'Encanto'
Source: Disney

'Encanto' Is Reportedly Based on 20th Century Colombia

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Dec. 29 2021, Published 7:46 p.m. ET

Disney's newest animated film Encanto is one of the company's few set in Latin America, but it has been heralded by many reviewers as one of positive representation for many Latinx viewers.

The family-friendly movie follows the Madrigal family, who have all developed superhuman abilities thanks to a candle that protected their family in a time of need. When their "Casita" begins to crack, Mirabel begins to band together with other family members to save their home — and their magical abilities.

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The film has already garnered much praise from viewers and critics alike, but when and where is Encanto set? Here's what we know about the film's setting.

'Encanto'
Source: Disney
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Where does 'Encanto' take place?

Before Encanto was officially in the works, Lin-Manuel Miranda (who wrote many of the film's original songs) and others from Disney came to Colombia looking for inspiration for a film based in and inspired by Latin American culture. After Alejandra Espinosa Uribe guided them around Barichara during their stay, they ultimately decided to create a film inspired by Colombia.

According to El Tiempo, Alejandra worked closely with Disney and the creators of the film to make it as culturally accurate as possible, tying in the country's history and the idiosyncrasies of its people.

While it's never explicitly stated in the film, Encanto is inspired by and based largely on Colombia's history and culture.

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'Encanto'
Source: Disney

What time period is 'Encanto' set in? The film is vague for a reason.

There are many pieces within the film that have led viewers to question the time period — from the different cameras used to take photos of the characters to the mention of Spanish telenovelas, viewers are a bit confused as to when exactly Encanto takes place.

Like many of Disney's animated movies, the time period the film is set in was intentionally made vague — though the events of the film give viewers some idea as to when it might've taken place.

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At the beginning of the film, Alma Madrigal is forced to flee her hometown following the death of her husband due to a conflict taking place. While it's not explicitly stated, many believe this is alluding to the Thousand Days' War.

Source: Disney
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This civil war, which took place from 1899 to 1902, was between the Liberal Party and the National Party (later the Conservative Party) in Colombia. The conflict was the deadliest in the country's history, claiming the lives of up to 150,000 people (about two percent of its population at the time).

Alma flees her home due to this conflict, and many of the events of the story take place about half a century later.

If the film is, indeed, referring to the Thousand Days' War, then it's likely that the time period for the story is sometime in the 1950s, or the early to mid-20th century.

Ultimately, though, these characters live in their own magical bubble, which likely isn't influenced greatly by the outside world, leaving room for nuance and uncertainty in the exact time period.

Encanto is now streaming in theaters and on Disney Plus.

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