Encanto - 2021
Age-appropriateness: mildly scary scenes
Overview: A young Colombian girl has to face the frustration of being the only member of her family without magical powers.
Themes: family, magic, loneliness, uniqueness, jealousy, miracle, anxiety, sibling rivalry, restoration, perfection, sin, love, belonging
The Quick 3
Ask these quick questions to hit the major themes of the film.
1. Family. In what ways is your family unique? What makes your family special and different?
Maribel introduces her family and explains what makes them special. Every family member is unique in their own way.
2. Uniqueness/belonging. Do you ever feel left out of your family? Does it ever seem you like don't have a special gift?
Because she was different, Mirabel was treated unfairly and often left out by her family members, particularly with Abuela Alma. She was treated differently in her family because she “had no gift”. Yet, Mirabel says, “gift or no gift, I am just as special as anyone in my family”.
3. Unconditional love. Do you ever feel like you're not "good enough"? Do you believe that you don't have to "earn" God's love?
With tears in her eyes, Mirabel asks her Abuela, “I’ll never be good enough for you, will I? No matter how hard I try?” Jesus Christ gave up His life for you. He did this because He loved you more than you'll ever know. In God's eyes, you will always be loved, despite your weaknesses. God will never look at you disappointed or upset because you don't measure up. Instead, He loves you and wants what's best for you. Because of Jesus, you can stop trying to be "good enough". Jesus already sees you as righteous.
After The Movie Discussion Guide
Follow this 5-10 minute discussion guide to drive an in-depth conversation.
1. Mirabel was the only person in her family without magical gifts. The rest of her family had incredible magical powers. Which family member’s magic power was your favorite? Is you could have any magical power, what would you pick?
Here's an article on How to Talk to Your Kids About Magic.
2. Because she was different, Mirabel was treated unfairly and often left out by her family members, particularly with Abuela Alma. She was treated differently in her family because she “had no gift”. Yet, Mirabel says, “gift or no gift, I am just as special as anyone in my family”. Do you ever feel left out of your family? Does it ever seem you like don't have a special gift?
3. Mirabel didn’t always get along with her sister, Isabela. Mirabel was jealous of the attention Isabela got from her wonderful, magic flower powers. Isabel’s life seems perfect and her life seems so great. Jealousy is wanting to have something that someone else has. Have you ever been jealous of a gift that your sibling or friend has? How did that make you feel?
4. The family Madrigal uses their gifts to bless their community. They all recognize that they have been blessed by a miracle, so they choose to be a blessing to others. Matthew 5:16 says, "In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." We have all been blessed by Jesus, and as a response, we are to be a blessing to those around us. How can you be a blessing to others? Do you realize that you, too, have been blessed by a miracle?
5. Both Mirabel and Abuela Alma admit that the miracle was broken because of them. Our relationship with God has been broken as well. He designed us to live in perfect harmony with Him, but all people have chosen to rebel against God and choose to do whatever they wanted to instead. We all sin - which means to act or think in ways that are against God's best design for us. Romans 3:23 says, "For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard." Do you recognize the brokenness that has resulted because of your sin? In what ways has the world around you been broken because of the sins of others?
6. When Mirabel’s family received the magic candle, they called it a “miracle”. It was the greatest thing that ever happened to them and changed their lives forever. Miracles are anything that God does that defies the rules of nature. Mark 10:27, "Jesus looked at them intently and said, 'Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.'" Can you think of any examples of miracles that you've heard about? How can those miracles be explained?
7. Throughout her life, Mirabel was focused on making her family proud. Her family repeatedly told her that she doesn’t have anything to prove. Do you feel like you really try to make your family proud? Does is feel like you have something to prove?
Minute By Minute Guide
Use this break down of the entire movie in addition to the “After the Movie” discussion guide. Great for repeat viewings.
:02 Mirabel hears the story of her family’s history. In their darkest moment, they received a miracle. When her Abuelo Pedro was lost, her family was granted a magic candle that gave them magic powers. Have you ever received a miracle in a really dark moment? We’re you surprised that something good came from something bad?
:04 “The Family Madrigal”. Maribel introduces her family and explains what makes them special. Every family member is unique in their own way. In what ways is your family unique? What makes your family special and different?
:13 Mirabel encourages Antonio, who is nervous about his time to receive his gift. He’s worried that he won’t get a special gift. Even though she doesn’t have a gift, Mirabel still takes the time to focus on the needs of another person. Philippians 2:3-4 says, "Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too." When was the last time someone put your needs above their own? How can you do the same to others?
:22 “Waiting on a Miracle”. Mirabel expresses her disappointment and frustrations of being left out. She hopes for a change and wants to become special, like everyone else. Do you ever feel like you were more like other people? When was the last time you felt like you were left out?
:28 Mirabel’s mother reminds her daughter that she is perfect, just the way she is. She accepts, loves, and values Mirabel exactly how she was made. Romans 5:8 explains how God loves us unconditionally: "But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." God loves you, accepts you, and values you exactly as you are - and no matter what mistakes you've made. Do you feel like you are loved unconditionally? How much do you feel like God loves you?
:34 “Surface Pressure”. Luisa is super strong on the outside. But underneath the surface, she’s very nervous and anxious about failing and letting people down. She’s under a lot of pressure and feels like she can’t make a mistake. Do you ever feel like you carry the burdens of others? Have you ever felt super anxious beneath the surface?
Here's an article on How to Talk to Your Kids About Anxiety.
:46 “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”. Bruno was a family member who left a long time ago. He sees visions of the future and gave people prophecies. In Bruno’s final vision, Mirabel sees that she might be responsible for destroying the magic. A man named John, one of Jesus's best friends, also had a vision. He wrote down his vision in the book of Revelation, which depicts a lot of imagery about heaven. Have you ever felt like you had a "vision" of the future? What would you hope to see?
:57 Bruno said his gift wasn’t helping the family, but he still loves his family. Therefore, Bruno sacrificially left his family in order to not hurt them any longer. He also left so that he could protect Mirabel. How do you think Bruno felt during his time away from his family? Do you think he should remain in hiding?
1:05 Mirabel learns that, in order to save the miracle, she’ll need to embrace Isabel. She doesn’t think that’ll ever be possible, because she has such a rivalry with her sister. Is there anyone in your life that you feel like you could never get along with? How can you show love to that person?
1:08 “What Else Can I Do?” Isabel recognizes that she doesn’t need to be perfect. She tests out what life might be like if she does whatever feels right inside of her heart. She concludes that, even if she’s not perfect, it’ll be okay. Do you ever feel like you have to be perfect? What would like be like if you were not perfect?
1:12 With tears in her eyes, Mirabel asks her Abuela, “I’ll never be good enough for you, will I? No matter how hard I try?” Jesus Christ gave up His life for you. He did this because He loved you more than you'll ever know. In God's eyes, you will always be loved, despite your weaknesses. God will never look at you disappointed or upset because you don't measure up. Instead, He loves you and wants what's best for you. Because of Jesus, you can stop trying to be "good enough". Jesus already sees you as righteous. Do you ever feel like you're not "good enough"? Do you believe that you don't have to "earn" God's love?
1:18 “Dos Oruguitas”. Abuela Alma reflects on her life with Abuela Pedro. She thought back to the moment she met her husband and when she first lost her home: the best and worst moments of her life. What would you say are the best and worst moments of your life? How do those experiences affect you today?
1:24 “All of You”. Mirabel encourages her family to come back home. She says they need a new foundation in order to be restored. She recognizes that people are more than their gifts. The town comes together to rebuild their home. Jesus is the best foundation for your life. This means that He is the most important aspect of your life and everything else in your life is based on your relationship with Him. Our relationship with God is restored forever, and that is only because of Jesus. What would you say is the "foundation" of your life? What do you think it means to be "restored"?
1:30 “Columbia, Mi Encanto”. The family Madrigal is back together in their new home, with everyone recognizing that they are imperfect…and that’s okay! Do you embrace your imperfections? How can you thrive as a family, even despite those imperfections?