The teaser trailer for Disney’s Encanto, set in Colombia, just dropped and we couldn’t be more excited. With songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda and its lead role featuring Colombian and Argentine-American actor Stephanie Beatriz (In the Heights and Brooklyn 99), Encanto follows the “special” Madrigal family living in an enchanted town in the mountains of Colombia, each member wielding a unique power to complement the magic of their house.
In the teaser, we see members of the Madrigal family including one who can make flowers appear at the wave of her hand and a woman displaying her super strength when she lifts two pianos over her head like weights. There’s also a boy who calls animals to him and shapeshifts into different genders, ages, and ethnicities with ease. But there’s one member of the Madrigal family who got left out of the magical fun —Mirabel, who only displays a passable skill for the accordion. She may not have powers — which her father is quick to remind her of — but when her family’s magic becomes threatened, she decides she may be the only one who can save it. The voice cast also includes María Cecilia Botero, Wilmer Valderrama, Adassa, Diane Guerrero, Mauro Castillo, Angie Cepeda, Jessica Darrow, Rhenzy Feliz and Carolina Gaitan.
“Mirabel is a really funny, loving character who also deeply yearns for something more,” Beatriz said in a press release. “She’s also not afraid to stand up for what she knows is right—something I love and relate to very much. I’m Colombian on my father’s side, and playing this role fills me with immense pride,” adding, “As a Disney kid, I’d burn through my VHS tapes and adored every single magical story that the world of Disney introduced me to. I learned in those that stories that anything is possible, especially if you believe in magic and the goodness rooted deep inside us all.”
She also took to Instagram to share the trailer and express her gratitude, captioning her post: “…it’s a dream come true, a wish my heart made as soon as it knew what dreams and wishes were.”
The news comes as Hollywood attempts to include more Latinx voices and stories in mainstream media, with Rachel Zegler slated to play Snow White in Disney’s live-action remake and Sasha Calle cast as Supergirl in DC’s The Flash, both of whom are Colombian-American.
Even better, Encanto promises much-needed Afro-Latinx representation on-screen with three of its characters, though here’s hoping they won’t just be afterthoughts who don’t contribute meaningfully to the story. Miranda’s been attached to the project since 2016 but with his recent In the Heights controversy and lack of proper tribute to the Afro-Latinx community, all eyes will (rightfully) be on what role their characters in Encanto play.
For now, we’re excited to hear his eight all-new original songs in both English and Spanish, one of which can be heard in the background of the trailer. The track, “Colombia, Mi Encanto,” performed by 17-time Grammy and Latin Grammy winner, singer, songwriter and actor Carlos Vives, who’s a native of Santa Marta, Colombia. “This song is a celebration of the magical diversity of Colombia,” Vives said in a press release. “I can’t wait to see how the music will blend with the images and the characters inspired by the ‘encanto’ of Colombians.”
“So often when you get into story mode, it turns into the hero and the quest—and you lose characters, then you lose complexity because everything becomes the quest,” Miranda told Gizmodo. “And I think what’s been thrilling about this is, since that’s been our mission statement, it’s been really fun to sort of write, you know, musical family dynamics in a really fun and complicated way. I’m really excited for the world to finally see it.”
Encanto will be released in theaters on November 24, 2021.