13 fun facts about Encanto, from Mirabel’s giveaway to hidden Easter eggs
What does that mean, we’re not talking about Bruno? These days, it seems like everyone is doing just that. Disney’s hit animated musical Encanto hit theaters in November and . The coronavirus pandemic may have limited Encanto’s time in theaters, but on Disney Plus it can be watched again and again. And with his catchy Lin-Manuel Miranda songs like We Don’t Talk About Bruno and Surface Pressure, it’s easy to do.
If you spend an awful lot of time hanging out in the world of Encanto, here are 13 fun facts you might not know about the Madrigal Magical Family world.
Warning: Spoilers for Encanto ahead.
What does the title Encanto mean?
You can translate “encanto” from Spanish as charm, or think of it as allure or enchantment. Not only is Encanto’s casita enchanted with magic, but the entire Madrigal family carries that allure and pure joy within them.
Lin-Manuel Miranda inspired many Bruno memes
Actor John Leguizamo voices Bruno, the Madrigal member the family doesn’t talk about (except they totally do). The Madrigals are a Colombian family and Leguizamo himself was born in Bogotá, Colombia, so the cast seems perfect there. But many fans saw a resemblance between Bruno and songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda, both in looks and the significance of his role. Although Miranda hasn’t publicly stated that he ever thought of playing the role himself, the idea of him playing the role has inspired many memes.
“I just saw a TikTok from a guy who said Bruno Madrigal looks like Lin-Manuel Miranda if Hamilton never goes to Broadway,” one fan tweeted.
Another said, “How many people do you think it took to stop Lin from voicing Bruno?”
Bruno hides in the movie poster
Take a close look at Encanto’s poster, filled with the Madrigal family. Isn’t it… yeah, that’s Bruno, the mysterious Madrigal the family doesn’t like to talk about, hiding under his green coat on the far left of the poster, next to a tree trunk. ‘tree.
Beauty and the Beast inspired opening song
Do you remember the opening number of Beauty and the Beast from 1991, in which Belle swirls around her village singing about the people she knows there? This concept inspired Miranda’s opening number in Encanto, The Family Madrigal, in which Mirabel introduces her magical parents and their powers.
“I was really inspired by Beauty and the Beast, Belle, for our opening number,” Miranda told the Los Angeles Times. “We wanted to bring the complexity of a family to the screen. And that means putting our arms around them, not letting them winnow in the process of the story where you tend to focus on the main character and their quest. We need to be super clear who they are, how they are related, what they can do and how it relates to our main character.”
Mirabel’s skirt pays tribute to her family members
Clothing matters in Encanto. Mirabel’s family members all have a symbol somewhere on their clothes indicating their donation. (Look for the dumbbells on Luisa’s super strong skirt, or Pepa’s sun earrings, appropriate since her emotions control time.) But Mirabel, who starts the film without a gift, has them all embroidered on her skirt, including included a candle for Abuela; a chameleon for Camilo that changes shape; animals for Antonio; and more.
“My favorite detail about Encanto is that each character has a symbol of their miracle embroidered on their clothes, except Mirabel who has symbols of their entire family,” a fan notes in a tweet.
Take a close look at Agustín’s outfit too
Mirabel’s father, Agustín, also represents his family in his outfit, points out Encanto director Jared Bush.
“Agustín incorporated his three daughters into his outfit – a flower for Isabela, a sock with the symbols of Luisa, a sock in the style of Mirabel embroidery,” Bush explained in a tweet.
What is Mirabel’s gift in Encanto?
Huge spoilers, but when a young Mirabel tries to receive her magical gift, nothing seems to happen. It seems she’s the only Muggle in the Madrigal family, in Harry Potter terms. But in the film, when Mirabel finally manages to get her hands on a doorknob after her failed childhood attempt, it brings the Madrigals’ magical casita back to life. Perhaps his greatest gift is the power to keep his family, their home, and all of their magical gifts separate, together, and thriving.
Then again, the fact that she can’t raise churches or have visions of the future proves to be less important than her love for her family. As one witty fan on Twitter pointed out, the film shows that “Mirabel is an independent, capable person who deserves to be loved and accepted just as much as the rest of her family, and who puts so much emphasis on a singular aspect of a person’s identity can be emotionally and psychologically damaging.”
Yet audiences still ask to know, “OK but what’s his gift?”
Hercules and Cerberus
In Luisa’s super catchy song Surface Pressure, she musically wonders, “Has Hercules ever been like, ‘Yo, I don’t wanna fight Cerberus?’ “Cerberus is the three-headed dog that guards the gates of the underworld in Greek mythology, but it could also be a Disney movie reference. In Disney’s 1997 movie Hercules, strongman Herc tames Cerberus, so this reference might be a clever callback to that movie.
Lin-Manuel’s sister inspired Luisa’s song
In Surface Pressure, Luisa sings about how family burdens are often unloaded on her without their asking, because they are used to her carrying them without complaint. The song was inspired by Miranda’s own sister, Luz, who is six years older than him.
“She takes on a lot more responsibility than I do – I was very aware that I was the little brother who got away with everything – so Surface Pressure is really a love letter to my sister,” Miranda told the Washington Post.
And Luz does indeed resemble Luisa, even down to her abilities at a young age.
“I remember my parents waking up my sister to put together a He-Man playset for Christmas before I woke up,” Miranda told Variety. “They wanted it fully assembled when I woke up on Christmas morning.”
In We’re Not Talking About Bruno, a character appears briefly but memorably, claiming that Bruno told her that her fish would die and her vision came true (she even displays the fish floating upside down). This character was never introduced, but director Jared Bush told fans her name was “Senora Pezmuerto.” Translation? “Pezmuerto” means “dead fish”.
Height of Mirabel
The lyrics to We Don’t Talk About Bruno claim that he has “a seven-foot frame and rats down his back”, but when Bruno shows up, he’s nowhere near as tall. For some reason, fans of the film are very interested in the height of Mirabel.
Director Jared Bush tweeted, “Here’s an answer to a question I’ve been asked A LOT — ‘How tall is Mirabel?!’ Official answer: 5’2″ — everyone else’s height is relative to his, so that’s all I have… except for Bruno who has, you know, a 7′ frame and rats in the back.”
Meet Mirabel at Disney
Even though the film was just released in November, Mirabel showed up at Disney’s California Adventure theme park in Anaheim, Calif., for winter vacation. A Disney representative did not immediately respond to questions about whether she would become a permanent presence at the theme park or also show up at Walt Disney World in Florida.
Nice to meet you, old friend
Voice actors don’t always need to be in the same room to record their parts, and that’s been especially true during the coronavirus pandemic. Lin-Manuel Miranda said he had trained many singers via Zoom and hadn’t met many before the film premiered in November.
It’s not easy to be green
Notice the importance of the color green in the film, especially related to two specific characters. Mirabel’s round glasses are a bright green, and Bruno is hiding under a green coat. It’s no coincidence that these two have other things in common, especially when it comes to having unusual talents.
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