‘Encanto’: Lin-Manuel Miranda on Why Latino Representation Matters in Oscar-nominated Disney Movie | Storytellers in the spotlight

LOS ANGELES – The recent Disney hit “Encanto” and its soundtrack have taken the world by storm.

While we can’t talk about Bruno, we can talk about how this film illustrated the power to be seen and heard.

Kenzo Brooks, a 2-year-old black boy, embodied that power as his parents captured the moment he saw Antonio Madrigal, the Afro-Latino character of “Encanto,” and thought it was him on screen. The video of Kenzo clapping and smiling, coupled with the hashtag #RepresentationMatters, went viral and sparked conversations around the celebration of representation.

All of this comes from the creative mind of Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer and writer of Encanto, whose moving ballad Dos Oruguitas received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.

MORE: Why chart-topping ‘Encanto’ ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ wasn’t eligible for an Oscar

Miranda said he wanted a role in the film before it even existed since Latinos aren’t represented in animated films.

“I’ve spent my entire life preparing for this moment because I wanted to help create characters that children would relate to. I wanted to write songs that represent those house parties that I grew up at. And you’re always kind of writing for your inner child,” he said.

Watch his full interview with On The Red Carpet in the video player above.

He called the global response to the film and the conversations about being seen and heard “wonderful”.

“When I see young Afro-Latino kids or African-American kids who look at Antonio and say, ‘That’s me’ – or I see little Latina girls who wear glasses and go, ‘Oh my god, the main character has them Glasses,’ it’s so wonderful,” he said. “It’s such a reminder of why we started telling the story in the first place.”

The Academy Award nominee and potential EGOT winner added that the team behind Encanto searched for voices that could tell an authentic story that is true for the people of Colombia and the Latino community in general.

He also shared what he thinks Hollywood executives and others in positions of power can do to support historically underrepresented and marginalized storytellers.

“Don’t write what you think underrepresented groups would say,” Miranda said. “Invite her. Invite them to the table. Invite them to tell those stories because the end result is richer stories and new stories that we haven’t necessarily seen before.”

Encanto is available to stream now on Disney+.

FULL LISTING: 2022 Oscar nominations

Mark your calendar: March 27th is Oscar Sunday. Red Carpet special coverage begins at 1:00 p.m. ET 10:00 a.m. PT and continues throughout the day leading up to the 94th Academy Awards ceremony. Stay tuned to “On The Red Carpet” after the last awards show for continued coverage. Be sure to follow @OnTheRedCarpet on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok for all your Oscars news and information. Click here to download our CTV apps and watch “On The Red Carpet” wherever you stream.

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Dais Johnston

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