Disney has been hard at work on the next animated project with Encanto. While it still has a lead character, the adventure this time around is all about family. So, instead of a small group of characters, we the next animated Disney film. If you compare with previous films, they always focused primarily on a lead with one or two supporting characters that helped her on her journey. The next project might be the first to have the family as an active part of the story, but it seems directors Jared Bush and Byron Howard have played with the idea for some time.
I mean, literally, from day one, we knew we wanted to tell a story with an extended family. […] We’ve tried many times to like: “Maybe there should be more family members.” And ultimately you’re like, “Nah, there’s just one person.”Jared Bush
Jared goes on to compare it when he worked on Moana. Yes, her family played a role in the story but ultimately it was her “going on a boat, that’s just by herself.” He even highlights how they used their own family as inspiration when trying to think of the archetypes after finally committing to the idea.
Who are these people gonna be? So early on, all of our research was really our own families. And we found these archetypes. Whether it’s, you know, like the black sheep of the family, or the golden child, or the responsible one, or the Mom, who heals with food. All of these things felt very familiar to us, and very relatable.Jared Bush
They used that familiarity to build the Madrigal family and it was the voice actors that would then bring them fully to life. It’s always great to see how ideas that somehow ended up getting pushed back still find their way into a project. Plus, adding the special abilities of the family, which they decided on relatively fast based on the archetypes the family member represents, gave everyone a unique role within the story. It makes you wonder how many other ideas never made it into a previous project but might get to see the light of day sometime in the future.