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Encanto: The Deeper Meaning Behind Disney's Award-winning Latino Film

Mhairi MacLeod

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Recent Disney film, Encanto, has been met with huge success and Mhairi investigates its deeper meaning and Hispanic roots.

Lovers of Hispanic culture and language, this one is for you…

Encanto, which translates to ‘spell’ or ‘enchantment’, has captivated audiences, both young and old, since its release in November 2021. From the catchy songs written by Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda to the exotic Colombian landscape, Encanto is a refreshing break away from the stereotypical Disney narratives and a glimpse towards the future of Disney. Not only is this a new era for Disney but it is yet another celebration of Hispanic and Latino culture, which has been growing in the mainstream media over recent years with productions like Coco (2017) and In the Heights (2021).

The film follows the incredible tale of ‘La Familia Madrigal’, a magical family in which each member has been given a special gift… well, everyone except Mirabel. Mirabel is the only family member who was not given a unique power at her gift ceremony, and we follow her as she desperately tries to fit in and impress her family. However, when Mirabel learns that the magic in her family and her home is dying, she sets out on a mission to save them.

Without revealing any spoilers, the film concludes with the finale song ‘All of You’ in which Mirabel discovers that although she doesn’t have a tangible power, she has the power of love inside her. This is a story about finding the gift within yourself and accepting yourself as you are. Although this is a children’s film, there are several lessons to be taken away from this story including the power of believing in yourself and embracing your uniqueness.

The film has been applauded greatly for representing the Latino community in such a beautiful manner, to which many communities can relate. This was highlighted with the viral online post captioned ‘Representation Matters’ of a two-year-old boy, who looks almost identical to one of the main characters. It is a well-known fact that there is power in growing up in a world where you can see your stories played out in front of you and this is exactly what Encanto achieves.

Overall, this is a marvellous film with vibrant Colombian imagery, memorable songs and it’s a great opportunity to practice Spanish for those who are brave enough to watch it without subtitles!


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Images provided by Mhairi Macleod.

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average rating is 3 out of 5, based on 150 votes, Article ratings

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Barbara Dawson

average rating is 3 out of 5

Lovely tasty dish. Try it you won’t be disappointed.

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Aunty Liz

average rating is 3 out of 5

Very tasty and cheap. I often have this for tea!

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average rating is 3 out of 5

Being a bilingual family (French mother and British father,) living in France I thought your article was extremely interesting . Have you research on bilingualism ? It seems that when the mother is British and the father French and they both live in France their children seem to be more bilingual than when the mother is French and the father is British . This is what we called mother tongue , isn't it ?

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average rating is 3 out of 5

Such an interesting article!

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