Isabela’s birthday has two hidden meanings, adding to the care that the creators of Charm had with the movie. Disney Animation’s 60th animation is filled with several hidden meanings designed by directors Jared Bush, Byron Howard and Charise Castro Smith. The first, by the way, is always responding on his social networks about theories and revealing curiosities to fans, sharing the characters’ birthdays frequently.
Isabela’s, for example, is on the 7th of August. However, this is not a simple date. When Bush revealed it, he said: “A festival of flowers, a new uprising for independence. Happy Birthday, Isabela, August 7”. Although the day chosen may seem arbitrary at first, it relates to two major Colombian celebrations: the Battle of Boyacá and the Flower Festival in Medellín.
The first marks a decisive victory for the country in its struggle against independence from Spain. On August 7, 1819, the confrontation at Rio Teatinos – which can be seen in Charm -, ended with the mass surrender of the imperialist division. The Battle of Boyacá is considered the beginning of the independence of northern South America, and is important because it led to the victories of the Battle of Carabobo in Venezuela, Pichincha in Ecuador and Junín and Ayacucho in Peru.
The second is a celebration of Colombian culture that is also held in August. The festival has music, dance and contests, but has flowers as its main symbol. Based in the city of Medellín, the tradition began in 1957 as a way of developing local tourism. The event includes a flower parade representing the end of slavery, which carried men and women on their backs down steep hills instead of flowers.
As hinted by the director when revealing Isabela’s birthday, both dates represent the contrasting sides of the character. Mirabel’s sister yearns for independence and autonomy as she has spent her life trying to be perfect and please her family by producing beautiful flowers for everyone. Therefore, this detail adds even more to the great tribute that the film pays to Colombia.
Charm is available on Disney+.