Why Disney’s “Encanto” is Truly an Encanto


Ana Garcia T.

The songs, storyline, characters, and overall representation in the movie Encanto by Disney is something I could talk for hours about. At first it might seem like another animated Disney film simply conveying the importance of family, yet looking deeply it is filled with many different strong topics such as trauma, self worth, and one’s identity. The way each character’s power is connected with the issues they face, makes many feel seen and understood. The main character, Mirabel Madrigal, is the only one not granted a ‘gift’ making her feel left out and lost at times. At the beginning she pretends she is fine with it and is reassured daily by her mother that her worth is not tied with her abilities or lack of powers. However, as the ceremony for her cousin approaches she realizes she is not fine with it and feels unwanted in her family, especially conveyed through her grandmother’s conditional love. In this story, the grandmother, Alma Madrigal, is the major cause of the issues the Madrigal children face. No matter how hard each one tries to make her proud and bring honor to their family, they are never enough through her eyes. Due to this pressure, Mirabel’s older sister, Luisa feels the need to carry and solve all the family’s problems. In her song “under the surface” she explains how she feels she would be worthless if she was ever not able to “carry it all”, making many older siblings relate. Isabella, Mirabel’s other older sister is seemingly perfect inside and out. Her desire for perfection and approval makes her do things she does not want to do. She sacrifices her happiness for what she thinks will be most beneficial for the family. This is also something a lot of people struggle with and can be more commonly known as “people pleasing”. All these characters grow from their experiences and get through their issues throughout the movie giving those in the audience who relate, a feeling of hope and understanding. Encanto is so much more than another Disney movie, it is a complex film full of deep messages waiting to be decoded.