Although there is always an expectation that every Disney movie will be a hit, it seemed for a while that Encanto could be the one that got away. On release, the film was a moderate hit for the times, but it quickly sank down the chart and slipped unceremoniously onto Disney+ where, appropriately, something magical began to happen. Arriving just before Christmas, the film became an instant hit over the holidays and through word of mouth, both it and its songs took over social media apps like TikTok. Now it looks like the world of Encanto could be expanding into a brand new Disney franchise.
Encanto is a bit of an anomaly in the history of Disney movies. The film doesn’t have a “bad guy” as such and is instead a study in the pressures of family life in which the villain is the simple pressure to fit in with a family unit. The songs are written explicitly to progress the story of the movie, meaning that out of context, the likes of We Don’t Talk About Bruno don’t really make much sense. However, that song has become the most successful chart hit in Disney history, outdoing iconic songs like Under The Sea, Circle of Life and Let It Go to be the first song from a Disney soundtrack to top the chart in the U.K. and only the second to do so in the U.S.
Business Wire reported on The Walt Disney Company’s first fiscal quarter earnings that included a reference by CEO Bob Chapek to Encanto, which he referred to as the “launch of a new franchise” suggesting that there is more to come from the family Madrigals in the future. Chapek’s quote reads:
“We’ve had a very strong start to the fiscal year, with a significant rise in earnings per share, record revenue and operating income at our domestic parks and resorts, the launch of a new franchise with Encanto, and a significant increase in total subscriptions across our streaming portfolio to 196.4 million, including 11.8 million Disney+ subscribers added in the first quarter…”
The World of Encanto Could Rival Frozen as The Next Big Disney Franchise
Although Encanto did not fully arrive until it debuted on Disney+ to a staggering 407 million minutes streamed over its opening weekend in the U.S., the film has done more than enough to take its place as another Disney classic. While Frozen has already produced a sequel, with another in development, a Broadway musical, and numerous short features, Encanto has the potential to be even bigger thanks to its large cast of characters with magical powers and a lot of directions each could be taken in.
The storyline of Encanto is mostly self-contained, but the potential for the many family members of the Madrigals to be developed further is vast, and along with a potential sequel or TV series, songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda has already expressed his enthusiasm for transitioning the movie to Broadway. Having already had huge success with Hamilton, it will not take much to persuade the bosses at Disney to take Encanto down that route. Although there have been no plans officially confirmed yet, you can guarantee that it is only a matter of time until we see more from the family Madrigal.