The Art of Disney Encanto (Book Review)

How well do you know the family Madrigal?

Probably not like this. The Art of Disney Encanto is a fascinating read which tells an in-depth tale of the family Madrigal. Unlike other “Art of…” books this one has an intentionally collaborative feel to it. The book’s authors crafted their story in this way to reflect the collaborative effort it took to make the film. Family is at the heart of Encanto and it was important to the directors and producers that the environment of the film was a mirror of the family they were putting on screen – one big team serving a purpose together.

MIrabel and her extended family by Bill Schwab / Digital (p.116)

This process created a ton of great art! It as clear from the images on the page that there was a free flow of ideas that were allowed to germinate and gestate in the minds of the artists. They described how the story evolved both through their art and through their collaboration, how each artist would add their own ideas and touches until it melded together to create each character. Everything from room design to clothing style to mannerisms were carefully studied and researched.

An early production image of Mirabel when the film was set in the 1950’s by Lorelay Bove (p.76)

What was most intriguing were the story choices and how they evolved over time and the reasons behind those changes. Pepa was originally going to be indestructible. Isabela was originally going to end up with a suitor named Bubo that had a nerdy, modern look, but as Producer Yvett Merino pointed out, “In the end, Isabela’s journey is not defined by a guy. She is her own woman, still finding herself (p.153).” And initially the film was going to center on Augustin instead of Abuela Alma, but after doing some cultural exploration they discovered that wouldn’t be true to the heritage of these people.

Cover art for The Art of Encanto

If you’re a fan of Encanto or fascinated by its art, music, and cultural richness, The Art of Encanto will be a priceless addition to your library.

Title: The Art of Disney Encanto
Author: Juan Pablo Reyes Lancaster Jones
Cost: $42.50
Age: 12 and up
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Genre: Art

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