Disney Animation Studios’ Encanto will be in theatres November 24th, but we got a sneak peek at this beautiful new family-focused animated feature from Disney Animation Studios at their press event earlier this month.
Meet the Madrigal Family in Disney’s Encanto
We sat down to talk about the upcoming film, Encanto, and watch a few minutes of the film, with:
- Producer and Disney Animation President, Clark Spencer
- Producer Yvett Merino
- Director Byron Howard
- Director and Screen Writer Jared Bush
- Co-Director and Screen Writer Charise Castro Smith
- Associate Production Designer Lorelay Bové
- Head of Animation Renaldo dos Anjos
- Head of Animation Kira Lehtomaki
- Animation Reference Consultant Kai Martinez
In Disney’s Encanto, we are following three generations of the Madrigal family. Mirabel, the main character, is the only ordinary child in a family blessed with these amazing magical powers. After spending her entire life trying to measure up to the rest of the Madrigals, Mirabel finds that she is the only one who has the power to save her beloved family and their magical home.
“Brooklyn-9-9” star Stephanie Beatriz is the voice of Mirabel.
“Mirabel really carries this story. It is about her, and she goes on this journey,” Jared Bush said. “She has to be funny and human and empathetic, deeply emotional and quirky, and I think, unlike anything we’ve ever put on screen before, Stephanie not only nailed all of that, she brought her own personality to the character, ad libbed a ton of lines, and really elevated both this character and our movie considerably.”
Mirabel has two older sisters. Mirabel’s oldest sister, Isabela, was gifted with the magical power that makes plants grow and flowers bloom. Her effortless grace and poise have made her the golden child of the family. However, Isabela is much more than she seems and secretly feels trapped in her role as the perfect Madrigal.
Luisa is strong, hardworking, and extraordinarily athletic. She is the middle child and the rock of the family whose magical gift is super strength. However, she is also sensitive, secretly bursting with oversized emotions that conflict with her tough persona.
Jessica Darrow voices Luisa and Diane Guerrero voices Isabela.
“Jessica has an incredible sense of humor, warmth, and personality and has just made Luisa a really unforgettable character. And we feel so lucky to have Diane as Isabela. She’s so brilliantly captured Isabela’s sweetness, her sisterly cattiness, and the complexity of a young woman feeling confined by a family role that doesn’t quite fit her. So they’re both fantastic,” Charise Castro Smith said.
Mirabel, Isabela, and Luisa’s parents are Agustin and Julieta. Julieta is warm and nurturing and has the magical power to heal through food, and this makes her the Madrigal family caretaker. She’s also the town doctor. Agustin is a kind and slightly awkward fish out of water, having married into the Madrigal family.
Angie Cepeda voices Julieta and Agustin is voiced by Wilmer Valderrama.
Of all the Madrigals, Julieta has probably got it the most together, and she’s a good caretaker for this town. And her voice has the warmth and professionalism that every doctor should have. On the converse, her husband is extremely accident prone (bubble wrap anyone?) and he’s keen on contributing anything he can, but that often leads to his own injuries; so it’s convenient being married to the town doctor.
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. However, when the family came to believe that Bruno’s visions were causing the misfortune he foresaw, he mysteriously disappeared from casa Madrigal.
But we don’t talk about Bruno, so…
Mirabel’s Tia Pepa, Aunt Pepa, was gifted with the ability to control the weather with her emotions. However, she’s super emotional and overly dramatic so you can imagine how that plays out. Facebook status: “It’s complicated.” Pepa is married to Felix, who is the life of the party. They have three children (Mirabel’s cousins).
Carolina Gaitan voices Pepa and Mauro Castillo voices Felix.
Felix and Pepa’s children are Dolores, Camilo, and Antonio. Dolores has been gifted with 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 shape shifter. Antonio’s magical gift is communicating with animals. He is warm-hearted and shy and Mirabel’s favorite cousin. The two of them are very close. They trust each other. They’ve grown up together and they both have a lot of understanding.
Adassa voices Delores and Rhenzy Felix voices Camilo. Ravi-Cabot Conyers voices Antonio.
The Madrigal elders are Abuelo Pedro, who sacrificed so much for his family, and Abuela Alma, whose unwavering faith created the magical Encanto the Madrigals call home. She’s the matriarch of the Madrigal family.
Abuela Alma’s strength and single-minded determination to protect her family hasn’t waivered in the 50 years since she lost her husband. Maria Cecilia Botero voices Abuela Alma
Okay, so about Bruno
John Leguizamo voices Bruno. Jared Bush said his performance, “is one of my favorites in the movie. This character is mysterious and interesting, and there’s lots to uncover about him as we move to the story. I will say it’s John Leguizamo at his absolute best. What he was able to bring to Bruno…another character where lots of ad libs and off-the-page material that he was able to bring to him and maybe a little bit of singing.”
“We’re very, very excited for you all to see more about John Leguizamo.”
Bové talked about the use of colors and visual diversity to represent the differences between each of the characters.
The team’s goal was to organize the families through a distant color palette so that the audience would be able to understand who is who and easily divide the families in two. They did this early on in the project and developed the color palettes of each family.
Julieta and Agustin’s side of the family, which is also Mirabel’s side of the family, used cooler, jewel tones. Julieta, Mirabel’s mother, has a warm and nurturing feel and she wears turquoise because it’s a healing color. Agustin, Mirabel’s father, is inspired by people from Bogota and a bit of a fish out of water. Coming from the city in comparison to other cultural members of the family, he wears a dark 3-piece suit.
Mirabel has a very crafty feel, Colombia is known for its crafts and artwork, so there is a handmade quality to much of the art in the movie. Mirabel’s outfit is embroidered, but with a quality you would expect from a teenager: not perfect, and almost like what a teen girl might draw in a journal or diary.
Luisa has a lot of weight in her costumes and she has super strength, a gift. They wanted to show that she can be both strong and have a sensitive side.
Isabela, the golden child, and Abuela’s favorite. Her design has an effortless ethereal and perfect look. Her outfit is less folkloric compared to Mirabel and some of the others. Isabela has a sleeveless, light-tiered dress inspired by flowers. Flower festivals were another inspiration of Isabela’s costumes and room, especially the one in Medellin, Colombia, which inspired dahlias, hydrangeas, orchids, and daisies, and other.
Pepa and Felix’s side of the family used a warmer color palette.
Since Abuela Alma had lost her beloved Abuelo and she goes through so much, her costume color palette has a lot of weight, as does her character design. Abuela has a look that feels very constricted compared to that of the other characters, and she has more of a formal, traditional 1900s look.
Use of Iconography
Whatever the character’s gift is, the animation team tried to incorporate iconography based on their strength into the design.
The old embroidery and lace iconography are designed to have flame candles, which is a big part of the film. Butterflies are another heavily used iconography to symbolize the moment of the Encanto being created. Interestingly enough, Colombia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful butterflies, yet it holds a dark superstition related to one butterfly in particular. The presence of a dark butterfly, usually a moth, in a home is said to indicate that someone close to the family will pass away.
Julieta carries healing herbs that grow in Columbia in her pocket. She has embroidery of those herbs on her outfit as healing iconography.
Agustin represents carrying his 3 daughters: one of his socks is for Mirabel, the other is for Luisa, and he has a flower from Isabela.
Mirabel has a very crafty feel, Colombia is known for its crafts and artwork, so there is a handmade quality to much of the art in the movie. Mirabel’s outfit is embroidered, but with a quality you would expect from a teenager: not perfect, and almost like what a teen girl might draw in a journal or diary. Mirabel’s skirt includes iconography that represents each member of the house.
Luisa has a lot of weight in her costumes and she has super strength, a gift. They wanted to show that she can be both strong and have a sensitive side. And she has an athletic build into the design and a traditional Columbia blouse inspired by the coffee region and a beautiful folkloric, as we said the skirt with a weight iconography of embroidery on her skirt.
Isabela wears a Christmas orchid in her hair, which is the national flower of Columbia.
Check out The Best Quotes from Disney’s Encanto
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