Does Encanto Have a Deeper Meaning?

Leah Douglas and Sophia Moore

Image from Disney

Disney’s new movie Encanto has become a conversation starter about mental health in families of color. Kadesha Adelakun, a therapist in Georgia, realized the movie Encanto had a deeper meaning. She was quoted saying, “There are so many layers, so many dynamics… I think [the movie is] going to have a great impact on society. People are seeing this movie and they’re realizing they’re seeing themselves in it.”

This movie follows Maribel Madrigal who is part of a magical family where everyone has a special gift except for her. Since she did not get a gift she feels worthless and wants to find a way to prove herself. This movie also features a song called “Surface Pressure” where Maribel asks the simple question, “Are you ok?” to her older sister. The fact that Maribel was checking in on Luisa (Maibel’s sister) sends Luisa into a mental breakdown musical number. In this song, the lyrics, “Who am I if I can’t carry it all?” are constantly repeated as Luisa asks this question to herself. She is battling the pressure and stress of being the “strong one” in her family. This is very important to talk about in families because everyone feels stressed and people need to know that it is okay if they can’t do everything.

In addition, this movie also has a character named Bruno who can see the future. No one liked him because he was to only one being honest and was ruining the Madrigals “perfect” image. Bruno is speculated to have the mental illness OCD. He also has a song about him called, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” in which his family and the townspeople talk about how horrible his visions were until he disappeared. This song represents how some families will ignore other family members with mental illness to keep up their facade of “perfect.” In these days world families need to be talking about stress, anxiety, and mental illnesses, and Encanto was to perfect way to start this important conversation.