Behind the Scenes of Disney’s Encanto: Making Magic With Color

In celebration of Disney’s Encanto, our Director of Color Marketing, Sue Wadden, sat down with the film’s Associate Production Designer, Lorelay Bove, to get a behind-the-scenes look at this magical world and the charming color that inspired it.

Encanto movie poster of house exterior with color dollops. Now playing in theaters.

Q: Let’s dive into the magic of Disney’s Encanto! Can you give our Tinted readers a sneak peek into the vibrant world of Walt Disney Animation Studio’s newest movie?

A: Of course! Encanto is a story about the magical Madrigal family. Their house is hidden away in the mountains of Colombia in a charmed place known as the “Encanto”. It’s a colorful world where the magic of the Encanto blessed every family member with a talent or gift – everyone except Mirabel that is. When she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is in danger, Mirabel must go on a journey to save her family and their house. 

Q: What is an Encanto? 

A: Created by a miracle, the Encanto is a charmed place that is cut off from the world, filled with wonder and beautiful, vibrant colors. 

Q: The color palette of Disney’s Encanto is charmed with gorgeous greens and floral hues that tie back to Colombia’s bright flora and fauna. What was the inspiration for the film’s color palette?

A: The beauty of Colombia inspired us so much. From the natural scenery to the vibrant villages, there was never a shortage of color inspiration. We started looking at cities like Cartagena and Salento, where exteriors are known for their bright doors and windows. 

polaroids of architecture and color chips

Q: Our homes are the setting for some epic adventures, and it’s especially true for the Madrigal family house. How did color come into play when you were designing their magical dwelling that takes on a life of its own?

A: Each section of the home needed to be unique, because every room represents a different member of the Madrigal family. So, it was important that we designed a well-thought-out space that felt balanced as you move from room to room.  

One example would be the kitchen, also known as La Cocina. This is the heart of the home, and it brings a liveliness of emotion to everyone that uses it – especially Mirabel’s mother, Julieta. She has the magical power of healing, so we decorated the space with warm walls, yellow and orange tiles, and lots of beautiful candlelight. The setting captures the emotion of the room and the magical gift that’s taking place in it. 

Encanto kitchen scene. Now playing in theaters.

Q: Personality is another huge part of Disney’s Encanto – how did you use color to capture the unique spirit of each member of the Madrigal family?

A: Casa Madrigal is a multigenerational home that’s shared between Mirabel’s abuela, her parents, Julieta and Agustín, her sisters, her aunt and uncle, Pepa and Félix, and her cousins so there were a lot of different personas to be brought to life. 

We chose cooler jewel tones for Julieta and Agustín’s side of the family because it tied in with their nurturing and thoughtful personalities. Julieta is an understanding mother with the power to heal through food, so a turquoise color palette, as well as healing herbs and iconography embroidered on her skirt, captured the sense of calm she brings to the family. Agustín, Mirabel’s father, has a dark blue color palette since he is from the city, where people tend to dress in darker colors. 

Then we have their three daughters, who share the same color palette as them, with slight differences based on their personalities. Isabela, the “perfect” daughter with the gift of making plants grow and flowers bloom, has a very ethereal, soft palette of lavender with beautiful, embroidered flowers on her dress. Luisa, with her magical gift of super strength, has a darker blue and purple skirt embroidered with weight iconography that helps keep her grounded and strong, but also sensitive with her lighter flowing blouse. Mirabel’s colorful embroidery and iconography support her fun, bubbly personality.

Encanto cool tone color palette. Now playing in theaters.

On Pepa and Félix’s side of the family, we stuck with warmer tones. We wanted to show Félix’s warmth, and Pepa (with the gift of controlling the weather through emotion) also has a sunny, warm palette as well. Dolores, their daughter, has the gift of extraordinary hearing, so she has a warm, red skirt with yellow iconography of sound waves. Camilo, their son, can transform his appearance, and wears a yellow-tone poncho with woven chameleons to reflect his adaptability. Their youngest son, Antonio, has the power to talk to animals, so his palette reflects adventure through a bright shirt, a red handkerchief and a fun vest with animal embroidery. 

Encanto warm tone color palette. Now playing in theaters.

Q: What is your Encanto, and which Sherwin-Williams paint color captures it?

A: My Encanto is spreading joy to everyone that comes to my house. I love being able to brighten someone’s day, so I painted the doors in my home with Lemon Twist. It’s this cheerful yellow that immediately puts a smile on your face. 

Ready to explore more of Disney’s Encanto? Discover the many hues of the Madrigal family and pick out a few to celebrate your own when you view the full collection. You can also find out where you fit in their extraordinary family with our Which Character Are You Most Like from Disney’s Encanto quiz.  

Watch Disney’s Encanto in theaters November 24th

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