Encanto is a unique story about a family that shows the consequences of the pressure to perform. Although each family member handles it differently, they all struggle to live up to the expectations put upon them by their Abuela Alma Madrigal to maintain the magic in their home. However, one of the family members, Mirabel, doesn't have powers gifted to her by their Casita, she can see the damage being put on her family and tries her best to fix it, but one theory brings up a tragic possibility of why expectations may have led to Mirabel never being gifted any abilities.
Encanto follows the family Madrigal, specifically Mirabel, as she helps out her family and magical Casita. Whenever a family member comes of age, they are granted a door by the house and a magical ability used to better the home and the community. For example, Mirabel's sisters, Luisa and Isabella, have super strength and can grow any kind of plant, respectively. However, as the pressure to keep their Abuela happy pushes their minds into dark places, the magic begins to die, and the tensions rise, and according to a theory from Redditor Ishdakitty, Mirabel's lack of powers is a direct response to the pressure hurting her family.
Early in the film, Mirabel is seen as lesser because she has no powers, unlike everyone else related to Abuela. As a result, she is never given the same responsibilities that the other family members have. For example, Luisa always uses her strength to help around town while it's expected that Isabella will be married to someone she doesn't love and have even more children to continue the miracle, which will later tie more into this theory. Because Mirabel has no direct expectations, she does everything she can for the Casita and her family even without being asked.
When looking through the lens of the theory, the Casita chose Mirabel not to have powers to teach a lesson to Abuela Alma, as she was becoming too focused on maintaining the miracle and not on how she was treating her family. As a result of these expectations she placed on herself, she even pushed Mirabel's family to try and have one more miracle, leading to Mirabel. That said, Mirabel is loved by her parents, but it's possible that after two kids, they didn't plan on having more until Abuela Alma spoke to them, similar to how she was pushing Isabella.
If true, this isn't a slight on the Madrigal family or Abuela Alma. Her admittedly flawed way of thinking was born from a place of fear as the Casita represents the security given to her after her husband died. However, the more she lived in that fear, she lost sight of the love she had for the family and only wanted the gifts they could provide to maintain their little miracle. Because of this, the Casita had to remind Alma that their encanto isn't about a family with powers but their love for one another, resulting in Mirabel. Her presence tested Alma's ability to accept everyone and challenged her to face how she treats her family. The cracks in the home were also meant to enforce the reality that she needs to start valuing individuals instead of their gifts.
Mirabel may not have a gift like her family, but by not having one, she was able to show the family's most powerful member that things need to change. However, if the theory is true, Alma passively pushing for Mirabel's parents to have another child could be her giving herself a chance at redemption. If so, then the Casita quickly saw what needed to change and gave Mirabel the greatest power of all -- empathy.
To see the theory in action, Encanto is now on Disney+.
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