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Enchanted by Encanto

Updated: Dec 4, 2022

Encanto turned out to be one of my favourite Disney movies so I have decided to write about why I liked the movie so much so here you go.

1) Representation – it is great to see people of colour being the main characters in movies. It is important for children (as well as adults) to feel represented. It helps us to understand (and feel) that we all have a place in the world. A good one.

Look at this beautiful picture of two-year-old Kenzo.

Credit: @katchingupwithkenzo on Instagram

2) Transgenerational trauma – beautifully demonstrated in the interaction between the grandmother and her children and grandchildren and how her trauma had impacted on her family. Abuela had to flee her home after her husband was murdered in front of her and her three young children. One of the most beautiful messages about this for me has been that trauma can be very powerful but so can healing from trauma. Find out more about transgenerational trauma here

3) Isabella - So many people in families have the role of the “perfect” one. They set high standards for themselves and others, where they’re not allowed to fail and as they’re scared of failing, they try to control not only themselves but sometimes those around them. They’re often concerned about getting things wrong or not achieving what is expected from them.

The thing is there is no such thing as perfection. Good, more often than not, is good enough and it is ok to make mistakes.

4) Luiza –I'm prеtty sure I'm worthless if I can't be of sеrvice” ( “Surface Pressure”, Jessica Darrow). She is the one who carries the weight of world on her shoulders, both literally and figuratively. She finds it hard to talk about her feelings and is worried about admitting when things are too tough for her to deal with as it can be seen as weakness. The rest of the family rely on her and, as it is often with the ‘strong one’, there is nobody she can really rely on.

It reminds me of people who have to be needed to feel wanted. They question their worth when they’re no longer needed and fear the rejection of others. They don’t feel they can ask for help worrying they might be perceived as a failure or weak. The thing is… it is ok to ask for help, it is ok to be vulnerable and express your feelings.

5) Mirabel - In the beginning, Mirabel is explaining all the family gifts to some young children and carefully avoids bringing up that she doesn’t have one. She tries to play it down and says that it doesn’t matter, and she is fine. However, in response, after a huge song and carefully dodging telling the kids she didn’t have a gift, a young girl says that perhaps her gift is being in denial.

I thought it was a lovely scene. It felt like having someone acknowledging how sad it must be for her to be the only one not having a gift gave her permission to get in touch with her feelings of what it is like for her to be the only one without a gift.

Song: “Waiting on A Miracle”, Stephanie Beatriz

“I'm fine, I am totally fine

I will stand on the side as you shine

I'm not fine, I'm not fine”

Despite not having a gift, her strength is to bring everyone together, is to work through the pain her Abuela has endured and spoken about the unspoken, giving her sisters permission to be themselves. She is unique and special and once she starts seeing the real value she has others seem to do the same.

When discussing this with some friends (and their children) many believe she does actually have a gift and I wonder what do you think her gift might be?

6) Let’s talk about Bruno - He is the one nobody can talk about (if you have seen the movie you probably got the song in your head right now. I know. Me too). Bruno for me represents the things people are not allowed to talk to in their families – for some this might be money, someone who has died (or the nature of the death) and/or some painful trauma the family or a particular individual has experienced. Bruno for me can also be seen as a representation of people who suffer from mental health. The one who doesn’t seem to ‘fit in’ and is singled out.

Most of us have experienced mental health issues at some point in our lives and some of us still do. It is not easy. It is not easy to try to fit in. It is not easy to try to give what others expect from you. It is not easy to accept ourselves and sometimes it is not easy to love ourselves and see (and feel) that we are worthy of love and kindness. The biggest message here for me was about self-love. Once you can accept and love yourself as you are then maybe others will be able to do that too.

7) The music – it is so powerful. Love all of the songs!!! The lyrics are brilliant and speak for each character. Beautifully capturing their pain and vulnerability.

8) The members of the family Madrigal are members of our family too. We all have our unique ‘gifts’ which makes us unique. Being able to come together and accept the ones we love (and love us back) as they’re a unique gift itself.

I hope you enjoy Encanto as much as I did . Would love to hear your observations about your favourite characters.


Hello, I am Rose! I am a qualified counsellor offering online counselling to individuals and couples. If you would like to find out more about me and my work, have a look at my website. I would love to hear from you!

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