Encanto was released in cinemas two months ago and on Disney+ one month ago, but it feels like the Disney movie is only now getting the attention it deserves.
‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ has been setting chart records in the US and in the UK, while other tracks from the movie’s flawless soundtrack have also been cracking the top ten as new fans discover it every day.
As with the best of Disney movies, that boost in popularity has also led to an increase in theories about Encanto. While it’s generally pretty straightforward plot-wise (Mirabel must discover why the Madrigals’ magical house is broken), there is one big topic of discussion that is left unanswered in the movie.
Mirabel is the only member of the Madrigal family who was not granted a superhuman ability when she was a child. The movie doesn’t make it clear exactly why Mirabel was skipped over, but also shows that it didn’t really matter as she’s the one who eventually saves the day.
You might have already created your own fan fiction as to why Mirabel didn’t get a “gift” and if you have, we hope you’ve come up with a less harsh reason than a recent Encanto theory on Reddit.
Watch Encanto on Disney+
In the movie, it’s unclear whether it’s the sentient house, the Casita, that gifts each Madrigal offspring their powers or if it’s the magical candle that created the Casita which gifts the powers. (It’s probably a combination of both, with the magic coming from the candle, but the sentient Casita making the call on which gift.)
It might appear that Abuela doesn’t have a gift, but the theory from Reddit user Ok_Friendship_2065 argues that Abuela’s gift is actually to redistribute the magic to others. Abuela has a say in which gift each member of her family receives when they’re younger, and it’s connected to their defining trait.
“[In] Bruno, she saw a future Pedro would not, and the hope of being forewarned. Mirabel’s mother had the power to heal, and was probably mother’s little helper as a child. The last triplet obviously has a mood that could change as fast as the weather,” they write.
This continued into the next generation of Madrigals, so they argue that Luisa might have been eager to help as a child leading to her gift of strength to help out, while Camilo doesn’t know who he is yet, which led to his gift to shapeshift. But if this is the case, why does Mirabel end up with nothing?
To put it simply/harshly, the theory argues that Abuela didn’t really think Mirabel had a defining trait that could lead to a specific magical gift. “I don’t think Abuela was fully aware of her power over this,” the theory adds. “Mirabel might not have shown any strong inclinations, so Abuela was unsure. Thus Mirabel didn’t receive a power.”
It’s a bit of a dark way to look at what is a delightful movie, so you might wish instead to focus on a different reason. One that potentially fits with this theory is that while Mirabel isn’t given a gift, she has a bigger destiny as the new leader of the Casita.
If we assume that the candle/Casita hands out gifts based on a character’s defining trait, then maybe what it saw in Mirabel was a loving successor to Abuela. She didn’t need a power as her destiny was to be the next person to hand out the powers.
There’s even a hint towards this as the one Madrigal we see get a power in the movie is Antonio. He’s gifted with the ability to speak to and understand animals, and we know that Mirabel is aware of this as we see them bonding over it before the ceremony.
The theory, by Reddit user thegreendorito123, adds that aside from Abuela, it’s Mirabel who has the closest connection to the Casita. It’s her efforts that ensure the Casita is rebuilt after she brings everybody in the family together, while she’s also seen talking to the house throughout.
“Mirabel and [Abuela] are the only two people to be able to communicate with the Casita in the movie. This could show some sort of special relationship with the Casita and in turn, the magic in the house,” they add.
The reason that Mirabel isn’t given a room when she was a child is that she is actually destined to move into Abuela’s, taking over her power when she sadly dies (unless her gift is also immortality, as that would mean Mirabel is waiting a long time).
We could also add in the theory here that the Casita is actually the spirit of Mirabel’s grandfather Pedro, protecting her throughout and ensuring that she never feels left out even though she doesn’t have a gift.
However we feel we’ve already given you enough emotional turmoil with the whole ‘Mirabel has no use’ theory that we’ll leave that for another day.
Encanto is available to watch now on Disney+.
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