Encanto’s Disney+ Release Inspired An Adorable Representation Moment Between Mother And Two-Year-Old Son

Antonio with Toucan in Encanto
(Image credit: Disney)

Disney Animation is an important part of many childhoods and, as kids, it is often instinctive to find resemblance in your favorite princess or adventurer. But, for a long time, Disney characters have followed suit with the trend of Hollywood and failed to reflect a large range of cultures. The studio’s latest film, Encanto, which follows a Colombian family and community, recently hit Disney+ and one viral moment serves as yet another example of how much representation matters on screen.

Much of the film focuses on a young member of the family named Antonio, who is the first member of the family since the protagonist, Mirabel, to have a celebration to receive their family’s magical powers. While watching Encanto, Kah Brand, the mother of a two-year-old boy shared this photo of her son, Kenzo, alongside Antonio. The resemblance is uncanny:

In the post, Brand joked that Disney+ subscribers can “check out Kenzo” in Encanto. To POPSUGAR, the mother spoke to capture the cute moment. In her words:  

He seemed to be in awe, just smiling and staring at the screen. Then he stood up and looked back at his dad and me, still smiling. For him, I truly believe that he thought he was seeing himself because of the resemblance between him and Antonio.

The two-year-old was in “awe” to see someone who looks just like him as a young boy with the power to communicate with animals. Kah Brand continued: 

As a mom, I'm always trying to capture 'these' moments.’ I was amazed at his reaction. It just truly made me smile and my heart happy. It was the impact of feeling seen. It is essential for Black children to feel seen and to be connected to positive and empowering images for their self-esteem.

When films fail to bring diversity to their films, there becomes a gap between those who feel seen and can do things like have magical powers and save the world and those who are not represented. This is a perfect example of how diversity in animation can have an impact on the up-and-coming generation. Kah Brand spoke to how the movie affected her: 

We didn't have this growing up. What's so special about Encanto was that it didn't stop at just showing us brown characters. It showed the diversity in hair textures and skin tone. I'm so grateful for moments like this because I'm aware of its impact, especially for brown boys and girls. It brings joy to our family. There's power in representation and magic in creativity. This generation and future generations will experience inclusivity because the film industry is moving in a direction that reflects the true diversity of our world.

Encanto is Disney’s first animated musical to highlight characters living in Latin America. There’s a special attention to detail, with the animation showcasing a variety of different looks and skin tones within the Colombian community, including Antonio, who is the cousin of Mirabel. He is a central part of the storyline, because Mirabel and Antonio have a close connection and he brings up the former's memories of her own ceremony, during which she was not given a gift. Thus feeling like an outsider from her family and creating tensions. 

Encanto is now available to stream on Disney+. The next Disney animated film will be Turning Red, coming which will release directly to the streamer on March 11

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.