New Disney film Encanto arrives in cinemas this week and it promises to be a joyful affair – with the always busy Lin-Manuel Miranda having been drafted in by the House of Mouse to put together a vibrant, toe-tapping soundtrack for the animated musical.
The Hamilton creator has written and produced eight new original songs for the soundtrack – tapping into the musical culture of Colombia, where the film is set, and complementing the original score from composer Germaine Franco.
And some of the stars of the film recently spoke exclusively to RadioTimes.com about the joy of singing Miranda’s songs, and the encouragement he offered them when they were in the voice booth.
“It was so cool,” said Stephanie Beatriz, the voice of the film’s protagonist Mirabel. “Because Lin is kind of a genius, you know, so to get kind of a genius working on creating new Disney music and then bringing something that is so specifically Lin and so well researched and so collaborative… I just, love hearing his music.”
“I mean, I will say this: you cannot catch everything in a Lin-Manuel Miranda song on the first listen, there is no way, it is so layered,” she added. “And not only is it layered texturally like the lyrics, but then the actual musicality is extremely layered and interesting. And then on top of that, you’ve got different layers of characters in these songs, it’s like multiple characters are singing over each other at one time. They’re telling a bunch of different stories that are the same story all at one time. So I’m so excited for audiences.”
“It just gets better and better,” added John Leguizamo, who voices Bruno in the film. “Lin gets better and better, man. I mean, which is hard to believe because Hamilton is a masterpiece. But he does, he knows how to create these songs that move the plot forward, reveals character… and he’s a patient motherf**ker. I mean, I can’t sing or rap and he was on my Zoom he was just like ‘Yeah, John, you gotta keep doing it!'”
According to Diane Guerruerro, who voices Mirabel’s seemingly perfect sister Isabella, Miranda’s advice was just as encouraging for her.
“I think Lin was so great about just be yourself like, you know, he kept calling me Pat Benatar, and I was like ‘what?’ But he just kept wanting me to rock out and try different sounds, you know, I was channeling a lot of like, Blink 182, a little bit of that, I was trying to rock out like that. And he was just really encouraging. So yeah, it was wonderful!”
You can check out a full tracklist of the songs in the film below – which also includes a number performed by legendary Colombia musician Carlos Vives.
- The Family Madrigal – performed by Stephanie Beatriz, Olga Merediz & Cast
- Waiting on a Miracle – performed by Stephanie Beatriz
- Surface Pressure – performed by Jessica Darrow
- We Don’t Talk About Bruno – performed by Carolina Gaitán, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz & Cast
- What Else Can I Do? – performed by Diane Guerrero & Stephanie Beatriz
- Dos Oruguitas – performed by Sebastián Yatra
- All of You – performed by Stephanie Beatriz, Olga Merediz, John Leguizamo, Adassa, Maluma & Cast
- Colombia, Mi Encanto – performed by Carlos Vives
The soundtrack album is available to listen to in full on Spotify – and will be available to buy physically from Friday 17th December. Encanto will be released in cinemas on Wednesday 24th November in the US and Friday 26th November in the UK. You can sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 for a year now.