Encanto follows the Madrigal family, a group full of gifted people who struggle in silence with their own abilities. After the magic in their house starts to weaken, Mirabel, one of the youngest in the family and the only one without powers, takes it upon herself to try and save it.
In her journey, Mirabel realizes her family needs all the help they can get. After all, The Madrigals’ powers are often a metaphor for larger issues affecting them in their day-to-day life. However, they’re also like superpowers and as such, some of them are better or at least more practical than others.
10 No One Wants: Pepa’s Weather Control
Aunt Pepa is one of Abuela Alma’s daughters. She’s a nervous woman whose mood changes the weather. Given that her emotions can affect anyone around her, she usually represses her feelings to keep everyone happy. Her gift is an allegory of how society tends to be unfair to people with deep intense feelings.
While most Madrigal gifts are a blessing, Pepa’s feels more like a curse. Although controlling the weather seems like a good superpower, Pepa can only use it if she controls her own psyche, which means she’s condemned to live in denial about her own emotions for the rest of her life.
9 Would Be Useful: Isabela’s Flower Conjuring Powers
The Madrigal’s Golden Child, Isabela can make flowers and trees appear out of thin air only using her mind. Since Isabela is supposed to be nothing short of perfect, her ability is very on point with Abuela’s expectations of her granddaughter.
Although Isabela believes that her gift can only be used to produce conventionally beautiful flowers, Mirabel helps her discover that she can control all kinds of plants. This releases her from the burden of perfectionism. In real life, Isabela’s gift would be very useful to heal ecosystems all over the world. In addition to this, plant manipulation is a very effective tool in battle, as Poison Ivy can attest.
8 No One Wants: Bruno’s Precognition
The Madrigal family’s black sheep, Bruno, is a caring man whose family and town ostracize due to his magical ability. Since he’s able to conjure visions and see the future but is unable to change it, people around him fear he’s going to have bad news for them.
Although knowing what’s going to happen in life may be tempting, it’s also a bad idea. Just like what happened to Bruno, having the ability to see the future without being able to modify it can ruin a person’s life. It could isolate anyone from the people they love and make them increasingly paranoid about the future.
7 Would Be Useful: Luisa’s Superhuman Strength
Mirabel’s middle sister, Luisa, possesses super-strength. Naturally, the whole town relies on her for all kinds of tasks. Since she has a strong sense of duty, she tends to bite more than she can chew, which leads her to have a breakdown. By the end of the movie, Luisa understands she doesn’t have to carry everything on her shoulders.
Although this strong sense of responsibility can be too much to handle for a person, having super strength is probably the most useful superpower out there. Not only does it come in handy during a battle, but it also makes many daily tasks much easier. Granted, people will ask for favors way too often, but it’s all about establishing boundaries.
6 No One Wants: Mirabel’s Responsibility To Keep The Magic Alive
At the beginning of the movie, Mirabel Madrigal doesn’t have a gift. However, as the plot moves forward, she and the audience realize that this doesn’t make her ordinary. In fact, she’s the only one who can save the Madrigal family. There are many fan theories on the internet trying to explain what Mirabel’s real gift is, but all agree on one thing: it translates as her responsibility to keep the magic alive.
Mirabel’s gift, if any, isn’t a tangible one. She represents the love between the Madrigals. Her job is to remind everyone of their value. This is a wholesome endeavor. Mirabel is living proof that kindness gets people far. However, it isn’t a superpower, since it doesn’t grant its user any abilities. It boils down to being a duty.
5 Would Be Useful: Camilo’s Shapeshifting Skills
Pepa and Felix’s son, Camilo, is one of the least developed characters in Encanto. He’s a 15-year-old boy who enjoys playing pranks on his cousins. Camilo “doesn’t quite know who he is yet.” This translates into his gift: he’s a skilled shapeshifter.
Encanto doesn’t focus on Camilo’s powers, but he’s only seen transforming in other characters. It’s impossible to know if the boy can shapeshift freely or if he must transform into people he’s already seen. Regardless of this, Camilo’s gift would be particularly useful in real life.
4 No One Wants: Dolores’ Enhanced Hearing
Pepa and Felix’s daughter, Dolores, is a shy and quiet girl who has superhearing. Thanks to her gift, she knows everyone’s gossip. While Dolores prefers to stay away from the drama, often she reveals others’ secrets without realizing they were, in fact, secrets.
Dolores’ gift may seem like a good superpower. After all, mighty superheroes like Superman possess superhearing. However, it is very unpractical. Even the Man of Steel has to focus in order to filter unwanted noise or he gets overwhelmed. With a gift like this, Dolores is doomed to hear everything everyone around her says, whether she wants it or not.
3 Would Be Useful: Julieta’s Healing Cooking
Mirabel’s mother, Julieta, has an ability strongly related to her role as a mother: any food she prepares can be used to heal any kind of ailment. Her magical gift is a reference to her maternal ability to help her kids. Many fans believe Julieta’s secret ingredient is, in fact, love.
Although Julieta is a supporting character in Encanto, her gift is the most useful ability in the Madrigal household. Julieta can heal any illness, rendering doctors completely useless. The extent of her power isn’t further explored in the movie, but, assuming she can heal anything, there’s a big chance Julieta’s recipes can help their users achieve immortality.
2 No One Wants: Abuela’s Magic Candle
After her husband Pedro died protecting her and their triplets during a violent displacement, Alma Madrigal was blessed with a magical candle that vanished the threat and created La Casa Madrigal. This miracle, as she called it, gave her family a second chance. The candle didn’t give Alma a gift, but it granted magical abilities to her offspring.
Encanto doesn’t delve into Abuela Alma’s connection to the Madrigal’s magic. Many fan theories assume Abuela Alma is only the Madrigal’s magic’s protector, while others believe she controls the magic herself and even gets to choose the gifts for her family. In the movie, it appears that Alma’s only real responsibility is to make sure the magic doesn’t fade. This isn’t an exciting or useful gift.
1 Would Be Useful: Antonio’s Ability To Speak With Animals
The youngest of the Madrigal clan, Antonio, receives his gift at the beginning of the movie. Casita grants him the ability to speak with animals and offers him a room full of Colombian fauna and flora — based on the Colombian Chocó Forest, according to the writers. Since he’s still a kid, Encanto doesn’t explore how his new ability may affect his life’s perspective.
Who hasn’t dreamed about being able to communicate with their pets? A human who’s able to communicate with all kinds of animals could help humanity solve some of the biggest questions about evolution, psychology, and general science. In addition to this, this gift could help make life better for all species.
NEXT: Disney’s Encanto: 10 Ways It’s The Deepest Disney Movie Yet