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Behind the Scenes of Disney’s New Magical Musical

The family members of the Madrigal family in Disney's Encanto, standing in front of their house.

Image: Disney Animation

Encanto, Disney’s newest film about a family in Columbia granted magical powers from their magical house, looks like it’ll be pretty charming. (That’s something Disney’s trailers are usually good at doing…most of the time.) With the movie just a few weeks away, Disney’s put out a featurette about the making of the film that is just as lively and energetic as the movie itself.

Stephanie Beatriz has the lead role as Mirabel, the only member of the Madrigal family who hasn’t been given a magical gift. The actor has been primarily known for playing gruff characters like Rosa Diaz on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Batwoman in the upcoming Catwoman: Hunted movie, and getting the chance to play a more sprightly character was “a lot of fun.” It’s kind of delightful to watch her goof around in the recording booth and use her “regular” voice that you may not have heard before.

Being set in Colombia, the crew wanted to do their research and present the country as accurately as possible. Director and co-writer Jared Bush described the Cocora Valley as “one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to,” and they eventually decided it would be the perfect place for the Madrigal’s house. how they settled on the Cocora Valley for the Madrigal’s home. The valley is said to have the world’s tallest palm trees (called wax palms) that can grow as high as 200 feet, and you can see some of those trees in the video itself.

Like so many other movies this year, Encanto has Lin-Manuel Miranda handling its music. Miranda previously talked to us about how the film breaks from regular Disney tradition by keeping the family around throughout the film, and he’s loved writing music with all the Madrigals in mind. “It was such a joy writing music for these incredible characters…I think people will see themselves in different family members.” Having been brought on from the start, he enjoyed immersing himself in Colombia’s music, and the result is what he’s called “a joyous experience” to work on.

Encanto comes to theaters and Disney+ on November 24.


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