Disney’s Encanto tells the story of Mirabel and the enchanting Family Madrigal, but a perspective change could’ve altered the movie’s magic.
Disney’s Encanto tells the story of Mirabel and the Madrigals, but a perspective change could’ve altered the movie’s magical moments. Mirabel Madrigal (Stephanie Beatriz) is perhaps the most determined member of the Madrigal family. Many of the Madrigals get magical gifts that they use to better their community. For instance, Luisa (Jessica Darrow) has the strength to lift donkeys and move churches. However, Mirabel doesn’t get a special gift. Though the lack of magic hurts her relationship with Abuela Alma (María Cecilia Botero and Olga Merediz), Mirabel doesn’t let anything stop her from discovering why her family may be losing their powers.
Encanto went through several changes before the final film. Disney’s Art of Encanto reveals behind-the-scenes secrets from the movie, showing several characters could’ve been very different. For instance, Isabela (Diane Guerrero) once had a love interest, though Disney ultimately cut the character from the film. Additionally, Pepa Madrigal (Carolina Gaitán) once had a much different power, which left the character indestructible. However, the filmmakers changed that because it was too similar to Luisa’s gift.
The Madrigals are undoubtedly magical in Encanto, but another film change could’ve possibly altered that. Associate Production Designer Lorelay Bové explains in Art of Encanto that the film almost had a perspective change between Mirabel and Abuela Alma. According to Bové, the film almost played with the colors in the world around Mirabel to show her emotions influenced her. But this would change in the third act. “Mirabel would stop narrating and the ending would be from Abuela’s point of view, where everything would look more realistic and photographic,” Bové said. Ultimately, Disney and the Encanto filmmakers didn’t go that route because it was too distracting, and the move may have saved the film’s magic.
Encanto Was Right To Choose Escapism Over Realism
Encanto’s escapism is a big part of its success. Viewers have fallen in love with Mirabel, her family, their magical home, and the town where they live. The family and the town in Encanto feel like they could really exist somewhere, magic and all. If the movie were more realistic, it could remove some of its escapism. Even worse, it could potentially invalidate Mirabel’s perspective, showing her fantastical visions of her family’s powers weren’t rooted in reality. By switching to a more realistic view, Disney’s incredibly successful Encanto could’ve taken away from its escapism and the magic that’s enchanted viewers worldwide.
Still, there’s a chance the perspective change could’ve worked. Art of Encanto doesn’t explicitly state that the realism in the perspective change would alter the movie’s magic. So the perspective change could’ve potentially added to the story, simply showing things in a new light thanks to Abuela Alma’s point of view. Though the film attempts to show Alma’s point of view in the end during “Dos Oruguitas,” a perspective change could’ve made Alma more endearing. In the end, the filmmakers made Encanto exactly as it should’ve been, which is already pretty magical.
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