Couple’s Extravagant Birthday Set Inspired by Beloved Disney Movie Catches the Eyes of Actresses From the Film

A toddler wearing a floral dress stands in front of a magical, brightly lit doorway. The doorway is decorated with intricate designs and flowers, and a colorful parrot is flying towards the light, surrounded by small glowing creatures. The background is whimsical and vibrant.
Credit: Disney Dining

John Calleri and Poornima Narayan squeezed in time when they could in the weeks before their daughter’s first birthday to create a larger-than-life party backdrop inspired by a Walt Disney Animation film. They did such a good job that photos from the celebration caught the eye of actors and actresses from the film.

A colorful scene depicting a vibrant parrot flying near an illuminated, intricately designed teal door adorned with vines and flowers. The door emits a bright, magical light with butterflies fluttering around, creating a whimsical and enchanting atmosphere.

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

A Labor of Love

Jonathan Calleri and his wife, Poornima Narayan, took the work of preparing for their daughter’s first birthday celebration very seriously. After many hours of hard work and creativity—and a few stressful moments—the end result was something to be admired—and it was–by actors from the film that inspired the birthday celebration.

The couple’s daughter Aria was approaching her first birthday, so they chose Disney’s 60th animated feature-length film, Encanto, as the inspiration for their baby’s birthday celebration.

Related: We All Owe an Apology to Bruno From Disney’s ‘Encanto’ & Pepa Should Go First

encanto madrigal family photo

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

“Our kids love this movie, so we decided it would be a great theme to go with,” Calleri wrote in an Instagram post.

Disney’s ‘Encanto’

The animated film tells the story of the Madrigal family living deep in the mountains of Colombia in the family home, endearingly referred to as casita.

Encanto Casita

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

Everyone in the family has been blessed with a special gift or talent—all except Mirabel Madrigal. Throughout the story, more is revealed about certain family members and the difficulties they faced in their youth. Though those revelations are painful initially, they give way to understanding, compassion, forgiveness, and healing, strengthening the bonds between the Madrigals.

A woman and a man smile warmly at each other while holding three swaddled babies. The babies are sleeping peacefully. The setting appears to be a cozy, dimly lit room.

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

Could it be that Mirabel does have a gift after all?

The story is a beautiful picture of family, forgiveness, and restoration, and as such, it quickly became a favorite among young fans and those who are young at heart–like little one-year-old Aria.

Casita Takes Shape Inside the Couple’s Home 

A young child with dark hair, wearing a white top with floral embroidery and a blue skirt, stands indoors looking up. Behind them, there is a decorative orange design of a child and on the left, a wall adorned with colorful decorations and large pink paper flowers.

Credit: Jon Calleri/Instagram

“There’s the magic of [the film], and each person has a gift, and we thought that was really special,” Calleri said. So they began to work on constructing the Madrigal family home in their own home to serve as the set for their daughter’s birthday party.

The couple says it took weeks of “parent time” to recreate casita–or Casa Madrigal–from the animated film inside the basement of their home in preparation for their daughter’s birthday celebration.

“We made the entire house out of recycled cardboard—mostly Amazon boxes—and then painted and decorated it with faux flowers and greenery,” Calleri said.

A colorful, festive wall decoration resembles a traditional house, featuring paper flowers, string lights, and decorative doors and windows. Brightly colored paper flowers and vines adorn the facade. A "Feliz Navidad" banner hangs on the wall.

Credit: Jon Calleri/Instagram

According to the young couple, the party guests were impressed by the set–and they knew right away which film had inspired the set.

“They were definitely shocked,” he said. “We tried to keep it as vague as possible.”

Every part of the celebration was a nod to Disney’s Encanto, from the giant replica of casita to the birthday cake to Mirabel’s dress, donned by baby Aria, who is only a year old but was still excited by the brightly-colored party decor.

A decorated room set up for a birthday party with colorful banners and wall hangings on the left side, and a close-up of a cake on the right side. The cake is adorned with pink flowers and a blue door, topped with a number 1.

Credit: Jon Calleri/Instagram

“I think it’s more for us at this age, but when they grow up, they’re going to see their parents liked to decorate for the events and go a little extra for everything,” Calleri said. But others were about to see the work of the young parents–those who had firsthand knowledge of the Disney animated feature film.

The ‘Encanto’ Efforts Catch the Eye of Actresses From the Film

Following the celebration, the couple posted photos and videos on their Instagram pages, and the response to the posts was overwhelming–and perhaps a bit humbling.

“We posted [photos], and we didn’t really expect anything,” Calleri said. “We tagged the cast from the movie, [as well as] Disney and Disney Plus.”

A detailed Instagram post shows a miniature house inspired by Disney's "Encanto." The house is decorated with vibrant colors, flowers, and intricate details. The caption explains that it was made for the user's daughter's first birthday. Multiple comments praise the creation.

Credit: Screenshot/Instagram

Soon, the father’s post on Instagram caught the attention of Disney actresses Stephanie Beatriz, Jessica Darrow, and Diane Guerrero, who lent their voices to Mirabel, Luisa, and Isabela Madrigal, respectively.

Related: Hit Song From Disney’s ‘Encanto’ Gets a Punk Rock Makeover & Actress Sings With the Band

disney's encanto mirabel madrigal stephanie beatriz

Credit: Walt Disney Animation/Instagram/@stephaniebeatriz

The couple was pleasantly surprised by the response from the actresses from Encanto. A few even shared the posts on their own social media platforms.

As of the time of this publication, the couple’s video on Instagram, which can be seen below, has garnered tens of thousands of views.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jon Calleri (@joncalleri)

Next on the list for the couple is the creation of a Moana-themed set for their son’s third birthday.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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