September 15th to October 15th is National Hispanic/Latin Heritage Month. In last year’s blog post, we explored the varied and rich Hispanic/Latin culture and provided ways to celebrate with some traditional Hispanic foods, music, and shows. Check out the post here.

This year to celebrate Hispanic/Latin Heritage Month, we wanted to highlight Disney’s 2021 film “Encanto.The film is an Academy Award-winning, computer-animated musical fantasy centered around Latin culture. The story focuses on the magical issues of a multigenerational family living together in the beautiful coffee-growing mountains of Colombia. With a focus on Latin family, music, and heritage, the key themes of the movie include:

  • Encanto showcases the ways that in Latin culture, family can be found at the center of everything. It is a story about the strength and foundation people get from family, and how they support each other both in good and bad times (regardless of their differences). No matter how small, each person plays an important role in the family unit.
  • The country is the most central character apart from Maribel, the story’s protagonist. From Colombia’s luscious green mountain tops to its deliciously decadent food, Encanto was inspired by the diversity, culture, and landscape of Colombia. The film embraces the dynamic and colorful vitality found in Colombia's coffee regions and its tropical rainforests. Colombia’s famed blooms were also showcased, reminding us that Colombia is the second-largest producer of cut flowers in the world – including most flowers sold in the U.S.
  • Latin Culture. The film showed some the incredible cultural diversity within Colombia and Latin America's population, which is filled with people from Indigenous, African, and European backgrounds.
  • Latin Music. The movie's soundtrack became very popular and features great lively music genres typical of Colombia and Latin America.
  • Magical Realism. This was an inspiration for this film. Magical realism was made famous by Colombian Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gabriel García Márquez in his many popular books, such as “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and “Love in the Time of Cholera.” Much like Márquez's books, the film draws upon this literary tool and amazing graphics to paint a picture so vivid you can't look away.

Encanto is one of several wonderful, animated films highlighting Latin/Hispanic culture. Check out the following movies this month to kick off your celebrations!

Sources:

https://www.andrews.edu/life/student-movement/issues/2022-01-28/a-e-encanto-disney-s-handling-of-latinx-culture.html

https://peopleenespanol.com/chica/encanto-magic-realism-latin-culture/

https://www.uscannenbergmedia.com/2021/12/03/disneys-encanto-takes-a-major-leap-towards-cultural-diversity/

https://www.otherwayround.travel/interesting-facts-about-colombia/

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