‘Encanto’ Artist Reportedly Claimed Disney Pushed Back on Luisa’s Muscular Design
Luisa immediately emerged as a fan favorite when the strong, tough-as-the-crust-of-the-earth character made her debut in Disney's movie Encanto in 2021. However, it turns out that Luisa might have looked very different had it not been for the even stronger will of the character artists who worked on the film.
Dylan Ekren, who worked as an illustrator and character modeling supervisor on Encanto, previously opened up about Luisa's appearance in a series of allegedly since-deleted tweets, according to CBR.com.
While the artists who worked on Encanto ultimately designed Luisa — the strong young woman with a sensitive spirit, voiced by Jessica Darrow — with a buff build and well-defined muscles, it appears that Disney execs were aiming for a more petite, traditionally Disney characterization.
The artists on staff apparently advocated for keeping Luisa brawny.
"I think we all just wanted to do it in a way that worked well with the style and really made sense for the character and I’m really proud of the way that she turned out," Ekren explained on Twitter in July 2021. "The entire team was so awesome. I just pushed buttons in the right order."
The publication notes that Ekren's Twitter account has since gone private.
Disney has seemingly not commented on the character's design. However, many fans continue to celebrate Luisa's appearance on social media.
Several Twitter users have lauded how Luisa's muscles and femininity exist in harmony.
"One of my favorite things about Encanto is this buff goddess," one fan explained on Twitter. "Her character design is everything, I just love the way she’s given muscles, but loses none of her femininity. The dances in her song, the way she cowers when she feels weak, her soft yet strong voice, just perfect."
Check out some of the tweets about Luisa below:
Meanwhile, TikTok user @maribelspiritualjourney has gone viral on the app for looking similar to the character.
She opened up about how amazing it was to see a character like Luisa in an interview with BuzzFeed.
"I was surprised to see a masculine-yet-feminine presented female [character]," she told the publication. "I’ve always been told I look too 'masculine' to be feminine, but seeing Luisa just made me feel comfortable with loving myself even more."
Check out one of her videos below:
It's not just her build that draws people to Luisa.
Jenny Lemus, a psychotherapist in Chicago, told CNN that fans also relate to the character's position in the family.
"A lot of clients relate to Luisa, who is experiencing the pressure of ... carrying the burden for their younger siblings ... having that pressure (of) protecting the younger siblings from their own experiences," Lemus said. "It is eye-opening, and I'm so glad that I have clients that are very insightful and can relate to it."
HITC reports that fans are flocking to pick up Encanto merchandise themed around Luisa's character, but many are having a hard time finding Luisa toys and products. Some on social media believe that Disney didn't prepare enough Luisa merchandise as they assumed fans of the film would gravitate toward Isabela, whose design is more akin to traditional Disney princesses of yesteryear.