How Disney’s ‘Encanto’ Showed the Importance of Diversity in Kids’ Movies

As someone who loves watching movies, reading books, and consuming media left and right, I
have always been a person who loves to see diversity in shows, books, and movies because I
feel seen.
You would think that now, in 2022 things would be very different than many years ago when it
came to representation in the media, and yes, you are right. Things are different but we still
have a long way to go.
I can officially now say that at seventeen (sixteen when ‘Encanto’ came out) I saw a character
who looked like me.
At sixteen I saw that Disney was releasing a new movie, but not just any movie. Disney was
releasing a movie based on a Latino family, main character with a main
character who looked like me, acted like me, and I felt like she was me.
Many kids grow up seeing characters or media-related things who look like them. They
grow up feeling seen and like they are normal because everywhere they look, someone looks
like them. The main characters look like them, the heroes look like them, everything around
them is like them but for me, a Mexican girl who at eleven moved to the U.S from Mexico?
Nothing ever looked or was like me until ‘Encanto’ was released.
Since this movie was released, I have seen so many kids say ‘OMG she/he looks like me.’ I have
heard older sisters relate to Luisa because of the role she plays in being the first born and her
duty to protect; I have heard mothers say how the little town and house the movie takes place
in reminds them of their home countries and towns where they grew up.

That’s what representation can do. It makes you feel seen, heard, and accepted.
Movies like ‘Coco’ and ‘Encanto’ make me the happiest because I see myself in them. I see my
culture, my people, and I love that other people can fall in love with those movies too and want to
learn more.
In case you find yourself bored, with nothing to do, or simply are intrigued by what the hype
about ‘Encanto’ is, here is a synopsis of Disney’s new
record-breaking movie:

“The Madrigals are an extraordinary family who live
hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a charmed place
called the Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed
every child in the family with a unique gift—every child
except Mirabel. However, she soon may be the Madrigal’s
last hope when she discovers that the magic surrounding
the Encanto is now in danger.” –Google.