Encanto Disney: the Colombia of Encanto

Encanto Disney: the Colombia of Encanto

Encanto Disney

Encanto, the sixtieth Disney Classic, tells of Mirabel Madrigal and her magical and large family, a new theme for a film from the house of Mickey Mouse. However, the number of characters is not the only innovative element of this Classic, even its setting, Colombia, is totally new. The authors of the film Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Charise Castro Smith and Lin-Manuel Miranda, in wanting to tell a quintessentially Latin American story, have opted for Colombia, as this land would contain in itself a large amount of elements with a strong narrative potential and representative, little known outside the borders of this state.

The film premiered in theaters on November 24, 2021 and will arrive on Disney + on December 24, exclusively streaming for all subscribers at no additional cost. It therefore seems that Disney wants to carry on the custom of distributing important premieres at Christmas, as happened for Soul last year.

Waiting to be able to see the film again (or see it for the first time ) we decided to celebrate the arrival of the film in streaming with a series of curiosities and thematic insights on the film and its characters.

Subscribe now to Disney + for € 8.99 per month or € 89.90 per month. year In this article we have collected some insights on Colombia, based on some elements present in Encanto. If you want to learn more you can also read our article Encanto DIsney: 5 things you (perhaps) do not know, while at this link you can find the interview with the film's authors.

Spoiler alert: before continuing to read , know that in this in-depth analysis there will be direct references to the plot of the film, so if you have not yet seen the film we advise you not to continue reading.

When is Encanto set?

We do not have a precise date on which the film is set, however some elements present in the film may provide some important clues in determining the historical period in which the story and its background took place. A first clue can be obtained from the characters' clothing, which recalls different types of traditional Colombian clothes typical of different regions of the state, which could date back to the early decades of the 1900s. The second historical indicator can be identified in the background of the film. The escape of Pedro and Alma Madrigal takes place during the so-called war of the thousand days (guer de los mil días), a civil conflict that took place in Colombia between 1899 and 1902, during which 150,000 people died and which also caused massive migratory flows. of the civilian population.

Thus making a quick estimate, based on the age of the characters (even these presumed, if we exclude Mirabel and Antonio) we can therefore state that Encanto is set around the 1940s.

A very special basket

In one of the first scenes of the film Mirabel receives as a gift “The special basket for the banal” from one of the villagers. This particular gift contains many items such as food, toys and accessories, topped with pinwheels and hats in red, yellow and red, the colors of her Colombia. The choice of the contents of the basket, however, is not accidental, each of the objects represents an important element of the Colombian popular tradition.

We have identified most of the objects present in the basket, below the contents of the special basket for those who are banal and their meaning:

Achira biscuits: they are traditional biscuits typical of the Andean region (also called Saga or Chisgua) prepared with cane flour. Panela: a sweetener widespread throughout South America obtained from the juice of sugar cane after being brought to high temperatures. Cassava: it is a tuber widespread in tropical regions, very rich in starch and from which tapioca is obtained. Cocas: also known as “baleros” in Mexico, they are a type of traditional wooden toy of indigenous origin (similar to Japanese kendama) consisting of a handle and a cord that connects the head. Yo-yo: this iconic toy has very ancient origins and is universally widespread all over the world.

Butterflies and Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Encanto is a film that takes inspiration from magical realism, a literary genre that sees as its greatest exponent Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his Hundred Years of Solitude (link Amazon). The film by Bush, Howard and Castro Smith, while leaving out the more violent aspects of the genre and therefore less suitable for families, pays homage to the work of Marquez, not only in the atmosphere but also in the extensive use of the yellow butterfly, which in the novel is linked to the character of Mauricio Babilonia and always announces his presence.

In Encanto the yellow butterfly can be found almost everywhere with different functions: it is used both as a decorative motif, as a symbolic element and obviously as a quote directed to this literary masterpiece.

Arepas: what are they?

Colombian cuisine is very varied due to the number of different regional gastronomic traditions. In Encanto, food is shown on several occasions, both as a manifestation of one of Julietta Madrigal's powers, and as a convivial moment for the family, with two scenes in which the characters gather at the table. Among the various dishes shown in the film, one in particular is mentioned several times, even in a verse of a song: arepas.

"My mom Julieta makes you feel good, just one arepa"

Arepas are a kind of scones made with white corn flour, stuffed with a variety of ingredients, such as cheese or meat and cooked for a few minutes on a griddle. In the film Julietta treats Mirabel's wound with an arepa con queso, or a cheese arepa.

Flora and fauna

Among the reasons that led the authors to choose Colombia is also the biodiversity of this nation, which encompasses many types of different ecosystems. The biodiversity in the film is represented not so much by the geographical position of Encanto, the enchanted place protected by high mountains where Alma and the other refugees have settled, but by the gifts of Isabela and Antonio linked respectively to flora and fauna.

The two talents gave the film's artists the opportunity to include some of Colombia's most iconic animals and plants. If the local fauna is well represented in the chamber of the younger Madrigal, inhabited by a jaguar, coatis, a flock of toucans, a family of capybaras and a large snake, the colorful and luxuriant vegetation is the prerogative of Mirabel's older sister. , initially used to embellish and decorate every corner of Casita. From a botanical point of view, however, it will not be just "roses and flowers" since Isabela's inner growth will lead her to explore her true potential, also creating less graceful plants and shrubs during the song "What else will I do? "(What else I can do?), In which trees and plants such as orchids, cacti, jacaranda, flor de mayo, palma de cera, sundew and tabebuia peep out.

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