We do talk about how Bruno's character changed during the creative process.
1. Mirabel is the first main Disney animated female character to wear glasses — and one of the reasons she does is because her name comes from the Spanish word "Mira" meaning "to look".
This is also meant to symbolize one of the major themes of the film — looking at things and people from a different perspective.
2. Also, Mirabel's singing in "The Family Madrigal" is the fastest singing a character has had to do in Disney history.
There's also a super challenging section of the song that Lin-Manuel Miranda says he wrote to sound like a horns line, but he knew that Stephanie Beatriz would be able to handle the vocals.
Fun fact: Musician Alejandro Alvarado actually tried playing the part on trumpet in a TikTok video and Lin shared it on Twitter.
3. Lin-Manuel Miranda actually wrote "The Family Madrigal" super early in the development process of the film — long before they even knew how it was going to end.
"I wrote that opening number before we had a second act or a third act to our film, because we needed it for ourselves to keep track of everybody. And these names may change and the powers may change, but we know the audience is gonna need a guide, and Mirabel’s gonna be our guide, so let’s write that song early," Lin explained in a press conference.
4. Luisa's song "Surface Pressure" — a fan favorite — was actually inspired by Lin-Manuel Miranda's older sister.
"I’m the baby of the family. I have a sister who’s six years older, and she got a raw deal," Lin told Variety. "That song is my love letter and apology to my sister for having it easier. I watched my sister deal with the pressure of being the oldest and carrying burdens I never had to carry. I remember my parents woke my sister up to put together a He-Man playset for Christmas before I woke up. They wanted it to be fully assembled when I woke up on Christmas morning. I put all of that angst and all of those moments into Luisa."
5. Meanwhile, Lin says the character he most identifies with in the film is the little boy drinking coffee.
"My grandmother started giving me coffee when I was six years old," Lin told Kelly Clarkson on The Kelly Clarkson Show. "I have a tattoo of a coffee cup."
6. When Lin was writing "Colombia, Mi Encanto" he tried his best to channel Carlos Vives — so it was a full circle moment when Carlos ended up recording the song for the film:
7. Fans have definitely noticed that "We Don't Talk About Bruno" follows a musical theater style that Lin-Manuel has truly perfected over several projects on songs like "Non-Stop" from Hamilton and "96,000" from In The Heights, where characters each sing their own verses overlapping with each other.
"Everyone sings over the same chord progression with a totally different rhythm and totally different cadence," Lin explained in a featurette about the music in the film. "It was a really fun way of just getting to know everyone in the family."
8. The idea for the song came from "that one thing" in every family that everyone talks about even though you're not supposed to.
Lin joked that the song is: "Capturing a very specific thing which is the, 'We're not supposed to talk about that...it's all we talk about."
9. While we all know Bruno as a sweet, kind, and totally misunderstood guy (who was objectively not 7 feet tall), Bruno was originally written to be harsher than the character we fell in love with on screen:
"My character changed. I was a little cockier when I started. They tore me down until I was an emotional puddle. And then, somewhere around there is where they created Bruno. So, I started out a little cockier, and then they made me a little more vulnerable and a little more awkward," John Leguizamo, who voices Bruno, told Collider.
10. Lin wrote "Waiting On A Miracle" in a completely different beat, resembling more of a waltz time, to symbolize that Mirabel is an outsider in her family.
"She’s literally out of beat with the rest of her family," Lin explained in a featurette about the music from the film.
11. "Dos Oruguitas" is the first song that Lin-Manuel Miranda has written from start to finish in Spanish.
"That's a little outside of my comfort zone," Lin explained on The Kelly Clarkson Show. "I speak Spanish, but my vocabulary is just not as big." Lin described wanting to write a folk song that sounded like it has always existed, and of course, it packs an emotional punch. "My very cool cucumber wife was in tears and she went, 'That's the best song you've ever written," he told Fandango.
12. The writers decided that the Madrigal children would have their gift ceremony specifically at five because they felt that's a typical age when "kids' labels start to stick."
13. In fact, each of the Madrigal gifts is meant to specifically correlate to a traditional role held in a family.
In a press release, the Disney creative team explained that Julieta's healing power through food is reminiscent of comforting family recipes, Luisa's strength represents the "rock" of the family, Isabela is the golden child, and Camilo's shape shifting represents a teen still trying to figure out who he is.
14. The idea for Encanto started long ago — right after Zootopia (2016) finished production, according to the creative team in a press release. Directors Jared Bush and Byron Howard were working on it before Moana even hit theaters in 2016.
The pair worked on both Zootopia and Encanto together.
15. The team originally considered giving Agustín and Félix powers when they married into the Madrigal family, but ultimately decided to keep it to only Madrigal children to represent "family roles and expectations."
16. The filmmakers all took a trip to Colombia in conjunction with the Colombian Cultural Trust for research, and Lin fully immersed himself with different Colombian musicians for songwriting inspiration.
"We went to Cartagena. We went to Bogota. We went to the town of Palenque. We went up into the mountains to a town called Barichara, sort of explored the incredible diversity of Colombian culture and life and listened to music at every stop on our journey," Lin told NPR.
17. Since the Madrigal family is so large, the filmmakers used color schemes for their clothing to identify the smaller units within the extended family.
Juliet and Agustín's side wears cool colors while Pepa and Félix's wears warm tones, according to a press release from the creative team.
18. And, finally, before any other detail of the film was set, the creators knew one thing: That this would be a film about a family.
“We thought it would be amazing to tell a story about not just a pair of characters but a large extended family,” director Byron Howard shared in the production notes. “We wanted to celebrate and try to understand how the complex dynamics in big families really work. How well do we know our families? How well do they know us?”
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