Colombia Comes Alive in Disney’s Encanto. How Does Colombia Come Alive in Disney’s Encanto? Many are asking me this question. It is one I more than happy to answer. Because, not only is my Colombian heart filled with pride and anticipation for Encanto. But also, because you will never find a Colombian that does not love to share the joy of its country with others! As Encanto prepares to hit theaters this Thanksgiving, why not set you up to recognize iconic and not so known quintessentially Colombian culture representation.
Colombia Comes Alive in Disney’s Encanto
Well, I mean on the big screen. Because when you visit Colombia, you will find that it is a happening place where even in a quiet forest you will feel the land alive and vibrant around you. Set at the head of the South American map, it is the only country in the continent that is bathed by two oceans. Now, it is a rich biodiverse place not only because of the proximity to the seas, but also thanks to the Andes and its location in the tropics. This translates into a fertile land that offers every climate from beach to snow capped mountains. Flowers, fruits, animals for example, explode in varieties. And, so do the people that inhabit this beautiful country of contrasts and natural beauty. So, how do you find Colombia in Disney’s Encanto? Read on:
Encanto Finds Colombia
Movies that move us? How about learning about Dia de los Muertos with Coco? Or, discovering South East Asia with the powerful story of Raya and the Last Dragon? Both of these are love letters to cultures. And, I couldn’t be more grateful to Disney for writing another pixie dust filled one to Colombia with Encanto. So, which are the ways you can start to recognize Colombia in Encanto? The ones I am pointing out here are only from what we see in the trailer. I expect the movie will have lots more!
Because Colombia has every climate, there is of course, many different dressing styles. In terms of costumes that represent every corner of Colombia, Encanto delivers from the poncho (ruana) from the mountains, to the big ample dresses to dance Cumbia! Be on the look out for the “sombrero vueltiao” the white and black hat. It is iconic Colombian.
Yes, I know you know about Colombian coffee. It is in the movie. Have you had one of our arepas? They are absolutely delicious and the trailer hits home, because a good arepa does wonders for the soul!!! Better yet if it has cheese. Oh, and traveling around the country you will discover a million different versions of the arepa. And, they are all just as good as the last one you ate! I didn’t see them in the trailer, but you might want to celebrate Encanto with Pandebonos!
In the trailer we see an acordion. The instrument par excellence for the Vallenato sounds that Carlos Vives is so known for. But, Colombia is a treasure trove of rhythms and music genres. We are to discover them in the movie. One thing I do need to point out. While I am by no means a music expert, the Salsa song featured in Encanto has Caribbean tonalities to it. Yes, Colombia does hit the Caribbean. But, Salsa is typical of Cali, and that Salsa is of a different variety to that of Puerto Rico or Cuba.
Encanto fun fact: the balconies of flowers of the casita Madrigal look very much inspired by those in Colonial Cartagena
Flora and Fauna
While the Andean Condor is the national bird, the jaguar, toucan, dante and chiguiro featured in Encanto are all animals that have correctly represented the country in one way or another. In terms of plants the trailer features the wax palm (Palma de cera) which is the designated tree of the country.
I know, I shared about animals already. But, butterflies, and in particular yellow ones, has a direct relation to our literature Nobel prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Encanto Fun Fact: the gift basket of sweets offered to Mirabel are a traditional gift for godchildren in the Valle del Cauca State
If you follow me on Twitter, you will find that I do say “magical realism” a lot in connection to Colombia and Encanto. Well, that is because, the filmmakers experienced it and worked hard to bring it into their story. So, what is magical realism? It is a literary term in which the author focusses in expressing daily affairs as a magical event. For Colombians, it shares the unique, surprising, different and spectacular experiences everyone can have visiting the country. It’s magic captivates visitors and locals alike and when it is covered in pixie dust, we get Encanto.
Are you as ready as I am to watch Disney’s Encanto?