5. Dolores’ Mannerisms
Dolores’ gift is supersonic hearing, and although this gift is integral to moving the plot along at points, it’s not a visually noticeable gift in comparison to the rest of the family so there are certain subtle things the animators have added to emphasise it.
In Antonio’s gift-giving scene, you see Dolores clap with her index fingers instead of her whole hands, she also covers her ears when the fireworks start going off and covers them again later in the film when the vision is revealed, and chaos ensues in the house. This is also the only scene in which Dolores raises her voice as she rarely speaks above a whispered tone, indicating that even her own voice is too loud.
4. Bruno’s TV Slides
When Mirabel finally finds Bruno’s secret hideout in the walls of the house, Bruno takes her through all the benefits of his living space including the “free entertainment” he gets from the rats. At first this seems like an innocent visual gag, but if you look closer you can see that isn’t quite the case.
The game show slide doesn’t seem to have any deeper meaning, but the football slide details Colombia’s 1990 world cup game against Germany. This is an easy conclusion to draw as the rats are clearly wearing the same football kits as the teams in that game. The scene seems to depict Freddy Rincon scoring the final goal which led to the game ending in a draw.
The Telenovela slide is another reference to “100 Years of Solitude”, although not in what is actually drawn on the slide. After one of the rats leaves the scene, Bruno explains the love story by saying “Well, because she’s his aunt and she has amnesia so she can’t remember that she’s his aunt”, which is a reference to the final plot twist in “100 Days of Solitude”.
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3. The Kids in Town
The three main children that are first seen in “The Family Madrigal” song may seem to be innocent expositional characters but they’re actually named after some pretty important people.
Cecilia (left) is named after co-director Charise Castro Smith’s baby. Alejandra (middle) is named after the woman who took the filmmakers around Colombia and educated them on Colombian culture. And Juancho (right) (who was originally called Weecho) gets his name from Jose “Weecho” Velasquez who designed Mirabel’s dress.
There is also a joke surrounding Juancho and his coffee addiction, which is a reference to Colombia being well known as a producer of excellent coffee. It is actually not uncommon for children to drink coffee (albeit a weak blend).