Disney’s Encanto has become one of the studios most beloved animated features on the strength of its fabulous songs (written by Lin-Manuel Miranda), amazing animation (directed by Byron Howard and Jared Bush), and a heartfelt story about a girl who doesn’t feel special among her extraordinary family.
The movie, first released in theaters in November 2021, tells the story of Mirabel Madrigal and her extended family, who live together in a small village in Colombia. Every member of the family —except for Mirabel— has been born with a magical gift, and Mirabel must confront her fate and her family’s expectations in order to save the family and their home.
Though Mirabel is Encanto’s central protagonist, her family plays an important role in contextualizing her journey and embodying the movie’s themes. io9 sat down with Encanto’s creative team, and they explained how each of the Madrigals’ abilities reflects important elements of who they are as people.