Byron Howard and Jared Bush, best known for their work on Zootopia, will be the directors' fo Disney's forthcoming animated feature Encanto, according to a new report. According to the Disney Insider, Encanto -- which translates as "charm" -- centers on a young girl and her family in Brazil, who all have magical powers, sadly, the young girl has no powers. The film's music will reportedly be provided by Lin-Manuel Miranda who, aside from providing music for Mary Poppins Returns, also has an original cast version of Hamilton coming to Disney+ soon, cementing him fairly firmly as part of the Disney family.
Assuming the reports are true, Encanto -- which may end up with a different title by the time it's done -- will mark the third time in five years that a woman of color served as the lead of a Disney animated movie, following Moana and the forthcoming Raya and the Last Dragon. That film, which stars Awkwafina, is scheduled for a threatrical release in March 2021.
This news almost kind of comes backwards, with rumors last month at Discussing Film that suggested the Zootopia duo had a movie coming up soon at Disney Animation. The addition fo Miranda to the lineup is new information, but makes sense given how key he has been to Disney's recent musical fingerprint.
Disney Insider speculates this might be the animated film that Disney currently has scheduled for a November 2021 release. Whether it will hit that target given the ever-changing landscape of the post-COVID film industry is anybody's guess. Raya and the Last Dragon was originally scheduled to be released in the United States on November 25, 2020, but due to the pandemic, Pixar's Soul took that slot, delaying Raya's release date to March 12, 2021.
As of this writing the next Disney movie scheduled to be released in theaters is the live-action reboot of Mulan on July 24. The film had previously been set for a March 27 release date and was among the first to be delayed indefinitely due to the spread of the coronavirus. Other major Disney releases that have also been delayed and are set to arrive later this year include Black Widow on November 6, the 20th Century-Ryan Reynolds action-comedy Free Guy on December 11, and the Jungle Cruise movie, which was delayed an entire year. In fact the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe has been pushed back with the entire "Phase Four" slate shifting forward.
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