It has been a few months since Disney released Encanto and we still have questions — most of them centered on the protagonist of the movie: Mirabel Madrigal.
If you haven’t watched the film (or forgot the plot), here’s a short recap. Basically, Mirabel isn’t like the rest of her family. Once they reach a certain age, the Madrigals receive magical gifts to help their family and the people in their village. For example, her sister Luisa received super strength while her cousin Camilo can shapeshift. When it was her time to get her gift, she didn’t get one. In Encanto, Mirabel not getting a gift is the reason she has a strained relationship with her Abuela Alma, the matriarch of the family.
The Madrigals didn’t understand the origin of their gifts. Abuela Alma only knows that the miracle came into their lives after her husband Pedro sacrificed himself. After his death, she received a magical candle, an enchanted house and a gifted family. So, when Mirabel didn’t get a gift, she is especially disturbed since she saw this as a sign that the magic could be dying.
So, why didn’t Mirabel get a gift? It’s one of the unanswered questions in Encanto, which led to several fan theories.
Why Doesn’t Mirabel Have a Gift? The Theories
Fans have tossed around theories to explain why Mirabel didn’t get a door. Most fans agree that the experience is meant to teach Abuela Alma the value of her family as people, and not just their magic. However, there are countless debates as to why Mirabel isn’t as gifted as her family. Here are some of our favorite Encanto theories.
Mirabel Had No Defining Trait
One theory suggests that Mirabel didn’t have a defining trait that could lead to a specific gift.
Reddit user Ok_Friendship_2056 suggests that Abuela Alma’s gift is to redistribute the magic to her family. This meant that she might also have a say in the type of gift each member receives when they’re younger, and it’s connected to their defining traits.
For example, Mirabel’s mother Julietta could heal others with her meals. Perhaps she was Alma’s little helper as a child or she was a very good cook. Bruno, the only boy of the triplets, could have been a manifestation of his mother’s want of being forewarned. Pepa could have been the moodiest out of the triplets. Her mood might’ve changed faster than the weather.
This continued to the younger generation of Madrigals. Luisa might have been the strongest out of her siblings while Camilo was probably confused about who he wanted to be, hence the shapeshifting. Mirabel probably didn’t have a defining trait, which is why she didn’t receive a gift.
Mirabel Got a Gift But It’s Not What You Think
Casita breaks down and Abuela Alma and Mirabel find themselves at the river where the miracle first revealed itself. It’s only when they reconcile — and work with the rest of the people to rebuild the casita — that the magic returns to the house and the family.
During this time, Mirabel discovers an important part of herself. She wasn’t forgotten when it came to her family’s gifts. She is the gift itself, as mentioned by her Tio Pedro. While she doesn’t have any tangible gifts, her special power is love and her ability to bring the family back together, which is the key to the magic. It is through her that family members like Bruno and Isabela embrace their true selves.
Mirabel Would Take Over Abuela’s Role
Another theory suggests that Mirabel could be destined to inherit the role of Madrigal matriarch and keeper of the magical candle.
If you think about it, Mirabel isn’t the only one without any magic in the family. Abuela isn’t magical; she’s known for being the leader of the family. She makes sure that everyone’s doing their job. Because she is the leader, no one questions her lack of magic. This similarity between Abuela and Mirabel suggests that Abuela Alma’s gift could be the role of leadership in the family, which is a gift that she can pass to Mirabel.
The entire story of Encanto supports this theory. Mirabel made it her mission to repair the cracks in the house and her family. She’s also more familiar with Casita and the only person who could see her breaking down. She and Abuela were the only characters in the film that could directly talk to Casita. Similarly, the house acts as Mirabel’s helper and friend throughout the film. Though the house cares for the entire family, Abuela and Mirabel are the only people who can communicate with the house as if it’s a living being.
Another thing: when Mirabel reconciled with Isabela, her sister, the candle started glowing brighter than before. This implies her direct connection to family magic and her talent for unlocking the hidden potential of her family members.
Finally, Mirabel doesn’t have a room of her own. Since she didn’t receive a gift, she slept in the nursery. Since she doesn’t have a room, she feels as if she isn’t as special as the other members of the family. But at the end of Encanto, the door of their newly rebuilt home comes to life and the image of the entire family glows. In the middle of the portrait is Mirabel, implying that she will be the central figure of the family.
Mirabel will most likely inherit Abuela’s room when she passes away. She will be the new keeper of the miracle.
Does Mirabel Get a Gift in the End?
So, with all these Encanto theories, it makes one wonder if Mirabel is gifted or if she at least got a door in the end.
During the film, we see that each member of the Madrigal family receives their gift by turning the knob of a magic door. The door leads to a room that reflects their power. For example, Antonio’s room is an entire jungle while Isabela’s room is full of flowers. Since Mirabel didn’t get a gift, she didn’t get a door. In fact, her door disappeared in front of everyone during the ceremony.
At the end of Encanto, however, the candle is no longer lit. But the magic continues to flow over the entire home and the village. Once their home has been rebuilt, the family presents Mirabel with a doorknob that looks just like the ones in the ceremony. She uses that to open the new front door, which eventually lights up with a portrait of the family.
This symbolizes that she doesn’t need a door anymore because the whole house is for her. Being the glue of the family, she is the rightful person to own Casita.
While Mirabel didn’t receive a tangible gift like the rest of the family, Bruno said it best, “You’re the real gift, kid.”