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‘Encanto’, the new Disney box office film ‘starring’ in Colombia: what does it reflect of the country and why does it dispense with a great villain?

Posted: Dec 1, 2021 02:44 GMT

In addition to highlighting Colombian magical realism, the film completely dispenses with a traditional antagonist and offers something much more nuanced and tragic: a social problem with which hundreds of Colombians claim to feel identified.

Disney’s animated film “Enchantment” has reached the number one position in the world box office in its opening session. The family story set in Colombia began with a confirmed collection of 40.6 million dollars in five days in the United States and 29.5 million dollars confirmed in 47 international territories, which represents a total of more than 70 million dollars, becoming the largest animated film premiere during the pandemic.

The film, directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard, offers a look at Colombia through the lens of magical realism, focusing on the powers of the Madrigal family. The film does not reveal where exactly the town in which the story is set is located, but it certainly features countless elements from the diverse Colombian culture.

Likewise, the latest Disney fable completely dispenses with a traditional antagonist and offers something much more nuanced and tragic, a social problem with which hundreds of Colombians who saw the film claim to feel identified: forced displacement.

Film experts have indicated that the true villain of the story is generational trauma and the ways in which coping mechanisms can fail and leave a family broken, despite their best efforts to overcome the scars of their past.

In the film, the protagonists are forced to flee a war-torn city with three children in tow when a group of armed men overtake them and their companions as they try to cross a river.

In real life, millions of Colombian families have suffered a similar situation: they have been forcibly displaced due to the internal conflict between different armed actors that began more than 60 years ago and has made Colombia the country with the most internally displaced persons in the world. according to a report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Cultural diversity and folklore

Although ‘Encanto’ could not include all the diversity of the country in its 109 minutes of duration, each element represented on the screen shows an incredible degree of authenticity.

Bush confesses that he felt great admiration for the variety of landscapes in Colombia: “They are huge and very different from each other. Each place was unique and spectacular. I was surprised how much I did not know about this culture and what better way than to have learned it from friends we did in the trip and their families. “

The characters that the team got to know were key in the construction of the story and thanks to them it was possible to include so many different regions and elements. Among those that stand out are the silleteros from the Medellín Flower Fair, the Caribbean vueltiao hat and the aguadeño from Caldas, the traditional flowerpots from Valle del Cauca, the Wayuu backpacks from La Guajira, the typical costumes from Santander and the cozy blanket-like coats called ruanas.

Even the love of Colombians for coffee, arepas and dancing was evidenced in the film. Even including the arepa in a film that highlights typical elements of Colombia gave rise to a debate on social networks about the origin of this food, since many say it is Venezuelan.

The flora and fauna of ‘Encanto’

Disney did everything possible to highlight the great biological diversity of Colombia, a difficult mission if you take into account the estimates that the country has 10% of the planet’s biodiversity, ranking first in the world in types of birds, with 1,850 species.

The filmmakers met with local botanists to discuss Colombian biodiversity and visited the Gabriel García Márquez Foundation. In fact, the yellow butterflies made famous by the Colombian nobel open the story, while the mountains are the perfect setting to appreciate Colombia’s official tree, the wax palm.

Likewise, among the pets of the Madrigal family there are endemic species, such as the jaguar, the toucan, the macaw and the one that stole the ‘show’, the capybara, the largest rodent in the world, exclusive to Central and South America.

It should also be noted that the soundtrack for ‘Encanto’, composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, also contributes to the feeling of authenticity, as it includes original songs by Colombian stars Carlos Vives and Maluma. Where ‘Encanto’ stumbles on is in the absence of vallenato, merengue, salsa or cumbia, musical genres that are heard daily throughout the country.

However, ‘Encanto’ is very faithful to Colombian culture and family life. With so many particular characters, the possibility of future Disney sequels and spin-offs is to be expected. The film potentially establishes an eventual continuation of the Madrigal story that could explore any of Colombia’s traditional carnivals and festivals, and opens a door for in-depth exploration of all nuances of Latin American culture.

About the author

Donna Miller

Donna is one of the oldest contributors of Gruntstuff and she has a unique perspective with regards to Science which makes her write news from the Science field. She aims to empower the readers with the delivery of apt factual analysis of various news pieces from Science. Donna has 3.5 years of experience in news-based content creation, and she is now an expert at it. She loves journalism, and that is the reason, she moved from a web content writer to a News writer, and she is loving it. She is a fun-loving woman who has very good connections with every team member. She makes the working environment cheerful which improves the team’s work productivity.

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