The Awesome Influence Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tick, Tick, Boom Had On Disney’s Encanto

Fans of Lin-Manuel Miranda are certainly spoiled for choice these days. Whether they want to see his unique approach to filmmaking as director of tick, tick….BOOM! or listen to his catchy songs in Disney’s Encanto, there’s countless ways to enjoy the Tony winner’s talent. What’s interesting, however, is how these two seemingly dissimilar projects - which were released almost simultaneously - actually influenced each other. 

Lin-Manuel Miranda sat down with CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg to chat about his creative process when it comes to both theatre and filmmaking. The Hamilton veteran just made his directorial debut with tick, tick...BOOM!, a film adaptation of the autobiographical musical by Rent composer Jonathan Larson. He also wrote the music for Disney’s latest release Encanto around the same time, marking his second musical collaboration with the House of Mouse after Moana. Think it might be challenging to work on both at the same time? Not so for Lin-Manuel Miranda. In fact, he actually found the process to be rather serendipitous. He said: 

I have to say, what was really amazing about working on Encanto was writing these songs while I was directing and editing tick, tick...BOOM!. And I found those very complimentary, in a good way. I was tired [laughs] but I was also - the fact that I was making this film about a songwriter who - all he wanted to do was get the songs out of his head and on a stage for the world to hear them, and did not live to see that realized. It just made me go back to my keyboard with such gratitude over the fact that I get to tell these stories, and, you know, I frankly found the editing process on that film really analogous to writing a musical score.

Editing a movie and writing a song may seem like totally different disciplines - what does splicing video footage together have in common with creating a melody for the piano? More than one may think, according to Lin-Manuel Miranda. He explained: 

You’re playing with tension and release, you’re playing with tempo and rhythm and rise and fall, and when do we need a break and when do we need a montage, and when do we need to sit in a moment. That’s all the decisions you’re making when you’re writing songs for theatre or for film, and so I think the fun for me is just finding, you know, learning from these projects and then seeing where you get to apply what you learned next.

Whether weaving harmonies or making movie magic, it seems like Lin-Manuel Miranda can find inspiration wherever he goes. 

tick, tick...BOOM! is available to stream now on Netflix, and going viral for its various easter eggs. Encanto is now playing in theaters everywhere

Rachel Romean

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.