Encanto :: A Lesson in Forgiveness


Encanto is a movie with something for everyone!


*****Spoilers Ahead*****


The movie “Encanto” was released on Christmas Eve of 2021. It was an instant hit. It has excellent music and a great message. My daughter had it turned on to watch as I was walking out of my bedroom at 7 am Christmas Eve morning. I was instantly hooked, just as she was. The great music drew me in, and the story deepened my love for this movie. 

a movie poster for the film, Encanto


As I discussed the movie with other moms and my high school students, there was something that kept coming up in conversation. People could not believe that Mirabel would just forgive her Abuela after so many years of being borderline emotionally abusive to her.


The thing is, I thought it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility for Mirabel to forgive her Abuela right away. I believe this for a couple of reasons:


  1. Mirabel’s forgiveness doesn’t mean that they won’t still have some things to work on.
  2. It’s a movie. We only have so much time.
  3. Her Abuela admitted her guilt and apologized. As someone who has been deeply hurt by a family member, this is HUGE. The fact that she recognized and owned up to her wrongdoing is something that most people do not get from the people who have hurt them. 


Forgiveness is a process. Forgiveness also doesn’t have rules— it doesn’t require an apology. It also doesn’t require the forgiving person to have a checklist of items that the person who has wronged you has to accomplish. The forgiveness may take 10 years or 10 minutes. You may forgive someone once, and the hurt comes back, and you have to forgive them again. Mirabel had her own timetable for forgiveness in this situation. She may not forgive her sister for something we see as a smaller issue as easily as this. 


It isn’t always easy to teach and model forgiveness as parents. Thankfully we had this movie to give us a hand in teaching some social and emotional skills to kids.