Why Encanto Makes West Side Story’s Ariana DeBose Cry
West Side Story star Ariana DeBose explains why the Walt Disney Animation Studios movie Encanto brings her to tears, pointing out the diversity of the Madrigals.
West Side Story star Ariana DeBose explains why Encanto makes her cry. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ latest film has rebounded from a disappointing first theatrical release to become one of their biggest hits with audiences since. Frozen, send every song from the Lin-Manuel Miranda soundtrack to the United States Billboard Hot 100. Encanto is currently nominated for three Oscars, including Best Animated Feature.
Set in an enchanted region of Colombia, the Disney film follows Mirabel Madrigal, the only member of her family not to receive a magical gift from Abuela’s miracle. When she notices that their magic seems threatened, Mirabel takes it upon herself to find out why, leading her to search for her missing clairvoyant uncle, Bruno. Although it received critical acclaim upon release, Encanto fans love the film intensely, identifying everything from earworm songs to intense themes and cultural fidelity as reasons for their adoration.
Now those fans can count DeBose, Best Supporting Actress, in their ranks. In one Variety interview asking Oscar nominees when they last cried in front of a movie, the West Side Story the star notes that she is someone who gets emotional easily watching movies, before naming Encanto as a recent example. She then goes on to explain why the Disney animated film affected her, highlighting both her diversity and her exploration of generational trauma. Check out his full quote below:
I mean, I’m a weeper [laughs]. I cried watching Encanto, it was not that long ago. Reality on, like, an animated movie about generational trauma, the dynamics between families. What I love so much about Encanto is that it’s so diverse; this beautiful family, but they all look so different, but they’re all so steadfast in their purpose, whether they know it or not. And they are all actively learning from each other, whether they know it or not.
According to Miranda, the Encanto The team chose Colombia for its diversity, and the DeBose-related aspect was also a point of praise from viewers. While In the heights received colorism criticism for its lack of Afro-Latin x representation, the Disney film notably features a full spectrum of skin tones, and fans have shared multiple anecdotes of their young children reacting to seeing characters who look like them. the screen. Even though it was marketed on its Latinx portrayal, critics applauded Encanto for avoiding the trap of depicting a homogenized mix of Latin American countries, noting multiple elements specifically drawn from Colombian art, history, and culture.
Of course, DeBose has also been at the center of talk of portrayal as the star of Steven Spielberg’s new film. West Side Story, who was keen to cast Latinx actors in the whitewashed roles in the 1961 adaptation. The reactions to these two films illustrate not only the importance of representation for audiences, but also the potential for rich storytelling that these casting decisions create. DeBose and Encanto to end up triumphing at the Oscars next weekend would send a strong message to the industry to embrace (and fund) more Latinx stories.
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