Ever since Disney’s Encanto was released in theaters in November, it has taken the Disney world by storm. Encanto tells the story of the Madrigal family who lives in a hidden magical house in the hills of Colombia. Each member of the family is also blessed with a magical gift, well, everyone except Mirabel. However, it is up to Mirabel to save the Madrigal family and the house when they realize the magic around their house is fading.
Encanto was only in theaters for a short time before Disney made it available to Disney+ subscribers — and people can’t stop sharing just how much they love not only the story, but also the representation that is shown on-screen. One of the people who found special meaning in the film is Kah Brand, who witnessed an incredibly special moment when she watched Encanto with her son, Kenzo. Kenzo realized that he looked just like Antonio Madrigal — Mirabel’s young cousin who has the gift of being able to talk to animals.
Brand shared a picture on her Instagram of her son standing in front of the television as Antonio was on-screen, and the image has since gone viral. Brand spoke to Yahoo Life about what it meant to her and her son to see someone who looks like him in a Disney movie.
Now, Brand says she’s the one getting her heart’s desire — seeing her child feel represented by an on-screen character.
“It makes my heart happy,” says the New York City mom, “As a mom I’m always trying to capture these special moments. Growing up there wasn’t much diversity in the way characters looked — that’s changing. Black and brown children are getting to see themselves in positive images through characters like the ones on ‘Encanto’.”
“My son saw himself and it made him happy and this made me happy,” says Brand, who works in the airline industry. “Representation truly does matter.”
The music of Encanto was written by Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda — who also helped shape the story of the Madrigal family. Miranda has been instrumental in creating a number of firsts for Disney, including his work on the 2016 film Moana. It is also rumored that Miranda is currently working with Disney to create a movie featuring Disney’s first Latina princess — although Elena of Avalor brought a Latina princess to the small screen in 2016.