The creators of Disney's 'Encanto' talk about joint family dynamics and blending other folklore with Colombian culture, and why actor Stephanie Beatriz was right for Mirabelle's lead role

A house that breathes magic feels like a fairy tale. multi-family house in encanto Certainly it achieves as it emits a warm glow from within – just like the trailer first unveiled in December 2020. Now, less than a year later, viewers can find out what that magic is all about.

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Encanto, Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and set in the fiery greens of Colombia, Madrigal follows the family, whose home (known as Encanto) is infused with magical powers. So when each member of the family gets old, Encanto blesses them with personal powers. However, at the center of this story is the only non-magical member: the optimistic yet always curious Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz) who poses as a potential threat to Encanto.

during a virtual conversation with HinduMILF back of mind encanto - directors Byron Howard, Jared Bush, and Charis Castro Smith (the latter two also co-writers), assistant production designer Lorelei Bowe, and animation chiefs Renato dos Anjos and Kira Lehtomaki - elaborate on their labor of love, part of the story Detailing, world and character creation and animation styles.

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whereas encanto Covered with some magical magical realism, the core of the story is family. “For this film, we leaned into magical realism, which is a big part of Colombian literary traditions,” says co-director Jared Bush. He adds, "It's about taking emotions and lending them to something beyond reality. Between the gifts of our characters and the expanse of mystery in this magical house, there are still themes we can relate to." We have grown up. Whenever we felt it stopped being relatable, we hit the brakes. This film - a family story first, everything else second - is to act as if there was no magic in this world."

make mirabelle

“The central theme of Encanto is really about the perspective of the family. So, that compelling concept lends itself to a lot of thought over the years and it was a pleasure to come back to that through the different characters,” Castro says Smith.

But one character stands out to the producers: Mirabelle, played by Beatriz.

Mirabel Madrigal (Stephanie Beatriz), the only non-magical member of her family. photo Credit: Disney

Howard, who has long been influenced by Beatriz's portrayal of the stone-faced and forever cool Rosa Diaz Brooklyn Nine-Nine, calling the actor a "home run for Mirabelle".

He recalls, “Stephanie was a huge surprise to us; When he auditioned, I had to double-check the call sheet to make sure it was the same person. [laughs] Her personality and natural way of speaking are so cute, quirky and unarmed that she's instantly drawn to Mirabelle, even if her movements and expressions are animation. ,

Bush says, "Lin-Manuel Miranda—who wrote not only the film but also the original songs—has known Stephanie for decades, so when she found out she was doing it, she went ahead and changed some of the lyrics so that she didn't know how to do it." May he hit his sweet spots; when you listen to his song, you see his personality come to the fore."

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He revealed, "At Disney, we cast people based on who they really are so we tend to find people who are really characters versus someone coming up and someone very different. So when They improvise, so it feels natural for that character."

"The co-directors and animators worked closely to make sure the acting and animation felt like a single confluence," says Howard, who describes, "We made very specific inquiries about the animators and the acting. encanto, There are some very personal and nuanced scenes where the tiniest of eye movements can change the way you feel. We also made sure that the incredible Colombian movement was brought in to represent it in the choreography. ,

And of course, Mirabelle came with its own challenges, say lead animators Renato dos Anjos and Kira Lehtomaki.

The character was with the team from the concept stages. Once Mirabelle's character model was developed, after her character was established they had to work on it further which lends itself to her journey. encanto, “She was the most complex character in terms of getting to where she is now,” explains Do Anjos, “Stephanie’s voice and performance are too rich to add to the animation: the way she moves her eyes and hands. He has these amazing records in the booth."

Walt Disney Animation Studio's "Encanto" introduces the Madrigals, a compelling and complex extended family living in a wondrous and adorable place in the mountains of Colombia. 'Encanto' features the voices of Stephanie Beatriz (starting clockwise from the center) as the only ordinary child in the Madrigal family; Ravi Cabot-Conniers, Renzi Feliz and Adasa as Mirabelle's cousins ​​Antonio, Camilo and Dolores; Mauro Castillo and Carolina Gaten as Mirabelle's uncle and aunt, Felix and Pepa; Maria Cecilia Botero as Mirabel's grandmother, Abuela Alma; Angie Cepeda and Wilmer Valderrama as Mirabelle's parents, Juliet and Augustine; and Jessica Darrow and Diane Guerrero as Mirabelle's sisters Luisa and Isabella. , photo Credit: Disney

Lehtomaki goes on to detail how Mirabel's interior landscape influenced their work as animators. “Shell was a difficult puzzle to solve because she is charming and spirited, yet she is also dealing with this heaviness – wondering why she is not special – because she is surrounded by an extraordinary family. Far behind closed doors, he is one way, and when he is out in the open with them, it is the other way."

She explains, "We had to find out how she was in each situation and how it affected her movements. Happiness is in the details for us; animators are the observers - hopefully in the least creepy way - and We're fascinated by 'Oh, when your lips are closed, your nose comes down a bit'."

a different animation voice

Explore the vibrant 3D and CG world of encanto, one can't help wondering what the world would be like encanto See in 2D? Since starting his career at Disney in 1994, Howard has worked on some fan favorites such as pocahontas, Mulan, lilo and stitch And brother Bear,

Howard recalls the "incredible" journey of animation from 2D to 3D over the past 15 years. "I've seen animators control and finesse, while still being bound by the traditions of 2D animation ... During parts of Disney's history over the past 98 years, we've seen these pinnacles where we've seen 2D animation. We have seen the masters of CG animation and now we are seeing the masters of CG animation and we are fortunate to be there with our film.

There are some 2D animations in the film, notably where the famous 2D animators Mark Hein and Rachel Bibb worked. Hen is responsible for many of the designs of princesses such as Ariel, Belle, Princess Jasmine and Mulan, as well as other notable characters such as Young Simba. The Lion King, Howard, Together encantoThe lead animator of Renato dos Anjos draws on his 2D animator roots a bit, hoping to give Encanto more hand-drawn textures than other Disney films. but hen's hand encanto Heightened some scenes such as when a mischief of rats came together to cast shadows in Bruno's (John Leguizamo) room.

a whole new world

to make the world encanto, the makers hired an environmental art director (Mehrdad Isvandi) and worked with a local botanist to ensure that every part of the natural space was authentic to Colombia. To understand the world that could be encantoHoward and Bush undertook a two-week Reiki tour of Colombia with author Lin-Manuel Miranda; They traveled from Cartagena on the north coast and into the more fortified central regions.

Antonio Madrigal (Ravi-Cabot Conyers) and his animal friends in Disney's Encanto | photo Credit: Disney

In Encanto, Since each member of the family has magical powers, they are also gifted a spacious room in the house. For example, Mirabelle's sister Isabella has the power to grow plants and make flowers bloom, so her room is a cornucopia of purple and pink flowers. Meanwhile little Antonio has the power to talk with animals, so his room is a huge forest inhabited by various creatures.

Assistant production designer Lorelei Bowe says the hardest room was Antonio's room. "It was challenging because of the plants that we had to perfect, inspired by the area. We worked with a botanist, which helped a lot; we would show him pictures of the plants we were interested in and he would identify them." Will take

New challenges everywhere

Most Disney Feature Films - Like Academy Award Winners Soul And Raya and the Last Dragon - Takes a few years to complete. Doesn't it get tiring at any point?

"Since there are so many different stages in the film, we're designing new things all the time, some of which we have to learn on the spot," Bowe replies, "one with endemic flowers for Isabella's room." Designing a distinctive room The Jungle Room of Colombia or Antonio, never becomes homogeneous because there is so much to think about in each space."

With a smile, Howard wrapped it up, "Back to when thoughts". encanto First revealed, it was about uniting the team around a compelling idea. As we added more amazing cast and technicians, following up on new ideas in the future, we saw how the film evolved until it came out. The fresh part of this is the new challenges, problems, ideas and rewards."

Encanto is playing in theaters now.

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