Backstage Interview: ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Backstage Interview: ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

SPEECH BY: Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Yvett Merino and Clark Spencer


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                                 All right.  I'm in the theater when you're

                                 giving your acceptance speech and somehow you

                                 were able to do it in the allotted time going

                                 back and forth.  Was that rehearsed or was

                                 that just all natural?  It was great?

                                   (Byron Howard) We spent some time thinking

                                 about how all four of us could say something.

                                 Animation is so collaborative.  It felt like

                                 it would be weird if we didn't do that.  And

                                 then it was just pure adrenaline and fear.  I

                                 don't quite remember what I said, so I'll

                                 have to watch it later.


                                    Nice to meet you guys and see you.  I'm a

                                 huge fan of ENCANTO and everything about it.

                                 I was just curious because it is so big on

                                 social media and, especially, Tik Tok.  And

                                 it resonates with so many people of different

                                 age groups, like, you know, from the ages of

                                 4 to 84.

                                 What do you think about ENCANTO -- what do

                                 you think it is about ENCANTO that just,

                                 like, really hit fans and really resonated

                                 with them?

                                   (Jared Bush)  It is a movie about family.

                                 And I think that the fact that the ensemble

                                 like Bruno is an ensemble number.  It has

                                 this incredible family fun energy.  And I

                                 think, for me, I need stuff to lift me up

                                 after these past two years.  It was amazing

                                 to see that on social media.  It was pretty



                                    I have to ask the music question.  Forgive


                                 Megan Thee Stallion was just in performing

                                 the song.  Can you tell me if you knew that

                                 was happening, how that came to be, and what

                                 you thought of it?

                                   (Byron Howard) I mean, it is amazing.  They

                                 kept a lot of secrets from us.  We knew that

                                 there was going to be some version of Bruno

                                 tonight, but it was going to be something

                                 unexpected and fun.  I absolutely loved it,

                                 of course.  And I think one of the -- as we

                                 were just talking about, different people

                                 have found their way into the story and into

                                 our songs, especially, different people doing

                                 their own take. So seeing Megan Thee

                                 Stallion do it is mind-blowing.


                                    Congratulations.  Now, it's working.

                                 This question is for Yvette.  Yeah.  It's

                                 because she is a Latina one.  And I see this

                                 movie, like, Lynn Miranda is Puerto Rican.

                                 Mexican Americans.  Can you talk a little bit

                                 about that.  People from different countries

                                 working on the same project that is talking

                                 about, like, Columbian in this case.  And how

                                 important was for these guys to have you,

                                 included there, because you know, you

                                 represent the Latinos here.

                                   (Yvett Merino) Yeah, I think that's just,

                                 you know, a statement on how getting more

                                 diverse voices in the room and making sure we

                                 had an amazing Columbian cultural trust that

                                 we worked with and people from Columbia that

                                 were experts in all different kind of things.

                                 And we had our Familia group, which is a

                                 group of Latino artists and engineers and

                                 production people.  And really it was about

                                 the group of Familia, the Familia Group.


                                    The group of Familia inside Disney?

                                   (Yvett Merino) Inside Disney, yes.

                                 But, really, I think it's a statement of

                                 what, you know -- what can happen when you

                                 have diverse voices in the room.


                                    Hi.  Congratulations!

                                    Thank you.


                                    Well, we have already heard that Deaf West

                                 is going to be adapting CODA.  And of course

                                 having worked with Lin-Manuel Miranda, I have

                                 to ask if you or the team have even had early

                                 talks about turning ENCANTO into a stage



                                    (Byron Howard) The president of the studio

                                 can talk about that.

                                    (Jared Bush) It is too early too early for

                                 that conversation, but to your point, you

                                 look at this film and you look at the eight

                                 incredible songs that Lin-Manuel Miranda

                                 wrote and you look at the stories that Jared

                                 and Charice created and the film that we

                                 ultimately all came together to make, and it

                                 feels like a natural for some day, hopefully.

                                 And, you know, it is a dream, right?  Like,

                                 you make these movies and you hope they go in

                                 the world and you hope people find them and

                                 that they see themselves in them, but then to

                                 have it be such a phenomenon is beyond any



                                    Hi, guys.  Congratulations!

                                 What do you want to say to the Latin

                                 community because we aren't always

                                 represented properly and with love.  And this

                                 movie did such a great job in showing the

                                 diversity that is in our community and the

                                 importance of family.

                                    (Yvett Merino) Yeah, I think, you know

                                 what, what I want to say is that we belong

                                 here in Hollywood.  We belong.  Our stories

                                 are important.  We belong up front.  We

                                 belong in the center.  And there's so many

                                 amazing stories within our community that we

                                 need more diverse storytellers, directors,

                                 producers, production people, all different

                                 kinds of artists to tell our stories.  So get

                                 working.  We need you.


                                    Hey, there.  Congratulations, everybody.

                                    (Byron Howard) Thank you.

                                    (Yvett Merino) Thank you so much.

                                    I just wanted to say Lin-Manual Miranda

                                 had a package before the show where he

                                 specifically talked about the character

                                 designs and just how people can see

                                 themselves and, you know, a heroine wearing

                                 glasses.  All these kinds of things.

                                 Can you talk a little bit about how those

                                 came to be because the character design, so

                                 many people can see themselves in these


                                    (Byron Howard) I can say huge credit to

                                 Charice Castro Smith, our co-director and


                                 Early on we really started thinking about

                                 these characters as family architects that we

                                 would all relate to.  A lot of us have a

                                 black sheep of the family or the golden child

                                 or a mother who heals us with food.  And so

                                 it really is an amazing collaboration, I

                                 think between story.  Lin, who also was

                                 writing songs to help us understand those

                                 characters and our amazing character

                                 designers and animators who brought those

                                 characters to life.  We really wanted all of

                                 them to feel like real people that would be

                                 in your families or your friends or

                                 yourselves.  And I am just amazed at what the

                                 team was able to accomplish.


                                    Hello.  Congratulations for your win.

                                 Obviously, one of the biggest achievements of

                                 this movie is representation.

                                 So what advice do you have for us aspiring

                                 creators who want to continue to train with

                                 diversity in their project?

                                    (Yvett Merino) You know, I would just say

                                 continue to do it.  Again, our stories are so

                                 important.  There's so many more stories than

                                 what have been told and stories that for a

                                 long time have been ignored because people

                                 see a certain community one way, and they

                                 want to portray them only that way in films

                                 and in stories.  And so continue to write the

                                 stories and share them and get them out

                                 there.  It is important.  We need to see it.

                                 Our kids need to see stories from our


                                    (Byron Howard) we need your voices



                                    Hey, guys, congratulations.

                                    (Byron Howard) Thank you.

                                    This movie has taken off like crazy.  So I

                                 would love to know how you feel about it

                                 being the subject on social media, reels,                                                         

                                 TikTok, all over the place.

                                    (Jared Bush) Well, it's an amazing

                                 experience.  We work on these movies for

                                 about five years.  So this is the end of a

                                 long journey for us.  And to see that much

                                 great energy surfacing around the movie and

                                 how enthusiastic people are, people making

                                 costumes and doing the dances and the

                                 families watching it over and over again.  It

                                 has been an extraordinary couple months for

                                 us.  So we are very grateful to everyone who

                                 has put any of their love and appreciation

                                 into the movie.  That's very special to us.

                                 Thank you very much.


Acceptance speech transcripts for the 94th Academy Awards are created by a team of transcribers in real time and with minimal editing, for the benefit of the press on the night. They may contain omissions and errors, especially in the spelling of names. Clips of winner acceptance speeches may be found on

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