Lin-Manuel Miranda and a 'blessed' family: Everything you need to know about Disney's magical new movie, Encanto.

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There's a feeling you'll get when you watch Disney's Encanto in the cinemas.     

It's joy. Pure and utter joy. 

Thigh-slapping, dancing in your seat, singing on the car ride home, joy. 

Disney's newest animation, which is in Australian cinemas from December 2 (you can book tickets here), tells the tale of the Madrigals, an extraordinary family who live in a magical house in a place called Encanto, in the mountains of Colombia. 

Watch the trailer for Disney's Encanto. Post continues below. 

Every child in the Madrigal family has been blessed with a unique gift, such as super strength or the ability to heal, except for Mirabel (voiced by Brooklyn Nine Nine's Stephanie Beatriz).

But when the magic surrounding Encanto is in danger, Mirabel realises that she, the 'ordinary child', is the only one who can save it. 

Encanto is a magical adventure for the whole family which celebrates Afro-Latinx culture, music, family, and finding your own place in the world. 

Here's everything you need to know about Encanto before you see it in cinemas:

At its heart, Encanto is a story about families. 

Before the magical setting was chosen, every character in Encanto was imagined; the creators knew they wanted it to be a story about family. 

At its heart, Encanto is a film about big, messy, complicated, loving families, and, in particular, families who have several generations under one roof. 

“We thought it would be amazing to tell a story about not just a pair of characters, but a large extended family,” said director Byron Howard (Oscar-winning director of Tangled). “We wanted to celebrate and try to understand how the complex dynamics in big families really work. How well do we know our families? How well do they know us?”

Image: Disney. 


“It’s a story about how the people who are closest to us, especially family members, don’t always see us—or fully understand us. And likewise, we don’t show people we love our whole selves for many reasons. Our story shows how one member of a family who feels the least seen can learn to see her whole family and ultimately herself," added director and screenwriter Jared Bush. 

In the movie, Mirabel represents every person who has ever felt like they didn't fit into their family or their family didn't understand them. 

The magical, joyful movie is set in Colombia and voiced by Afro-Latinx actors. 

Encanto is set in the mountains of Colombia and the film is a celebration of the diversity, culture and music of the local people. 

It's not unusual for several generations to live under the one roof in Colombia and the filmmakers really wanted to explore that dynamic and show the audience what it's like to be a part of such a large, busy family. 

Mirabel is voiced by Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Stephanie Beatriz. The voice cast also includes María Cecilia Botero, Wilmer Valderrama, Adassa, Diane Guerrero, Mauro Castillo, Angie Cepeda, Jessica Darrow, Rhenzy Feliz, John Leguizamo and Carolina Gaitan. 

Much like Disney's previous films such as Moana and Soul, the diversity of the cast is to be admired and celebrated.

Encanto features eight original songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda.

If you're still singing along to the soundtrack of Hamilton, you need to see Encanto in cinemas as soon as possible. 

The soundtrack features eight original songs from Emmy®, GRAMMY® and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, Moana) who was initially drawn to the movie because of its theme of family. 

“It really began with family,” says Miranda. “The notion of a family musical that gets to the complexity and interconnectedness of families was really interesting. In the beginning, we told a lot of personal stories—one of the ongoing themes was how we all cast our family members in certain roles. How do those roles change over time? How do they stay the same?”


The soundtrack is a beautiful exploration of Colombian music, with the accordion playing a central role in the songs. 

Every child receives a "gift" when they turn five years old, except for Mirabel.

Image: Disney.

There's a lot of magic in the Madrigal family. 

When each child turns five years old, a door emerges in their home which opens to an enchanted space. While in the enchanted space, they learn what their role will be in the family and how they'll serve their community. 

Mirabel’s middle sister Luisa is the rock of the family and she is given the gift of super strength. Her older sister, Isabela, is the golden child, and she is able to make plants and flowers bloom wherever she goes. 

Mirabel is the only family member who did not receive a "gift" on her fifth birthday. For years, she's felt like the outcast or black sheep of her family, and but throughout the film she learns to accept herself and her own extraordinary abilities.

Image: Disney. 


Encanto means a place of heightened magic or spirituality.

The term 'Encanto' refers to a place of magic or heightened spiritually where magical or extraordinary things can happen. 

There's a lot of magic in Encanto, but the magic is just one element of the story. A bigger part of the story is that the characters are very relatable and reflect the roles found in families all over the world. 

“Our goal was that these characters would be just as compelling if we were to tell the story of this family without any gifts—if there were no magic in the world. We wanted to have extensions of family archetypes that we could all relate to whether it’s the golden child, the rock of the family, the outcast or drama queen. We just crank it up a little and make it come to life in magical ways," explained Bush. 

While watching the movie you'll probably see yourself in one of the Madrigal siblings. Maybe even Mirabel. 

Mirabel is the first female Disney lead to wear glasses.

Adding to the groundbreaking representation in Encanto, Mirabel is the first female Disney lead to wear glasses. 

Encanto is a celebration of culture, music, family and what makes us unique. 

With its vibrant set, magical plot, fun soundtrack, and amazing, diverse cast, Encanto will become your new favourite Disney animation within the first few minutes. 

In Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Encanto, Mirabel—the only ordinary member of her extraordinary family—discovers that the magic surrounding their home is in danger, and she might be her family’s last hope. 

Don't miss Disney's Encanto: book tickets now. In cinemas December 2. 

Feature Image: Disney.

In Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Encanto,” Mirabel—the only ordinary member of her extraordinary family—discovers that the magic surrounding their home is in danger, and she might be her family’s last hope. Don't miss Disney's Encanto. In cinemas now.