PIXAR’s Encanto is coming to theaters next month, just in time for Thanksgiving! I was able to attend the film’s press day a couple of weeks back, where the creators introduced attendees to the characters, discussed the “magic of the film and more. The film is all about magic and as we were able to meet the new characters, we also got a bit of information of those voicing each. So check out all the details from this Creator interview and meet the Encanto characters!
Meet Encanto Characters
As the name may suggest, ‘Encanto‘ means charm or magic and that is exactly what each character possesses. The story is set in Columbia and is a very family centric story. I was able to screen 30 minutes of footage before attending the press day and I was overcome with the sweet story and beautiful visuals. With the story being based on the Madrigal family, there are many characters to meet!
One aspect of the film the creators really stressed was ‘Casa Madrigal’ reflects the Madrigal family and because of this, the house became a character of its own. Director/Writer Jared Bush goes on to say, “Like the ocean in Moana, the house of Encanto is a character. As opposed to Moana, our house is a little more opinionated and flawed. It’s a house that plays favorites, like families do. A house that messes with people. This is Casa Madrigal, the magical home of the Madrigal family. It’s alive with magic and its own, unique personality.” Co-writer/Director Charise Castor Smith added, “each of the rooms in this house is a fantastical realm that represents the personality and magical powers of the Madrigal who lives there.“
“We played with the idea of the physical house as a literal representation of the family and their emotional connections. For instance, if the family’s happy, the house is healthy. If the family’s being playful, the house can be playful.” -Director Byron Howard
Mirabel, who’s the main character in Encanto is the only child in the family not to receive magical powers. Because of this Bush says, “she spends her entire life trying to measure up to the rest of the Madrigals. Mirabel finds that she is the only one who can save her beloved family and their magical home.” Voicing Mirabel is Brooklyn 99 star Stephanie Beatriz, who Bush proclaims is perfect for the role! Her character is a fun, interesting, complex, and unusual character and Beatriz really brought the empathy and humor to her personality.
Isabela is Mirabel’s oldest sister and was gifted with the magical power that makes plants grow and flowers bloom. Bush describes Isabel as, “effortlessly graceful and her poise has made her the golden child of the family. But Isabela is much more than she seems and secretly, she feels trapped in her role as the perfect Madrigal.” Diane Guerrero-Guerrero voices Isabel and Smith says, “she brilliantly captured Isabela’s sweetness, her kind of sisterly cattiness and the real complexity of a young woman who’s feeling confined by a family role that doesn’t quite fit.“
Luisa is the middle sister and is strong, hardworking and quite athletic. Bush describes her as the rock of the family who is gifted with the magical power of strength. She is also “sensitive and secretly bursting with oversized emotions that conflict with her tough persona.” Voicing Luisa is Jessica Darrow, who stood out the to creators because of her incredible sense of humor and warm personality.
Augustin and Julieta Madrigal
Augustin and Julieta are the parents to Mirabel, Luisa and Isabel, both being very warm and nurturing. Julieta has the magical power to heal through food, so of course this makes her the perfect family caretaker. Angie Cepeda voices Julieta and brought warmth and professionalism to the role, this is important as she is the town doctor in Encanto.
Smith describes Augustin as “a kind and slightly awkward fish out of water, having married into the Madrigal family.” Augustin is voiced by the hilarious Wilmer Valderrama, who Howard admits is great for the part being a sort of fish out of water himself. Augustin is quite accident prone, so the match is perfect considering Augustin married a healer.
Pepa & Felix
Pepa, Bruno and Julieta are triplets, making Pepa Mirabel’s Aunt. Pepa has the magical gift of “the ability to control the weather with her emotions.” Bush describes her as being “super overly dramatic and super emotional at all times.” Pepa is married to Felix, who is definitely the life of the party, and the two of them have three children together. Carolina Gaitan voices Pepa and Bush describes her as being “a delight to work with. Her performance as the mercurial and lovable Tia Pepe is just a standout.” Felix is voiced by Mauro Castillo who is a brilliant musician and actor.
Delores, Camilo & Antonio
Delores, Camilo, and Antonio are Pepa and Felix’s children. Delores has been gifted with the magical ability of extraordinary hearing and most of the time she hears things that she shouldn’t. Delores is voiced by the popular singer Adassa, who brought a wonderful quirk to her character. Lin Manuel-Miranda actually wrote many of the songs for Delores, being that is his favorite character in Encanto.
Camilo was gifted with the ability to transform his appearance at will. He’s a shapeshifter. Rhenzy Feliz voices Camilo and does an incredible job voicing the teenager who is in the transformation stage of his life.
Antonio is the youngest brother who has the magical gift of communicating with animals. Howard describes him as “warmhearted and shy and he’s Mirabel’s favorite cousin.” Antonio is voiced by Ravi Cabot Conyers who creators proclaimed brought a wonderful warmth to his character.
Abuelo Pedro & Abuela Alma
Abuela Alma and Abuelo Pedro are the Madrigal family elders. Abuela Alma is the family protector and exudes the strength and single-minded determination to protect her family since she lost her husband 50 years ago. The wonderful Maria Cecilia Botero voices Abuela Alma, who Smith says she “brings to life one of the most complex and nuanced and multidimensional characters in the entire film.”
Bruno is the Pepa and Julieta’s brother and Mirabel’s Uncle who has been estranged from the Madrigal family. Bruno has been gifted with visions of the future and is voiced by the talented John Leguizamo. Bush admits Encanto is filled with mysteries and Bruno is one of the most delicious mystery in the film.
The Madrigals are an extraordinary family who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a charmed place called the Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift — every child except Mirabel. However, she soon may be the Madrigals last hope when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is now in danger.