Encanto's Miracle Is Rooted in Tragedy

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Disney's Encanto, in theaters now.

In Disney's Encanto, the major theme is family as the Madrigals eke out a life in a forest enclave after fleeing conquerors. They unite with other refugees to form a Hispanic commune, with Alma Madrigal (aka the family's Abuela), being given a magical candle to oversee things after her husband, Pedro, died. However, while she thinks the candle is the miracle of the movie, it's actually something else entirely that is rooted in tragedy.

Why Is Encanto's Candle Deemed a Miracle?

Decades later, Alma oversees the family at their sentient house, La Casita, as they're looked to for guidance by the rest of their small town. While she doesn't have powers, the candle gifts her triplets mystical abilities, with Pepa controlling the weather based on her emotions, Julieta using her cooking to heal and Bruno becoming an outcast due to his dark prophecies.

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The grandkids have powers as well, with each of them receiving their "gift" in a ritual that creates a unique door for them. This turns into their room -- a realm that suits their powers, as seen with Antonio having a jungle because he can talk to animals and Isabela occupying a flower kingdom where she controls plant life.

Alma wants to ensure this tradition keeps passing on because she believes them having these powers to make their enclave bigger and better is a miracle after their harrowing journey. However, she soon discovers she was wrong about the miracle after forgetting the very thing Pedro gave his life for.

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What Changes Abuela's Mind?

It's one of the granddaughters, Mirabel, who sadly didn't get a gift on her birthday, making her the first grandkid without powers. This causes friction as the home starts to physically crack and the candle dims, taking the family's powers away. Mirabel tries to save the candle, though, because she knows it's the heartbeat of her family, and it leads to a heartfelt conversation with grandma.

Grandma confesses when they crossed the river to get to this enclave, Pedro tried to ward off some conquerors on horseback, which is what got him killed. That allowed the mysterious gods to send them this candle, with this memory finally getting both ladies to understand each other. Mirabel sees why Alma gripped so tightly in wanting magic in the family, as it meant a better life for them all. But more than that, she can tell it's Alma's way of coping and overcoming the past.

RELATED: Encanto Will Charm the Whole Family & Brings Magic Back to Disney Musicals

But Abuela herself has an epiphany as she realizes it's not the magic that's the miracle -- it's all the people making the trek alive. They're the soul of the community, driven by the sense of love, hope, unity and belief they have in each other. Sadly, Alma got so wrapped up that she forgot what family meant. But as the villagers join to repay them for their help over the years, the Madrigals all learn the miracle isn't a physical building to call home -- it's this extended family they've grown over the years.

See the Madrigal family discover the real miracle behind their history in Encanto, in theaters now.

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Renaldo Matadeen (7030 Articles Published)

I'm a former Chemical Engineer. It was boring so I decided to write about things I love. On the geek side of things, I write about comics, cartoons, video games, television, movies and basically, all things nerdy. I also write about music in terms of punk, indie, hardcore and emo because well, they rock! If you're bored by now, then you also don't want to hear that I write for ESPN on the PR side of things. And yes, I've written sports for them too! Not bad for someone from the Caribbean, eh? To top all this off, I've scribed short films and documentaries, conceptualizing stories and scripts from a human interest and social justice perspective. Business-wise, I make big cheddar (not really) as a copywriter and digital strategist working with some of the top brands in the Latin America region. In closing, let me remind you that the geek shall inherit the Earth. Oh, FYI, I'd love to write the Gargoyles movie for Disney. YOLO. That said, I'm on Twitter @RenaldoMatadeen. So holler.

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