Not just why we can’t talk about Bruno
Warning: minor spoilers ahead
It’s been a good few months since Encanto rocked American theatres and Disney+. The movie, set in 20th century Colombia, follows the vibrant lives of the Madrigal family as they live under one house that has a mind of its own. The members of the Madrigal family carry superhuman gifts. From insane strength, healing through food, controlling the weather and growing plants, the Madrigal family helps keep their small town afloat.
Mirabel, the only Madrigal relative without powers, tries hard to fit in with her exceptional family—often to the point that she tries too hard. But like everyone else, this family has its own secrets, some more ominous than others. As the magic in their house begins to weaken, it’s up to Mirabel to save the magic before it completely wanes.
In case you didn’t know, Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Stephanie Beatriz lends her voice to 15-year old Mirabel. Meanwhile, musical genius and Hamilton author Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the original songs of the film. That’s why Encanto’s songs are welcome earworms that get everyone dancing.
Vibrant animations and addictive musical numbers aside, this film just proves Disney’s ability to touch hearts and families from all over the world because of heart-warming stories. Encanto won the hearts of us Filipinos, too, especially with the multigenerational family dynamic hitting way too close to home. So many of us identified with the Madrigal family’s issues, from the constant pressure to make it good to sibling and cousin rivalries that can often get out of hand.
Disney carefully wrapped life lessons in amazing animation and top-tier production. After all, it’s what they do best. Ahead, we list down the things Encanto taught us.
Your value doesn’t diminish when you fail to deliver
Madrigal grandchild Luisa, whose gift is superhuman strength, constantly equates her worth with the help she provides and the load she can bear. In Surface Pressure, she sings: “I’m pretty sure I’m worthless if I can’t be of service,” a mindset we struggle to unlearn in an age where productivity is continuously championed to a fault. But as the movie progresses, Encanto teaches us that the amount of work we finish and the load we carry does not amount to our worth. A moment of weakness doesn’t make you less of a person. It just means you need to step back and take a break.
Your creations don’t have to be picture-perfect. Sometimes, they just need to be yours
For every Type A perfectionist out there, this is for you. Whatever you make or do doesn’t always have to be perfect or of unrealistic standard. Sometimes, it just has to be beautiful on your own terms. So despite seeming cool, calm, collected and glamorous, Isabela Madrigal also grapples with keeping a façade up. After all, she needs to live up to Abuela’s perception of her: the perfect child who only grows roses. But thanks to Mirabel, Isabela learns to embrace her imperfections and less-than-pleasant creations, such as cacti and vines. She begins to create different kinds of plants, all of which are beautiful because they are hers.
Tradition shouldn’t always be the norm
Throughout the film, the gaps between the Madrigal family members widen. Abuela unconsciously pits her grandchildren against each other and shuns away relatives whose talents she couldn’t understand. All under the guise of protecting the miracle and preserving her old ways. This movie teaches us that sticking to tradition or refusing change can bring more conflict. The world constantly evolves and spins on—shouldn’t we follow suit, too? In Encanto, the Madrigals learn this the hard way but ultimately realize that there are other ways for their light to shine bright.
There’s no magic like a tight-knit community
The inevitable happened by the tail-end of Encanto, but the Madrigal family are not powerless. After decades of service, the town pays it forward by helping the Madrigal family recover. The true magic lies in the relationships they fostered, in the quiet town whose citizens are always willing to help. A tight-knit community can move even the seemingly unsurmountable mountains. Just look at how we’ve come together in the face of crisis.
What else did Disney’s Encanto teach you? Let us know in the comments below!
Catch Encanto on Disney+.
Art Macky Arquilla