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lessons learned from Encanto

Family Lessons from Disney’s Encanto

Disney released the movie ‘Encanto’ in 2021. There are so many things I love about this movie. Great storytelling, a stellar soundtrack with songs by the iconic Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), and subtle lessons. This film is about family and those deeply personal relationships. Here are some lessons I observed in this fantastic movie along with tracks from the movie that bring these characters to life.


The movie emphasizes the significance of familial affection and the necessity of being truthful and open. Main character Mirabel demonstrates love towards every member of her family, even when they don't include her in certain activities. The story illustrates that a person's worth isn't solely determined by their talents and that it's crucial to utilize one's abilities judiciously. It also honestly shows that like many families, there are instances of conflict present.

The character Luisa is constantly required to exhibit strength and resilience. Being the eldest, she bears the responsibility of shouldering the burden. She feels the weight of expectations placed upon her. Shouldering the weight of all the family problems can have a significant impact on a person's mental and emotional well-being. It can lead to a sense of responsibility that is too heavy to bear, and can create feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. Being in a caretaking role can also be isolating, as it can make it difficult to connect with others outside of the family.


The pressure to always be strong and fix all the problems can also lead to burnout and neglect of personal needs, which may negatively affect overall health. They may have difficulty setting boundaries and neglect their own emotional needs.

The expectation placed on Isabella to be perfect can be a heavy burden to bear. Perfectionism can limit one's ability to create, as it can make it difficult to take risks and experiment with new ideas. The fear of not being perfect can hold back creativity and make it harder to produce something truly unique and original. Trying to achieve perfection can lead to an obsession with meeting that standard, which can lead to burnout and neglect of other areas of life, such as mental and emotional well-being. It's important to keep in mind that perfection is often unattainable and that being able to accept imperfections is an essential part of the creative process. Isabella subtly introduces the concept of mindfulness.


Learning to live in the moment (mindfulness) is the practice of being fully present and engaged in the current experience, without judgment. It's about paying attention to the present moment, without getting caught up in regrets about the past or worries about the future. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and can improve overall well-being. Learning to live in the moment is a skill that takes time and practice. It may be challenging at first, but with consistent practice, it can become a natural way of being.

Bruno possesses the unique ability to see into the future, which can be both a blessing and a curse. This ability sets him apart from the rest of his family, making him feel isolated and disconnected from them. The family members misunderstand and fear him, which makes his situation more difficult. His difficulty in dealing with the burden of misunderstanding leads him to “disappear”.


When a misunderstanding occurs, it can create confusion, frustration, and hurt feelings. If the misunderstanding is not addressed, it can create a barrier between people and make it difficult to communicate or connect. Misunderstandings can happen because of a variety of factors, such as communication breakdown, lack of information, or different perspectives. Sometimes they can also happen due to unconscious biases, assumption and projection of one's own feelings or thoughts.

As strange and off putting as Bruno’s gift is, the fact that he has one makes him part of the “circle”. Mirabel would be considered the "black sheep of the family". She seems to be considered different or out of place within her family.


The black sheep of the family may be subject to rejection, exclusion, or criticism from their family members, which can be hurtful and damaging. They may also feel that they don't belong or that they are not accepted. This can lead to feelings of isolation and low self-esteem.

 

In actuality, mundane and non-magical Mirabel has the most powerful gift - the ability to deeply understand and share the feelings of others. She can empathize with their emotions and experiences and is able to respond with compassion and kindness. This gift allows her to connect with others on a deeper level, and to understand and relate to their struggles and challenges. This is why she  ultimately “saves” her family.

There are many lessons in this colorful, fun and vibrant movie. The most important is that everyone is unique, and that diversity within families is normal. No one should be made to feel like an outsider because of their differences. It's important for the family to be supportive and to accept and love each member for who they are. If you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend that you watch it. This soundtrack is one that all members of your family will enjoy. My favorite is “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”. You can stream the soundtrack on your favorite service or get a copy on Amazon.


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Author

  • Angel Lewis

    A bit about me. I was born and raised in rural North Carolina, and currently call Virginia home. My passion for writing was awakened while attending Guilford College (Greensboro, NC). In 2021, I published my first book 'My Self-Care Plan: 12 Monthly Strategies That Will Transform Your Life'. It inspires readers to make self-care a priority during the next 12 months so that they can live their best life possible. The spring of 2022 saw the release of 'Ready. Set. Fly!' my debut children’s book that encourages self-belief and perseverance.

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5 thoughts on “Family Lessons from Disney’s Encanto

  1. I love this post! All of that music made me so happy! About perfection… it’s definitely overrated. People who try to be perfect end up struggling because the goal of perfection is impossible to achieve. That’s very true for writers. If you try to make your writing perfect, you’ll just end up with writers block.

  2. It’s always wonderful to pull lessons from avenues of entertainment. I especially like your first and second lessons.

    Working with parents of dyslexic children made me realize how important it is to emphasize that they show the same level of love to every member of their family, which includes their dyslexic child.

    Then I teach them to help their dyslexic child develop strength and resilience for the challenging road ahead of them.

  3. Lia loved this movie! I do product reviews and one was the dress like Mirabel wore. While Lia was watching the movie she was engrossed in it while wearing her dress.

  4. There’s not must worse than everyone expecting you to be the strong one, because even the strongest person needs support. No one is immune to struggling, and as you said, burn out often is far off when people keep leaving everything to the strong person to manage

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