ENCANTO Co-Director And Co-Writer Charise Castro Smith Reveals The Movie's Surprising Horror Connection

Encanto co-director and co-writer Charise Castro Smith has shed some light on how her horror background working on The Haunting of Hill House helped shape what we'll see in Disney Animation's next movie.

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We recently got to see 30 minutes of footage from Disney Animation's Encanto, and trust us when we say you're in store for something special when the movie is released on November 24! 

This visually stunning new animated feature tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto. The movie features the voice of Stephanie Beatriz as Mirabel, an ordinary 15-year-old who’s struggling to find her place in her family.

Last month, we attended the press conference for Encanto, and co-director and co-writer Charise Castro Smith explained how her horror background (working on the likes of The Exorcist and The Haunting of Hill House) ultimately factored into what she brought to this animated project. 

"My background was really very different than this film," she recalls, "but I think what really makes good storytelling in any genre is just grounded characters and creativity. It's applicable in horror, and it's applicable in this movie. I worked on 'The Haunting of Hill House,' which is about a different kind of [magical] house, and it's so important to have a wide range of characters.

'Encanto' is a movie that hopefully everyone will be able to relate to and will be able to see themselves and their own families reflected back at them. I think there's something for everyone."

Of course, Disney and horror don't necessarily go hand in hand, and director Byron Howard had this to say about why Castro Smith's experience was key for Encanto. "One of the reasons Jared and I landed on her specific writing is she has this amazing way of combining the idea of magical realism and the supernatural with things that are very relatable. Having her talent contribute to the tapestry of what this movie became was something we knew we couldn't do without."

Check back here for more on Encanto as we get closer to that November release date. For now, you can check out the latest trailer for Disney Animation's 60th movie below:

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