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Disney's Encanto: What Does The Title Mean In English?

"Encanto" brought audiences to places never explored in a Disney animated feature prior. In particular, the film's exploration of Colombian culture was easily one of its highlights, with every detail from its visuals to its musical numbers being imbued with the South American country's sensibilities in mind. But to see how the Colombian influence aids in expressing the film's rich message, look no further than its seemingly simple title. 

According to Collins Dictionary, the word "encanto" translates to "delight" or "charm" in Spanish. The website defines the word as "the allure of something or someone is the pleasing or exciting quality that they have." When applying that definition to the title, there are many ways one can interpret its greater meaning to the film. The simplistic title not only teases the rich animated adventure ahead, but also describes the Madrigal family at the center of the story, who despite their great gifts and admiration from the community, have their fair share of dilemmas that are simmering beneath the surface.

And for the film's creators, that idea was key to making "Encanto" work. 

Perspective was an important theme to the filmmakers

The dissection of intergenerational trauma and family dynamics in "Encanto" truly gave the Disney film some bite, showcasing how the Madrigal's obsession with keeping the status quo together ultimately is what is breaking them apart. Given the extensive work that goes into Disney's animated movies, it shouldn't be a surprise that communicating this idea was no accident. But even then, there's more that the film's team hoped that audiences could take away. 

In an interview with Disney News, co-director Charise Castro Smith discussed the most crucial factor they wanted to communicate through the film. "I think from the very beginning, this movie has been interested in exploring questions of perspective," Castro Smith explained. "Like, how well do you actually know and see your family members, and how well do they know and see you?" 

This mindset not only applied to the larger-than-life Madrigal family members, but also to the film's main character, Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz), who lacks any of her family's powers. "That's sort of the journey that Mirabel goes on in this movie — thinking that she knows all of her extraordinary family's lives, like she knows them," Castro Smith continued. "But it turns out, she kind of only knows their personas." 

At the end of the day, it doesn't take magical powers to realize the richness of "Encanto" and how the title so aptly fits the Disney hit.