Mirabel’s Gift Was Here All Along

When I watched Encanto the first time, I pondered what Mirabel’s gift could be, and it wasn’t entirely clear at the end. After all, her potential door disintegrated before her eyes during her ceremony. Even though she said she was okay with it and viewed herself as just as important and valuable as her family members, it disappointed her and her family. The song “Waiting on a Miracle” confirmed her suppressed thoughts. She loves her family and wants to be just as “special” as everyone else. Still, her family pushes her aside, thinking she is better suited to stay out of the way. She’s still waiting on her miracle and wonders if it’s too late. Mirabel’s sadness swells as the song ends, and something interesting happens; Casita’s shingle falls.

Upon my second watch, I realized her gift was the Casita. Or rather, control of it. I know it sounds weird but hear me out. The shingle falls from Casita as Mirabel as she finally expresses herself. Whenever she has a negative thought or feeling, the house seems to crack, and the candle flame flickers at the movie’s climax. Mirabel and her grandmother fight, their true feelings coming out, causing Casita’s demise. Once the house is rebuilt, Mirabel’s cousin Antonio hands her a golden doorknob with an “M” and tells her the family made it for her. She places it on the house’s front door, transforming it back into Casita, similar to when her family members received their gifts. The front door changes to represent Mirabel and her family, showing their growth after the climax.

Interestingly, the M on the knob could stand for two different ideas. The letter could represent the Madrigal family as a whole. On the other hand, (and this scenario I find the most interesting), she didn’t get a room of her own because Casita was her miracle all along. She can’t have a room and door in her own house. Her gift is the power of family and togetherness.

This scenario would explain why she can communicate with Casita even when its actions are ambiguous. When Mirabel asks Casita to stop the sand from falling inside Bruno’s room, the tiles shuffle outside his door, which Mirabel translates to Casita not being able to help her. This could be translated to Mirabel’s (and, by extension, Casita) gifts not working in other magical rooms. Generally, her understanding of the minor nuances details that the family either doesn’t see or doesn’t pay attention to. (Did anyone else notice Mirabel is the only one to converse with the house without prompting?) The family knows Casita can interact, but Mirabel goes out of her way and has conversations and requests.

A final thing to note is that Mirabel walked Antonio to Abuela and his door. It is almost symbolic of Abuela “passing the torch” to the new generation. Abuela gives the power, and Mirabel empowers others to go out and get it.

Mirabel’s gift is left up to interpretation for the most part, which makes speculating on it so fun. I have another theory in which her power could also be linked to Abuela’s, which I can’t wait to discuss in further detail.

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