Monday, 23, May, 2022

Enchantment | Discover the places in Colombia represented in the animation

On November 25th, the public will be able to embark on a trip to Colombia with Charm, the newest animation from Walt Disney Animation Studios.

The film tells the story of the Madrigals, an extraordinary family who live in a village in the mountains of the country, in a magical house known as Encanto. In the story, magic has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift, from super strength to healing power. Everyone except Mirabel. But when she discovers that the magic surrounding Encanto is in jeopardy, the girl decides that she, the only Madrigal without magical powers, could be her family's last hope.

Charm it involves diversity, culture, people and, of course, Colombian music. The location was totally story-driven, according to the director and screenwriter. Jared Bush. “Much of Latin America is a combination of indigenous, African and European heritage. Colombia is considered 'the intersection of Latin America' – and we wanted to reflect that within a family: the Madrigals.”

bush, Byron Howard (also film director) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (responsible for the film's original songs) traveled to Colombia in 2018 to explore and absorb the surroundings. Howard says: “There was a surprise around every corner. Each city, each place was completely different and incredibly beautiful – Cartagena, Bogotá, Barichara and San Basilio de Palenque – there is a sense of magic in many of these places. The visit to Colombia and the opportunity to be welcomed by so many people we met there was truly a revelation, and it inspired a lot of our history.”

Encanto | Conheça os locais da Colômbia representados na animação 1
Cartagena, Colombia/ Image: Disclosure

According to the producer Yvett Merino, the film's look embodies the vibrancy, vitality and sincerity that the filmmakers found in the Colombian community. “We hope to have adequately conveyed the beauty of Colombia – from the Cocora Valley to the Coffee Region (Eje Cafetero), passing through the rainforests,” he said. "Most importantly, we hope our film reflects the beauty of the people of Colombia."

The filmmakers were interested in creating a background for Mirabel's story that was deeply inspired by Colombia. According to the producer, the team sought out specialists in Colombian culture, anthropology, costumes, botany, music, language and architecture, among other fields of expertise. “We talked with them for hours about every topic, from native plants to the way the houses would have been built at that time and in that region. Once we started focusing on Colombia, we knew we wanted to appropriately represent the region and the extraordinary culture.”

Encanto | Conheça os locais da Colômbia representados na animação 2
Barichara, Colombia/ Image: Disclosure

Among these consultants are Juan Rendon and Natalie Osma, documentary filmmakers who met Howard, Bush, and producer Clark Spencer while working on a behind-the-scenes project for Zootopia. The duo, who are Colombian, quickly became a fan of the idea of setting Charm in your home country. “We love Colombia,” says Rendon. “The topography – three mountain ranges separated by valleys and with two large rivers – created very different populations at the turn of the 20th century, with very specific cultural identities that are still relevant today. There are the peoples of the mountains, the coasts and the plains – each one bringing certain characteristics, generally speaking, as a tendency to be more expandable and sociable on the north coast, where it is very hot”.

Osma adds: “It is not uncommon to find houses with several generations. It's practical and there are benefits to having the support of family members.” She and Rendon accompanied the filmmakers on their research trip, helping them tour the various regions and introducing them to many of the people who would serve as consultants alongside them throughout the production. “We saw all the exhibitions, from the first one”, says Osma. “We meet with them every week, send out reference materials on everything from great ideas to simple things like gestures – how a character can move their hands. We do a lot of research”.

Charm premieres on November 25 in movie theaters across Brazil.

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