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Encanto The Art History & Anthropology Behind the Movie

Disneys latest Oscar-winning animated feature Encanto has been widely praised for what many have described as an unprecedented degree of well-executed even poignant representation. Writer José María Luna called the film an act of defiance. Set in Colombia the film tells the story of Mirabel Madrigal who must come to terms with being normal in a family that possesses magical powers.

The films Colombian Cultural Trust actually began at the beginning of the films development even before the directors research trip – rather than after the start of the pandemic. Travel restrictions did not lead to the creation of the trust and it would have been crucial to production even if further research trips had been possible.

One could cite several factors that contributed to the praise this film has received but the Colombian Cultural Trust seems to be at the heart of it all. Created by Disney at the beginning of the films development and comprised of a wide range of experts that filmmakers met with weekly the group became an especially crucial source of information after the onset of the pandemic made research travel impossible. As Associate Production Designer Lorelay Bové tells Art & Object We had architects we had botanists we had—Andrés Góngora and Sara Zamora—anthropologists.

This slideshow digs into the value added to this film via the thoughtful inclusion of cultural and historical art objects. As you will see in statements throughout from Bové Góngora and Art Director of Environments Camille Andre contributions from the Trust elevated Encanto from a charming worldly film to a poignant and potentially transformative work of art. All statements from Andrés Góngora were originally made in Spanish and translated by Lorelay Bové throughout a group conversation.

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