Encanto Explained: Mirabel’s Mystery Power and Allusions to Frozen and Colombian Literature

The Unexplained Gift

Encanto, in addition to being a colourful animated musical, belongs to the magical realism genre. A literary genre that is frequently associated with Latin American literature. Magical realism stories are set in a familiar world to the reader that is infused with magic and fantasy. It incorporates a myriad of fantastical elements not found in the real world but are presented as normal. The Madrigal family are endowed with magical abilities and live in house that comes alive. Additionally, the town of Encanto is magically established overnight. However, except perhaps that it was from a miracle that came to be one day, there is no further explanation of the lore underlying the magic in Encanto. This is because, in order to normalise magic in their stories and reinforce that it is part of daily life, magical realism authors deliberately leave the magic in their stories unexplained.


Allusion to One Hundred Years of Solitude

The Yellow Butterfly

History Repeats Itself

One of the major themes in One Hundred Years of Solitude is how history inevitably repeats itself. Repetition occurs as well in Encanto, not just in the plot but also in the characters, specifically Abuela and Mirabel. Amongst the Madrigals, only Mirabel and Abuela do not possess a gift, however they share a common role within the family, that is looking after the wellbeing of the family as a whole and a beacon of hope.

Connection to Frozen

There are many instances when the film references the Disney hit film Frozen to be coincidental. The most obvious is when Bruno sings “Let it rain, let it snow, let it go!” while throwing a fistful of snow in the air. Many similarities exist between Frozen and Encanto, particularly in the underlying message and theme — familial love.

Final Words

You may agree or disagree with our theory about Mirabel’s gift. You might even have your own ideas. Regardless, it is vital to recognise the intentions of keeping Mirabel’s powers a mystery. Simply put, the lore surrounding the magic is not important. At least not as important as the moral of the story.



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