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Valle Del Cocora, Colombian Location for Disney Movie Encanto

Encanto tells the story of a unique family who lives in a house full of magic, situated in the glorious place in the mountains of Colombia. But what exact region within Colombia inspired the creators of the movie?.

The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano

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As we know by now, "Encanto" is the next animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios.

In the first images that were revealed by Disney Animation Studios, we can appreciate a place that is very similar to The Cocora Valley, located in the department of Quindio. This magical location is situated in the Central Cordillera of the Andean Mountains. It was named after a Quimbayan Princess and its literal meaning is “star of water.” The mentioned Valley also makes part of a National Natural Park, home to the Quindio Wax Palm, National Tree of Colombia. This environmentally rich location also hosts and protects other fauna and flora.

Recently, a preview of the production by Byron Howard and Jared Bush was released, with the song "Colombia Tierra Querida" by Lucho Bermúdez as its background music. Even though the short video lasts 32 seconds, one can notice an enchanted home located in the Cocora Valley, Quindío which has become one of the most touristic places in Colombia. The easiest way to identify the location that inspired the movie is by spotting the Quindio Wax Palms that are very characteristic of the region. 

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Beyond representing a unique touristic attraction, The Cocora Valley has an exceptional ecosystem and habitat. It is also rich in biodiversity, meaning it hosts various plants and animals. The Valley is also fundamental for the availability of water in the region since many rivers are born there. It is worth highlighting that the Supreme Court of Armenia declared it as a subject of rights, as a means to protect it. 

With the selected setting for the new Disney Movie, "Encanto" will become the first Disney Movie to be based in a SouthAmerican country. Colombia has been recognized for its great coffee and its friendly and warm culture, and it seems like Disney noticed that these two elements would perfectly blend to inspire a new animated musical fantasy film. On December 10, 2020,  Encanto was announced as a movie that would debut during autumn 2021 and would be based in Colombia.

The expectations for the movie are high since this is not the first one to be inspired in a culture. In 2017, Coco was released and it was a very successful production. This new animated movie could represent a great opportunity worldwide, to instruct the young generations on the true history and culture of Colombia. According to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Colombia is listed as one of the world’s megadiverse countries, hosting almost 10% of the planet’s biodiversity. It also ranks first in orchid and bird species and second in butterflies, plants, freshwater fishes, and amphibians. The movie also allows its audience to reflect on the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services, which is fundamental to raise awareness in the young ones.