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 Magical Madrigal House of 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
The film’s name, “Encanto,” is named after the secret forests called Encantos the creative team at Disney Animation Studios discovered while visiting Colombia to do research for the film. The Encantos are areas of heightened spirituality, places of magic that are all over Latin America, usually in areas of natural wonder.
“Our friends in Colombia told us that magic happens in these places and always has. But not European magic, not wizards and wands, but magic tied to emotion and part of a tradition called magical realism,” Encanto Director Byron Howard said.
And the family’s house isn’t just a house, because, in an Encanto, the house itself can have powers too.
“Like the ocean in Moana, the house of Encanto is a character. But opposed to Moana, our house is a little bit more opinionated and flawed, like a family, Howard described. “It’s a house that plays favorites, a house that messes with people. This is casa Madrigal, the magical home to the Madrigal family, and it’s located within the Encanto, along with a small neighboring town. It’s alive with magic and its own unique personality.”
“So each of the rooms in this house is a fantastical realm that represents the personality and magical powers of the Madrigal who lives there,” co-writer and director Charise Castro Smith shared with us.”
“So we played with the idea of the physical as a literal representation of the family and their emotional connections,” Howard said. “If the family’s happy, the house is healthy. If the family’s being playful, the house may be playful. But if the family is going through struggles, the house can crack.”
The Design of the Madrigal Casita
The house of the family Madrigal is inspired by traditional homes in Columbia, such as places like Barichara, Cartegena, and Salento.
“Early on we talked to Columbian architects and they gave us such great information about the construction of these houses. And the design of the casita, one thing that we learned, you know, through the consultants, was in the coffee region there’s like a lot of haciendas that have an indoor-outdoor feel,” said Lorelay Bové, associate production designer. “So we really wanted to get that in our casita, as well as the courtyard, which has a beautiful view to all the magical doors in our house.”
“Each family member has a uniquely designed room, so this for example is Antonio’s room which is inspired by the Cocora [Valley] rainforest on the Pacific Coast of Colombia. We had a botanist consultant, and we learned about all the plants that grow in the region. We really wanted to reflect the immense biodiversity of Columbia. And you’ll see that we have that other examples in other rooms, as well.”
The cocina (kitchen) was inspired by all Latin American kitchens. “But then we worked very closely with consultants, Juan and Natalie, which really helped us to make this feel more distinctly Columbian. So we wanted to make sure that the color palette, art wise had a bright and very warm and welcome feel with lots of plants and texture,” Bové said. “The kitchen is the heart of the house. The colors have a very warm and very calming effect. And with the candlelight at night, which was very perfect for some of the scenes in the kitchen with Julieta and Mirabel, both really compliment well in this setting with their cooler color palette.”
The team added lots of tile so that the house could be moving objects here and there. They shifted to a more natural palette with white walls and added stonework. They also added props that would be found in traditional cocina, like a molinillo (hot chocolate stirrer), Molino de maiz (corn grinder), and even Colombian La Chamba (traditional clay pottery).
Check out The Best Quotes from Disney’s Encanto
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