4 life lessons from this wonderful animated movie “Encanto”

Going to watch a movie on the big screen after 18 months felt amazing beyond words. I had to pick something that Angel and I both will resonate with and nothing better than Disney’s latest release Encanto.

While I wasn’t always a fan of animated movies, a few years before Angel was born I watched Shrek one night and was completely hooked on. I realised though the characters and animation are meant to keep kids glued these movies often carry profound messages for adults. Some of them touch those innermost corners of your heart with a special message or two. A few that I absolutely adore are Coco, Inside Out, Soul- if you havent watched them, now is the time.

Coming back to Encanto , its the story of a family blessed with magical powers- each member of the family except one girl- the protagonist of the story Mirabel. Without any spoilers , all I would say is the story is about how Mirabel discovers her special powers in the most unlikely of ways and realises her greatest miracle is “she” herself.

Why I totally loved the movie (apart from the recliner experience :)) –

  1. The movie reinforces the unwavering love and faith of a family and how this is the strongest bond that holds you together and such an integral part of your identity. We try our best to live up to the expectations of our family, our parents, siblings, grand parents , people we look up to and with some people it seems that whatever we do , we will never be enough. But we dont know their side of the story and the sacrifices they have made, and their tough exterior is sometimes a way to protect us for they have a fear within which they cant openly show.
  2. As much as we aim to be happy and cheerful, there are times when we feel meh. And thats perfectly ok. Its ok to say it out aloud , if not to everyone at least to one self. Acknowledging that every day is not a merry day, today is a day you want to wrap that blanket on your head and go back to sleep. Cos you dont feel ok and thats not about being physically unwell. But your mental well being. Just like Mirabel who smiles and sashays around but within she had a tornado thats exploding and she acknowledges to herself that she’s not ok as she’s not special like others. Being kind to ourselves is the first step in self love.
  3. Those whose lives appear perfect are not necessarily happy all the time, they have immense pressure to keep up that image and that takes a toll- this has been wonderfully portrayed by Isa (Isabel) the perfect, beautiful cousin of Mirabel who has been gifted with the power of creating roses and the most exotic flower arrangements with the swish swash of her hands. Luisa the other cousin who has the strength of a superwoman and can lift anything and everything- from 10 donkeys or the church tower and is always seen carrying things on her strong arms and placing them in a different place as directed by people. Both Isa and Luisa appear to be perfect with their unique powers and people are in awe of them but internally both feel the constant stress of having to keep up with people’ expectations. Like Luisa says “If I am not carrying anything heavy I feel like I am worthless” . Dont these emotions resonate with all of us? Those we envy for their beauty, brains, strength or any other extraordinary quality or feature may not necessarily be living the perfect life. Would we envy them any less if we knew what their inner turmoils are?
  4. Your biggest miracle is “you”. This is when Mirabel realises she is special and unique in her own way, even without a super power. Her journey of self discovery, the pitfalls, hurdles she encounters and how she bravely faces them with help from some of the family members make her eventually understand and appreciate herself and how awesome she is. A big lesson for each of us there as we aimlessly look at people around (Instagram these days I would say!) and wish our own lives were more exciting and we were living a miracle like them. Its time we create our miracle and this is different for each of us.

I hope I havent given out more than what was needed and I can still tempt you to go watch this wonderful movie with your kids, and for those sans kids -watch it anyway. You are sure to love this one.

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