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The creators of the Disney Charm talk about the influence and characters of the film


His 60th animated feature film is currently in the works at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Charming.

CHARM © 2021 Disney. All rights reserved.

AllEars has recently been invited to take a look at the ongoing film and hear the filmmakers talk about the inspirations, themes and characters in the story during charm ‘s virtual day of early press.

Participants included director Byron Howard, director and screenwriter Jared Bush, co-director and screenwriter Charise Castro Smith, producer Yvett Merino and animation studio and president Walt Disney Clark Spencer.

The origin

The journey of charm it began about five years earlier, when Howard and Bush, reunited from their work Zootopia, decided to pass on their lifelong musical background (trombone) to make a musical. How Bush had just worked recently Moana with Lin-Manuel Miranda, they decided to train with him and discuss what the new musical would be about. They wondered, what is most important to them? What do we all have in common?

The answer was family. All three have large extended families with complicated dynamics. The central question that arose charm, so, era to what extent do we really know our families and to what extent do our families know us? Understanding the different perspective of each family member based on their location in the family and the relationships between us helps us to truly see ourselves and appreciate that everyone around us is fighting their own battles.

The location

As the filmmakers discussed where the film should take place, Columbia became one of the preferred options both for the importance of the family in the region and for its position as a Latin American Crossroads, a broth of latin culture, music, dance, art, food, and biodiversity. Howard, Bush, Miranda and Miranda’s father, Luis, took a research trip to Columbia to learn and experience it all for themselves.

CHARM – Composer Lin-Manuel Miranda appears in the Walt Disney Animation Studios reference photo of the research trip to Colombia. Photo of Jared Bush. © 2021 Disney. All rights reserved.

One of the most important experiences the team had in Columbia was exposure to elevated areas of spirituality and magic called Encantos. Usually in areas of natural wonder, these are spaces where magic still happens as in the past, but magic is different from European magic with wizards and wands, ie magic linked to emotions magical realism. Here, the fantastic elements are presented as a commonplace in a world based on reality.

ENCANTO – Reference photo of the Walt Disney animation studios of the research trip to Colombia. Photo by Byron Howard. © 2021 Disney. All rights reserved.

Returning from the trip, they brought Castro Smith to the team while someone had a deep understanding and affection for magical realism and began the task of writing.

The characters

Castro Smith: “… We realized that if the family in our history lived in one of these magical Charms, perhaps the children who were born there would be special, but special in a way that is a gesture of attention to the family dynamics with which we can all relate. everyone knows that. Like the strong, reliable child who is the rock of the family. Or the perfect golden child the flower of happiness. Or the quiet guy who doesn’t feel comfortable talking to people and therefore talking to animals. Or how worrying he can see the future, but only sees the bad things.

“So while we were thinking about it, we had a big breakthrough because we realized that the family home didn’t have to be just a house. Because in an Enchantment, the house could also have powers ”.

Bush: “… Thus, like the ocean of Moana, the charming house is a character. Unlike Moana, our house is a bit more opinionated and flawed. It’s a house that plays favorites, as families do. A house that gets involved with people. This is Casa Madrigal, the magical house of the Madrigal family which is located within the Charm, along with the neighboring small town. He is alive with magic and his own unique personality.

© Disney

Howard: “Therefore, we follow three generations of the Madrigal family in our history. Of course, there is Mirabel, who is our main character: the only normal child in a family blessed with magical powers. After spending her entire life trying to compete with the rest of Madrigals, Mirabel discovers that she is the only one who can save her beloved family and her magical home.

Nature – Mirabel © Disney

Mirabel, the protagonist, is the voice of Stephanie Beatriz of Brooklyn New-New. “She is perfect, funny, empathetic and very, very human and we love that about her. ”

CHARM – Conceptual art by Jin Kim. © 2021 Disney. All rights reserved.

Mirabel has two sisters, the eldest of whom is one Isabela, (voiced by Diane Guerrero) which has the magical power to make plants grow and flowers bloom. She is funny and effortlessly prepared and is the golden son of the family. While superficially she is the perfect Madrigal, she feels trapped by her role and is more than she looks.

CHARM- Luisa Madrigal © Disney

Her next big sister is Luisa (voiced by Jessica Darrow). Strong, hardworking and athletic, she is the average creature who is the rock of the family with the magical gift of superforce. Like Isabela, she also has secret feelings and sensibilities that are at odds with her outward personality.

Mirabel’s parents are Juliet (Angie Cepeda) i Augustine (Wilmer Valderrama.) Juliet is the city doctor and has the magical power to heal people through food, while Augustine marries the family and has no power except to be prone to accidents.

Juliet was one of the triplets. His brother is Bruno (John Leguizamo) who has the gift of prophecy. Unfortunately, his visions of the future were inevitably unhappy and people blamed him for causing the misfortunes he saw, which led to his disappearance from the family.

Juliet’s other triplet is her sister Paper (Carolina Gaitan) who has the power to control time with her emotions: a mixed blessing as she tends to be overly dramatic and emotionally volatile. He got married Felix (Mauro Castillo) who has no powers, but is the life of the party anyway.

Pepa and Felix also had three children: Delores (Adassa,) Camilo (Rhenzy Feliz,) i Antonio (Ravi Cabot Conyers.) Delores has the gift of super-hearing, Camilo has the magical ability to change shape, and Antonio, who receives his gift throughout the film, has the power to communicate with animals. . Like the others, these gifts reflect and inform their personalities, as Camilo is a teenager who enjoys entertaining and trying out new characters as he finds out who he wants to be; Antonio is shy and more comfortable in animal society than other people, and Delores is perhaps gossipy.

The matriarch of the family is Grandma Soul (Maria Cecilia) whose sacrifice and faith created the Enchantment as a refuge for her and her family in the darkest hour. She is determined to protect her family at all costs and has spent the last 50 years working to ensure her survival.

MEET THE MADRIGALS © 2021 Disney. All rights reserved.

The history

As part of the Early Press Day, we were shown about 20 minutes of material still in development to get an idea of ​​how the film begins. It begins with Mirabel having the children in the neighborhood beg her to tell them about her magical family, which she does for a long time, in a musical number that introduces family members and their powers. While she tries to avoid mentioning it, the fact that Mirabel is the only non-magical member of the family quickly becomes apparent and is the object of her sympathy and pity.

Lucky and determined not to consider herself a minor for not having magic, her self-esteem has another turn when Abuela Alma asks her to have a low profile at her cousin Antonio’s gift ceremony, for fear that her lack of talent interferes in some way in the reception of your. The ceremony involves the children of the family, when they reach a certain age, opening a magic door in the house that gives them some kind of different ability. They are then given their own room in the house (graduating from daycare, where Mirabel still lives) which the house redesigns as a spectacular space specific to her gift. Unlike Mirabel, Antonio successfully receives his gift of talking to animals and is given a huge room full of trees and animals that would be the envy of any nature-loving child.

MEET ANTONIO All rights reserved.

Later that night, Mirabel begins to notice creepy cracks in her beloved magic house. He tries to explain them to others, but no one else admits to having seen them and some begin to believe that he is preparing the whole subject to get attention. Is this a warning of danger to the house and the Madrigal family? Bruno had a vision about it and why did he disappear? We’ll have to wait until November 24 to find out.

More to come! charm and the short “Far from the Tree” opened in theaters on November 24, 2021.

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