Adassa and Mauro Castillo Celebrate Colombian Culture Through Music in ‘Encanto’

Encanto, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 60th film, is an animated musical that tells the story of the Madrigals, an extraordinary family who live in a magical casita hidden in the mountains of Colombia. Every Madrigal child is blessed with a unique magic gift, like super strength and healing powers, to use to help the family and surrounding town. Unfortunately, Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz) is the only one who didn’t receive a gift. But when she discovers that the magic is in danger of disappearing, she sets off on a quest to save it while also learning more about her family and realizing her true worth.

Encanto‘s uniqueness comes through in Disney’s latest as it is one of the first to feature a multigenerational family living in one household. It has to be able to track multiple characters and give reach one of them an arc. Altogether, there are three generations of Madrigals living in the casita. So, though the film may center on Mirabel, it still gives opportunities for her siblings and cousins a chance to shine.

The Nerds of Color had a chance to talk to Reggeaton and Salsa singer and songwriters Adassa and Mauro Castillo, who lent their musical talents and voices to Encanto. In the film, Castillo voices Félix Madrigal, Mirabel’s uncle, and Pepa’s husband. He’s responsible for balancing Mirabel’s Tia Pepa, who has the power to control the weather. But he is also “there to have a good time.” Adassa voices Dolores Madrigal, Pepa and Félix’s oldest daughter, and Mirabel’s cousin. Her super-hearing allows her to get the dirt on everyone, which does have its benefits and drawbacks.

MEET THE MADRIGALS – Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Encanto” introduces the Madrigals, a compelling and complicated extended family who live in a wondrous and charmed place in the mountains of Colombia. Opening in the U.S. on Nov. 24, 2021, “Encanto” features the voices of (clockwise starting from center) Stephanie Beatriz as the only ordinary child in the Madrigal family; Ravi Cabot-Conyers, Rhenzy Feliz and Adassa as Mirabel’s cousins Antonio, Camilo and Dolores, respectively; Mauro Castillo and Carolina Gaitan as Mirabel’s uncle and aunt, Félix and Pepa; María Cecilia Botero as Mirabel’s grandmother, Abuela Alma; Angie Cepeda and Wilmer Valderrama as Mirabel’s parents, Julieta and Agustín; and Jessica Darrow and Diane Guererro as Mirabel’s sisters Luisa and Isabela. © 2021 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

During the interview, Adassa and Castillo talked about the impact of representation in Encanto, the film’s music, and what it would be like to see more of the Madrigal family in a sequel or spinoff. Check out the video below.

Directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard, and co-written and co-directed by Charise Castro Smith, Encanto opens only in theaters on November 24, 2021