Encanto: Lin-Manuel Miranda brings Stéphanie Beatriz into Disney’s “princess club”
The Madrigal family in Disney’s animated musical fantasy Encanto (now showing in theaters nationwide) features 12 main characters and superpowers cooler than your average Avengers team.
So the idea for songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda’s debut issue seemed pretty obvious.
“Our job is to present them to you as clearly as possible,” says Miranda of the Encanto clan. “And that’s when I put my hand up and say, ‘Hey, music can do that.’
The film centers on a Colombian family living in a magical house, and each member has a gift, from shapeshifting to communicating with animals. In The family madrigal, the first of eight tracks that Miranda wrote and produced for Encanto, Mirabel, 15 (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz) introduces everyone to her loved ones and the amazing things they can do, the twist being that she’s the only one who doesn’t have a gift.
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The song shows how proud Mirabel is “of who she is and where she is from,” says Beatriz, 40, who is Colombian on her father’s side. “I didn’t have this sense of pride in myself, in my ancestors and in my DNA that Mirabel has. I got it much later, but Mirabel has it. It’s so deep for her. “
Beatriz, better known as Rosa Diaz, aggressively angry TV cop in Brooklyn nine-nine, didn’t have too much trouble channeling her inner 15-year-old daughter: “It’s basically where I live inside myself at all times.” And her friendship with Miranda goes back to “our two starving 20 years together” on the New York theater scene, Miranda says. “The cosmic joke is that the world was presented to Steph with his voice two octaves lower [as] Rosa Diaz, when it is in fact one of the most expressive and sparkling musical instruments in the world. “
Miranda wanted to include as much Colombian influence in the songs as possible, such as having an accordion as the main instrument of The family madrigal.
“I have roots in Puerto Rico and Mexico. Traveling to Colombia and doing our research was like going to your cousin’s house. I see how my music and this music are alike, ”says Miranda, who has discovered that the uniqueness of Colombian culture has unlocked elements of the story. Mirabel’s big solo number Waiting for a miracle is in ¾ time – true for a lot of Colombian folk music – while all the other numbers are in 4/4, explaining musically that “she is out of time with the rest of her family”.
Write a Disney song “I want” like Waiting for a miracle is the most difficult type for Miranda because “you can’t attack the blank page without thinking about Into the unknown, Where Part of your world Where I can’t wait to be king“Says the musical theater icon, winner of a Tony, who” locked herself in my childhood room “to finish How far i will go, its Oscar nominated number of 2016 Moana.
Beatriz becomes moving while discussing Waiting for a miracle, which is in “the great tradition of the Disney heroine opening her mouth and letting every dream and fear escape,” she says. “These are the songs that you sing to yourself in the mirror because you as a child don’t know exactly what to do with all the feelings and thoughts. And somehow that song gave you a gateway to try to understand who you are in the world and what you want, where you belong. “
And Miranda points out that Beatriz sang the song while “waiting for a miracle”: They recorded the song on Zoom last summer during the pandemic when Beatriz was nearly nine months pregnant with her daughter. ” It was not easy ! says Beatriz, who worked with a vocal coach to use proper breathing techniques and “make sure I was supporting myself because you’re growing this whole human and they’re like nudging your lungs all the time. time, just relax with one foot in the air crushed against your ribs. “
Mirandą was also sending her a “sneaky text” during their sessions: “I was like, ‘You’re going to be at a club with Jodi Benson and Anika Noni Rose and Lea Salonga. You are in the princess club, ma’am. ‘”
Beatriz adds, “And I would send back the teardrop-flooded emoji.”
Encanto (PG) is now showing in cinemas nationwide.
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