March 6 warrants many cheerful shouts of “Happy Birthday” to this beloved Disney “star,” even though she wasn’t born on March 6.
In late November 2021, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures thrilled fans with the release of one of the studio’s most beautiful stories, and the animation was just as delightful. Disney’s Encanto was first released on November 3, 2021, at El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles before its national box office debut on November 24.
The original story about the family Madrigal is one born from the minds of a group of very talented writers and producers: Byron Howard, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jason Hand, Nancy Kruse, Castro Smith, and Jared Bush. As part of the research for the film that would lend itself to helping the writers and directors pay homage to the Madrigals’ home country of Colombia, directors Byron Howard and Jared Bush, along with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Miranda’s father, traveled to the South American country and fully immersed themselves in the culture, history, cuisine, and people of Colombia.
Encanto showcases the stellar voice talents of many actors and actresses, including María Cecilia Botero, John Leguizamo, Mauro Castillo, Jessica Darrow, Angie Cepeda, Carolina Gaitán, Diane Guerrero, and Wilmer Valderrama. But the voice of the film’s central character belongs to Stephanie Beatriz, and it is indeed a powerful one, as it gives life to Mirabel Madrigal, the only member of the entire family who doesn’t have a special talent or ability or gift–or so it seems.
Encanto follows the multigenerational Colombian family as they live their daily lives until one day, the matriarch, Abuela, discovers that the family is beginning to lose its magic. She initially thinks Mirabel is the cause of the disappearing magic, but as she and the family learn, Mirabel is the solution–not the cause–of the family’s problem.
Because of this, any day is a good day to celebrate Mirabel, but March 6 is an especially good day, as it’s the date chosen by the film’s directors to serve as her birthday. All of the Madrigals have birthdays, and according to director Jared Bush, the date was chosen intentionally.
In a tweet, Bush explains the meaning behind March 6, saying, “Happy birthday to the one and only Mirabel Madrigal. We chose March 6th as a tribute to the legendary Gabriel García Márquez, whose work has always inspired us, whose yellow butterflies you see at the river, and whose country will always have a special place in my heart.”
Happy birthday to the one and only Mirabel Madrigal. We chose March 6th as a tribute to the legendary Gabriel García Márquez, whose work has always inspired us, whose yellow butterflies you see at the river, whose country will always have a special place in my heart. 🇨🇴✨❤️ pic.twitter.com/J0sayHcAHa
— Jared Bush (@thejaredbush) March 6, 2023
Per Travel & Leisure, “Colombia has more than 3,600 butterfly species (the most in the world), so the average viewer may not realize that the yellow butterflies that swarm through Disney’s enchanting animated movie Encanto were inspired by author Gabriel García Márquez’s frequent use of yellow butterflies as a symbol of love, hope, and peace in his “magic realist” novels. While the story of Encanto is original, the idea of a magical Colombian setting was borrowed from Marquez, Colombia’s Nobel Prize-winning (and most popular) author.
Happy birthday to Mirabel Madrigal, and thank you to the late Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whose works live on today, inspiring the people of Colombia and around the world.