don’t talk about Bruno… no no no”
In “Encanto,” there are no electric lights used. The movie is lit entirely with candlelight, the sun, the moon or magic.
Color Coding Characters
Since Encanto has more than a dozen key-characters, filmmakers used color as a tool to help differentiate the smaller family units within the large extended family.
Julieta, Agustín and their three daughters embrace cool tones, while Pepa, Félix and their three children are dressed in warmer colors.
The First Spanish Song
“Dos Oruguitas” (meaning two caterpillars) is the first song that famous song writer Lin-Manuel Miranda ever wrote completely in Spanish. The song is written as if it were a hundred-year-old folk song that’s been sung for generations.
Sebastian Yatra performs the original song in Spanish during the emotional climax within the film, as well as “Two Oruguitas,” the English language version of the song, in the end credits.
“We don’t talk about Bruno” is also the first Original Disney song to go straight in at Number 1.
Despite having the first all Spanish song, Encanto is actually the 2nd Disney movie to have a non English title, the first was Saludos Amigos in the 1940s.
It’s All in the Eyes
Disney Animation artists have been using computer software to add more life and realism to the eyes of the characters for decades. For “Encanto,” a new shader was employed that reveals more of the character’s anatomy and adds speckled highlights. The new technology, which gives artists more control of the look of the characters’ eyes, helped convey the depth of emotion required in the story.
Disney Filmmakers worked with local consultants to infuse the film with details that would be familiar to the people of Colombia, and make their work authentic with a distinct cultural flavor.
For example, some of the characters will point with their lips. This is a gesture done with the tilt of the head and a slight pucker of the lips. Mirabel does this while trying to coax Antonio out from under the bed.
“Encanto” was made in collaboration with the Colombian Cultural Trust, a group of experts in Colombian botany, music, language anthropology and architecture. Familia, a group of Latinx Disney Animation employees, also met with the filmmakers throughout the process and shared their personal perspectives and experiences to help shape the film. Their work resulted in Encanto, the first Disney movie featuring Latinx characters.
This is the first movie set within a specific Latin American culture, that of Colombia, rather than a generic fictional Latino community such as Elena of Avalor. Encanto gives us Colombian storytelling, the Disney way.
The Magical House ‘Casita’ is Based on the Concept of a Dog
The Madrigal family lives in a magical house. Filmmakers explored how the home would behave on screen, considering many options before deciding that the house would be like a family dog.
With a lively heart and soul, the house is a beloved member of the family. It has distinct relationships with each of the Madrigals— it might even pick a favorite from time to time.
Madrigal Family Tree
Have you ever wanted to see the full Madrigal family tree set out visually, so you don’t lose track of how each of the characters is related within the family… we got you covered. Here is La Familia Madrigal
Filmmakers based the family gifts on real-life roles within our families to make the magic more relatable. The team debated giving Felix and Augustin gifts when they married into the family, but decided against it.
In the movie the children have their gift giving ceremony, to receive their magical gifts, at the age of 5 years old. This is because this is considered to be around the age that labels given to children start to “stick”
(You can make your own family tree here with this printable Encanto family tree template)
At the top of this multigenerational family, we have Abuela Alma and Abuelo Pedro
Next comes their three children Pepa, Bruno and Julieta.
Julieta is married to Augustin and we have their three children, the main characters of the movie – Mirabel, Luisa and Isabela.
Mirabel and Luisa, we have already covered. Isabela is the perfect “golden child” with effortless grace and poise, is like the A+ student, the overachiever, the sibling who can do no wrong.
Bruno has no descendents
And then Pepa is married to Felix and has three children – Delores, Camilo and Antonio.
Dolores, is the family gossip. Gifted with extraordinary hearing, she is the person who simply must overshare with everyone, and can’t keep anything a secret.
Camilo is a shape-shifter, able to transform into another character in the blink of an eye.Based on that teenaged member of the family who is still trying to figure out who he is, Camilo shape-shifts into many different forms in hopes of discovering his true self.
2D Animation Roots
Filmmakers returned to Disney Animation’s 2D roots in the sequence that accompanies the song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” Camilo’s section of the song features hand-drawn rat shadows by legendary animator Mark Henn—the artist behind classic Disney characters including Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Tiana, Mulan, young Simba and more.
Links with Zootopia
This is not the first time the “Encanto” filmmakers have worked together. This team goes back to 2016, when Byron Howard, Jared Bush and Clark Spencer worked together on the Oscar®-winning Zootopia (director, co-director/co-writer and producer, respectively).
The idea behind “Encanto” was actually sparked more than five years ago at the end of production on “Zootopia.”
There are also links with Moana as Bush served as writer on 2016’s “Moana,” collaborating with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Yvett Merino (original songs by and production manager, respectively).
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Print out some Encanto pictures for the kids to color here. There are also some educational activity pages, so be sure to check them all out.
Encanto Toys and Merch for Kids
Can’t get enough of Encanto? Treat your kids to one of these cool Encanto toys (Amazon affiliate links below)
LEGO 43202 Disney Princess The Madrigal House Building Toy, Dollhouse with Mini Dolls Figures, Disney’s Encanto Gift Idea
LEGO 43201 Disney Princess Isabela’s Magical Door Buildable Toy from Disney’s Encanto Movie, Portable PLayset, Travel Toys for Kids
Disney Encanto Doll Gift Set, Madrigal Feature House
Disney Encanto My Busy Book
Encạnto Coloring Book: Encourage Creativity with One Sided Coloring Pages Featuring Stunning Illustrations about Iconic Scenes and Characters for Kids & Adults
Mirabel Soft Toy Doll, Encanto
Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
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