EXCLUSIVE: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Music Helped Shape the Characters of Encanto

Lin-Manuel Miranda lends his music talents to Disney’s upcoming movie Encanto. He also had an important role in shaping the characters too.
lin manuel miranda encanto

The upcoming coming-of-age fantasy story about a girl without powers living among a superpowered family will introduce us to the many facets of Colombian culture in Encanto. Directors Byron Howard and Jared Bush return to bring us a different kind of story with the help of songs written by Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda. He’s had a hand in various 2021 projects such as In the Heights, Vivo, and the upcoming release of Tick, Tick… Boom! So, it’s been a big year for him. Now that he is also lending his musical talents to the latest animated Disney film, it opens up the question of how much input he also had in bringing these characters to life beyond just their musical accompaniment.

Luckily, our own Hunter Radesi had the chance to sit down with the directors of the film and discuss exactly that. When asked how much input Miranda had into bringing these characters to life, director Jared Bush offered some interesting insights into their approach to the music and even how they integrated the many sides of Columbian genres.

He’s super super collaborative. That is one of the really great things about working with him. […] We would have these great deep character conversations. We knew with all these different characters that we wanted to get to know all of them, that we wanted to see different facets of them. But also that we wanted the music to separate and to give them an identity. And that music, even within the genres of Columbia, we wanted that to makes sense with the character that would be singing it.

Jared Bush

It’s really interesting how they try to use the different genres of music that exist in Columbia to make the characters stand out. He does also offer an example with the character of Luisa Madrigal’s song “Surface Pressure” which tried to explore her backstory. He highlights how writing the story is what grounded it was some real-life inspirations that were brought to life through music. It shows how many aspects make a film truly come to life.

Encanto release on Nov. 24th. It is directed by Byron Howard, Jared Bush and Charise Castro Smith. The film boosts an impressive cast that includes Stephanie Beatriz, María Cecilia Botero, Wilmer Valderrama, Diane Guerrero, Rhenzy Feliz, Carolina Gaitán and John Leguizamo.

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