We Didn't Expect Disney's 'Encanto' to Spark a Therapy Session—but We're Not Mad

The intergenerational trauma experience in this Latinx musical has TikTokers talking.

An image of the movie, Encanto.
Photo: Courtesy of Disney.

It's been only a few weeks since Encanto's Disney+ debut and it seems like everyone is in fact talking about Bruno—despite what the song says—and Mirabel, Luisa, Isabela, and the entire Madrigal familia. Initially we thought the movie would be just another musical with a Latinx twist, but this Colombian-set fantasy struck a chord so deep that it not only made many of us cry, it also inspired deep thoughts and interpretations from TikTokers everywhere.

Encanto is about a multigenerational family that lives in a magical casita. Each of the characters, other than Mirabel, is gifted with their own power and very accurately represent familiar Latinx archetypes—like Julieta who heals others with her cooking or Luisa who can literally carry anyone through dark times with her gift. On the surface, it's easy to get caught up in the bright colors on the screen and melodies of each song, but when you pay closer attention, you can hear the complexities of the lyrics and see how beautifully Encanto represents the different skin tones, hair textures, and relationships of Latinx culture.

As the storyline moves forward, viewers are taken on an emotional rollercoaster ride through entangled family relationships—and we admit, we were mad at Abuela, too, as we watched her control the family and be cold to Mirabel. But the longer we watched, and the more we thought about this matriarch after the movie ended, we began to empathize with her. Just like our own mothers and abuelas, the Madrigal's grandmother had been through experiences and hardships her children and grandchildren could never quite fully grasp.

The deep intergenerational relationships and trauma are not new, but showing how we can heal from the past is certainly welcomed. And while we can only imagine what a therapist would've told the Madrigals, we'll settle for some TikTok "therapy" for now.

TikTokers Break Down Disney's Encanto

@Latina_therapist.lcsw concludes that "Their powers don't really have to do as much with magic as with how much power that people perceive in them."

@nataliahernandezauthor got so deep she needed a Part 2.

And this one by @Estarguarstia made us tear up almost as much as Disney's Encanto did!

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