Encanto takes place in a Colombia valley. We get to see all the vibrant colours, nature and beautiful animals that Colombia has to offer.
From a friendly Jaguar named Parce to flocks of butterflies filling the skies, Encanto is not short of animals.
Chispi is the name of the Capybara in Encanto. Like the rest of the animals that appear she forms part of Antonio’s gang of wildlife friends.
Capybaras are rodents native to South America. They are the world’s largest rodents.
A funny thing about them is they always look unimpressed and half interested. This is shown in Encanto when Bruno has to walk around Chispi, who is so chill and stubborn. Chispi refuses to move and gives the “not bothered” face to Bruno.
Another interesting fact is that their teeth never stop growing. In order to prevent their teeth from growing too long, capybaras must grind them down on food or bark.
Interestingly, Capybaras can be kept as pets. They enjoy being petted and cuddled, and friendly animals.
We see rats appear when Maribel enters the cave and rats scare her by jumping out of an ancient pot.
Initially they seem to appear in the scary scenes. This is seen when shapeshifter Camilo is taking the form of Bruno and scary looking rats with glowing eyes can be seen on his back.
Bruno first appears to also be this scary character but we soon learn he is friendly and good hearted just like the rats.
The rats are Bruno’s friends when he is in isolation away from the madrigals. They follow Bruno around wherever he goes and help him. For example, they help Bruno when they bring the broken glowy glass picture of Maribel to his hidden room.
You get a true glimpse of their friendly nature when you see them living with Bruno. They are playing music, keeping warm in his clothes and washing themselves to stay clean.
The rats are also friends with Antonio. They tell Antonio of everything that Maribel and Bruno were discussing secretly. The vision of Maribel and the house breaking apart and of their plans to have another vision session.
We normally associate rats with famine, disease and thievery. But rats have another side that some people don’t see. They can be kept as pets and are quite intelligent creatures. They are curious, social and intelligent creatures.
Interestingly, they constantly lick their fur to stay clean, and even will lick each other to keep clean. Despite popular belief that rats are dirty, rats don’t like getting dirty and have great cleaning habits. No wonder why we saw them cleaning themselves in Bruno’s secret room.
The coatis that appear in Encanto are cheeky animals.
When Maribel is trying to hide the glowing vision picture from her family, the coatis are the ones that put the broken picture of Bruno’s vision together. They then show Maribels family during a dinner scene.
Coatis are famous for their unique noses and racoon style tails. They feed by digging their noses in the soil and poking around in rocks and crevices.
Pico the toucan makes its appearance when Antonio discovers his talent for talking to animals. Antonio says the words “I understand you”.
The toucan then invites his other toucan friends and animals to greet Antonio. He acts as Antonio’s trusty animal companion and looks to be the leader of the wildlife clan.
Hummingbirds appear during Bruno’s vision for Mirabel. They flutter around as he starts to see into the future. His vision showing Mirabel embracing her sister Isabel.
Its fitting considering hummingbirds symbolize joy, healing and good luck. Mirabel is about to experience these emotions through embracing and healing her sisters pain later on in the movie.
They are incredibly beautiful birds with colourful bodies that are fascinating to watch.
Some interesting facts are that they are only bird species that can fly backward. They also can beat their hearts more than 20 beats every second!
You see donkeys being frequently carried upon the shoulders of Luisa (The strong one). It’s a fitting animal for Luisa as Donkeys represent strength, endurance, and hard work. All traits Luisa embodies.
Donkeys are animals that have been used for manual labour for thousands of years. They do agriculture work and are used to transport food and raw materials.
In the modern world it’s not surprising that the strength is associated with a woman being Luisa. Strong female characters frequently feature in films these days.
On deeper inspection, the donkeys symbolism of Luisa’s strength can also be historically correct. Women rely on donkeys more than we think in developing parts of the world.
“Healthy donkeys empower women”. This is because donkeys carry out tasks that would normally be performed by woman. This includes transporting goods, to collecting water.
By freeing up the time of woman, they can spend more time towards providing for the family and gaining monetary wealth.
This is very similar to Luisa, who is heavily relied upon to take care of all the community chores. She is described as the “rock” of the family, just like donkeys’ form the basis of farm work and rural living.
The Tapir is one of the many animals that is friends with Antonio. In Encanto, the tapir looks to be a playful and happy animal.
They look weird in real life with their long noses and teddy bear like ears. They are often referred to as “pre historic beasts”. This is because they are the most primitive animals on earth. They have hardly evolved over 20 million years of their existence.
Before Antonio is about to discover his gift, Mirabel gives him a soft animal toy as a present.
This is because Antonio has a passion and love of animals. The animal toy is a jaguar.
Upon discovering his talents we see a real life Jaguar whisk Antonio off of his feet. Antonio rides his new Jaguar friend into the canopy above.
Parce is the name of the real jaguar who follows and gives rides to Antonio wherever he goes. A funny scene is when he tries to eat the rats upon discovering Bruno’s room.
Butterflies are seen frequently throughout Encanto. There is certainly a lot of symbolism associated with butterflies in this colorful film.
Butterflies symbolize rebirth, transformation, hope, and bravery. Maribel encounters a transformation throughout the film realizing that her gift is in fact herself as she is.
Maribel is empathetic, optimistic, and encouraging. Even for not having any gift she is shows strength, and bravery to find out why the Madrigal house is falling apart.
More so than her family who have their natural gifts to lean on.
Butterflies also symbolize freedom. Caterpillars transform into beautiful creatures that can fly free and away. Maribel finally feels free from her self doubt that has consumed her for not having any special gifts.
She grows from being self conscious about not having a gift and left out to feeling important and part of the family. The same goes for Abuela who transforms from an old hag to a more empathetic human who realizes how special Maribel is.
Transformations are also seen with Madrigals story. Madrigal crumbles and then has a rebirth and is rebuilt, just like the relationship between characters.
McCaw’s are beautiful birds and some of the planets most colorful birds. You might know them for speech recognition. They can impersonate human speech by repeating what you said. They are the only animal in the world that can do this.
Surprisingly, they can live up to 100 years, which is a crazy long time for a bird.
We first see a Boa Constrictor in the beginning of the film when Antonio grabs onto the
snake which hurls him in the air. He lands on the back of his Jaguar friend.
Believe it or not, Boa constrictors can live over 35 years old. On quite a morbid note, Boa constrictors are powerful snakes that kill their prey by tightening and wrapping their bodies around and cutting off the blood supply. Essentially, they squeeze their prey to death.
Horse (The Colombian Paso)
The horse makes only a brief appearance in Encanto. Bruno arrives on horseback near the end of the movie to ride Maribel and Abuela off back home.
Since all animals are based out of Colombia I’m assuming the horse is the Colombian Paso. Apparently, the horse is known for being an extremely smooth ride due to its breeding history. Bruno, Maribel, and Abuela must of had quite the comforting journey even though the horse was galloping fast.