In Disney’s 2021 movie, encanto, the magical house of Casita fails to protect the main character, Mirabel, even when Mirabel sets out to prevent Casita from falling apart. Casita is not thoughtless or careless, however, and has good reasons not to help Mirabel at certain points in the film. Mirabel, a young woman who is denied powers in a family where each member receives a special gift on their fifth birthday, wants to prove that she is worthy of her family. The family lives in a sentient home, affectionately called Casita, who often helps Mirabel throughout the film. However, when Mirabel explores Bruno’s hidden room and the walls he hides behind, Casita’s help is noticeably lacking.
When Mirabel is on her quest to find out what makes Casita crumble and why her family is losing their magical powers, she sets out to find Bruno, her uncle. When Mirabel was younger, he left the family to protect her because he received the gift of prophecy, but Bruno’s visions always seemed to be bad news. Each member of the Madrigal family has a special custom room that Casita creates for them when they receive their magical power. Throughout the film there are only two rooms next to Bruno’s and both times Casita can use his magic in the bedrooms. When Mirabel was in Bruno’s room, it was full of sand and difficult to navigate, but Casita offered no help, even when the room started to collapse. Casita also fails to protect Mirabel when she nearly dies while chasing Bruno within the walls of the house.
Casita is hiding a secret, Bruno, and the hidden spaces in the house offer the opportunity to hide that secret. Since Bruno has left the family, the light on his door has dimmed, indicating that Casita’s magic no longer works there. But like any other room, this one was once enchanted, and Bruno’s room can serve as a metaphor for the heartbreak he endured trying to protect Mirabel. Like any other member of the Madrigal family, Casita has its own pressures and desires. Connected by the Madrigals’ love for each other, Casita relies on their unity to stay alive, just as they rely on Casita for its magic. Casita also doesn’t shy away from giving them some sense if they misbehave. Casita, for example, has Mirabel run into a pole early in the film after she snaps at her sister. Seeing how the Madrigals, especially Abuela, treat Bruno, Casita decides to hide Bruno by dismantling his own magic and giving Bruno a safe place to retreat.
How the theme of family secrets brings Encanto together
Every member of Madrigal’s family has their secrets from Dolores’ secret love to Luisa, feeling like she has to carry everything and never ask for help. The theme of family secrets extends to Casita, as it helps Bruno hide and live a relatively safe life rather than being forced to live outside the protective home. One theory suggests that Casita knew exactly when it would die and that its magic wouldn’t be strong enough to carry the Madrigals forever. This means that Casita, like Bruno, can see and plan for the future. Casita chose to hide Bruno so Mirabel would find him and restore the family bond before Casita collapsed.
Casita’s ultimate goal throughout the film is to protect the Madrigals and while it may seem like Casita is absent at times, a bigger plan was in the works. Just as the family dynamic improves when the Madrigals all reveal their secrets at the end of the film, Casita can only be rebuilt when Bruno finally rejoins the family and is no longer an outcast. encanto is not only a fun, whimsical film, but is also based on the very honest aspect of the difficult family dynamics and the desire to live up to expectations.
Next: Encanto Theory: Casita Knows When The Madrigals’ Powers Will Peak