ENCANTO. Yvett Merino is the producer of Encanto, the latest animated film from Disney studios. She returned for Linternaute.com on the genesis of the cartoon and behind the scenes. Interview.
Disney fans will find themselves in the heart of Colombian culture with Encanto. The latest feature film from Mickey’s studios is to be discovered on November 24, 2021 in French cinemas. The public will discover the extraordinary magical powers of the Madrigal family, but above all the path strewn with pitfalls of Mirabel, the only one of this incredible lineage to have no gift. Directed by Byron Howard, Jared Bush and Charise Castro Smith, this cartoon is punctuated by songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton).
Ahead of the film’s release, we caught up with Encanto producer Yvett Merino to discuss behind the scenes of the Disney cartoon. The producer returned in this interview to the genesis of the feature film, but also to the challenges of representation of Colombian culture and the difficulties that may have been encountered during production because of the coronavirus. Find our interview below.
How did you come up with the idea for Encanto’s plot, and how did the preparation for the film begin?
Our directors, Byron Howard and Jared Bush, worked together on Zootopia. Then Jared Bush wrote the screenplay for Vaiana, where he met Lin-Manuel Miranda. When they finished this movie, Byron Howard and Jared Bush knew they wanted to work together again on a Animation Film musical. With Lin-Manuel Miranda, they decided to make a film about family and that it be set in Latin America. This is how the idea for Encanto started.
This is the first Disney film that focuses on Colombian culture. Did you feel any pressure on this?
Yes, in the sense that we wanted to make sure to represent this Colombian culture and show the beauty of the landscapes, the biodiversity, the people. We wanted the public to fall in love with it as much as we did. Byron, Jared and Lin-Manuel went to Colombia to do some scouting. We were supposed to go there too, at the end of March 2020, but unfortunately we had to cancel our trip due to the pandemic … Suddenly, we knew that we had to change our minds. We gathered a team of cultural consultants specializing in Colombia, experts in architecture, botany, anthropology, costumes … We worked with them on many details, we made them check everything, in order to represent this culture properly. the screen.
Is that the reason why you have hired dubbers who have Latin American origins (in original language)?
Absolutely, that’s one of the reasons. We wanted to make sure that this story was told in the most authentic way possible, that the audience felt a real connection to the story being told.
What was the biggest difficulty encountered on this film? Or maybe the most difficult scene to create?
The obvious answer is the coronavirus. Overnight, we went from work in the office to work at home. At first, we thought it would only last a few weeks, and then finally it was months and months, until we made the film entirely from home! I think all studios around the world must have experienced this at one point or another.
If we look at the film itself, the difficulty was that we made a commitment, very early on, to tell the story of 12 members of the same family. Getting to stay on that line could have been tricky at times. Often, in an animated film, you start with a lot of characters and remove some as you go because you have to animate them. The credit goes to our incredible artistic team who invested as much as us in this idea and who managed to fill the screen with this incredible family.
What message did you want audiences, and especially younger audiences to take away from Encanto?
I think we would like the audience to pick up on the idea that the people who fill our lives may not be who we see and think they are. There is always a deeper story behind it, and everyone has their own take on events. I grew up with three other sisters, this movie inspired me to have conversations with them to find out their perspectives on how we grew up.