Encanto introduces the Madrigals, a magical family where each member has their own unique abilities – all except Mirabel, that is. Mirabel is unique among the Madrigals for not having acquired a gift when she turned five, a fact that leaves her isolated from her family for most of her life.
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While many fans are very firm on Mirabel not having received a gift at all, others want to think about what Mirabel’s gift either could have been or is canonically within Encanto. Whether looking at it as the gift Mirabel would have had if not for the cracks in the family or as the gift she actually did have but never explicitly stated, it’s fun to speculate what Mirabel’s gift could have been.
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Updated on Feb 22nd, new entries by Angel Shaw.
Keeper Of The Miracle
The first and most obvious gift that Mirabel could have is being keeper of the miracle, a position inherited from Abuela. As Redditor NothingReallyAndYou explains, “Her gift was the magic in the very walls of Casita – they all just missed the visual metaphor.” Fans debate whether this counts as a gift or not, but it’s definitely the most canonical of Mirabel’s possible abilities.
User Shoddy_Tomatillo_927 doubles down on this idea, but focuses on this as a position, not a gift, saying, “She is the next Matriarch, she doesn’t need a gift.”
Amplifying Other’s Powers
When Mirabel makes Isabela so angry that she begins to divulge the secret that she never really wanted to get married and have kids, she suddenly loses control of her powers and creates something she never has before: a cactus. Through this, she realizes that her powers are capable of so much more than simply making roses.
This has inspired some, like user spooticv, to consider what it would be like it if Mirabel’s gift was to amplify the powers of the family around her. She could make Luisa stronger, give Camilo the ability to shift into objects as well as people, and give Pepa better control of her powers.
Detail-oriented fans will notice that Mirabel has a knack for sewing, which many Redditors see as a likely direction for her gift to go in had she been given one. User Big_Perspective7007 points out that “she has [a] sewing machine and it looks like she sewed her dress and I think made Antonios stuffed cheetah.”
Building on this idea, SparkAxolotl imagined that Mirabel might have “‘Thread’ magic, like Sandrilene Fa Toren from Tamora Pierce’s ‘Circle of Magic’ series.” This would mean that Mirabel “would have ‘manipulation and enchantment of thread, cloth, making clothing with certain properties (such as water resistant, dirt resistant, etc.)'”
User SparkAxolotl suggests that Mirabel’s gift might be following a pattern with her siblings, noting, “To fit with the ‘Beauty and Brawn’ of Isabela and Luisa, she gets Brains.” There are a variety of ways that intelligence could present itself as a gift, with some going for the more extreme mind reading possibilities and others sticking with more subdued hyper-intelligence.
Redditor sokkaquokka suggests that “maybe she could make a blueprint of the plan in her head, and then be able to draw it out super fast, and hand it to your, and I bet she could also help you out with it super fast too.” The idea of Mirabel concocting a plan, sketching it out in her head and on paper, and helping others follow through on it is an interesting one, and would certainly have made a very different movie.
Mirabel is a very bubbly personality, despite the treatment she has faced from her family. She goes about everything she does in an almost silly way, and never gives up hope that she will succeed and make her family proud.
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Redditor JoChiCat thinks that this personality trait would contribute to her gift. “Flight! It fits with her optimistic personality.” It is easy to imagine Mirabel hovering around Casita and coming to the rescue of the villagers of the town. Also, this way she would no longer have to climb the stairs of Bruno’s tower to visit him.
Redditor FancyPolkadot’s idea comes based on the color theory of Encanto, explaining that the use of green in the movie denotes truth, so Mirabel’s green glasses could be a reference to her seeing the truth in uncertain times. They explain that Mirabel “‘sees’ everyone for who they are at face value rather than for their gifts.”
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The idea is interesting and would have created a much more open dynamic for the family. However, fans have to wonder if this gift might end up being a curse, like Dolores’ super-hearing, which appears to hinder her relationship with her family more than helping it.
Reddit user ducarian focuses on a gift that Mirabel seems to use throughout the film, namely her control over Casita. They say, “Mirabel’s gift is that she can talk to and even give instructions to Casita, much like Antonio can with animals. Her door disappeared because the house itself is her realm.”
More than just a telekinesis-like control, though, Mirabel’s connection to Casita seems to be a matter of communication, with her talking to Casita like an old friend, not just an inanimate object.
Slowing Down Time
During the song “Waiting On A Miracle,” time slows down around Mirabel as she processes her emotions about being left out of the family’s magic. Redditor ac0380 thought while watching that there may be a twist in the movie that revealed that slowing or stopping time was Mirabel’s secret power.
While this wasn’t the case, it still inspired the idea that it would be a fitting and useful gift for Mirabel. It would help with the productivity of tasks and essentially allow her to move about the house and village without anyone noticing.
Worst Fears Come True
Redditor eviltwinn2 considers that Mirabel may have an incredibly strong power that she uses without noticing: the ability to make people’s worst fears come true. To demonstrate, they highlight how “she talks to Luisa and she sang about how afraid she was about being weak – and she’s weak. She’s talks to Isabela, who is afraid she won’t be perfect, and boom cactus.” They also cite Abuela and Bruno’s worst fears, claiming that they all come true and the reason for that is Mirabel.
It’s a mostly circumstantial take on the film, judging the plot as all being a result of Mirabel’s unconscious power usage, which takes some agency away from the characters. Even so, it would be interesting to see if Mirabel were to discover and take advantage of her power consciously.
Musical Number Powers
One power that many Redditors picked up on as a possibility was the power to transform a moment into a musical number, specifically to be able to cut to the heart of an issue. Audiences hardly ever see a musical number unprompted by Mirabel, which seems to imply that musical numbers are not the norm.
Redditor crudbuht compares the possible gift to Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’s heart songs, considering that Mirabel can seemingly “tell what people are really thinking because she sees them break out into song and dance about it.”
Extension Of The Magic
Instead of being the keeper of the magic, some fans consider that Mirabel may actually be the magic, carrying the power inside of herself. As user emcumry says, “thats why when she lost hope the candle started to go out, causing the house to crumble. so in a sense she is the magic.” The theory goes that Mirabel absorbed the magic from the candle and the house, becoming the living vessel of that power.
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Redditor Accomplished-Fig1072 takes this one step further by connecting Mirabel with the candle, explaining, “Since there’s no candle in the window after casita comes back to life, I’m pretty sure Mirabelle is now the candle. As she’s walking towards the front door, the family sings the lyric ‘we see how bright you burn,’ which is kind of a hint.”
Fans who see Mirabel as already having a gift tend to look at the traits she already exhibits, like her compassion and empathetic nature. Redditor 1anon2be says, “I always thought her gift was helping the family see their true worth, and it was only because she was gift less that she was able to help everyone ‘lay down their load’ and see ‘all of themselves’.”
User Intense_City takes this idea one step further, explaining, “Her mom physically heals people, but I think Mirabel mentally heals them, helps them cope with all their insecurities and troubles. That is what essentially did to save the Magic. She made everyone see themselves for who they truly are rather than seeing themselves only in the context of their role in society.”
Mend Things That Are Broken
When the family’s miracle was breaking, Mirabel was determined to fix it, even though she had no idea how. Ultimately she was successful, not only mending the miracle and Casita but the hearts of her family as well. Her eagerness to create and repair what is broken is a staple of her personality.
One Redditor thinks that this would contribute to her gift, stating that if something was broken she would be able to mend it with a touch. This could be true of cups, homes, clothes, and much more. This could potentially play very well with other Encanto characters’ powers, such as Luisa, giving her an opportunity to rest as Mirabel handles large repairs.
One of the more radical takes on Mirabel’s power is that she has control over fate itself, which explains why bizarre things happen so often around her. Redditor CasYavoo pitches this idea, claiming that “Mirabel has butterflies [on her clothes] because her power is the ability to affect fate. ie The Butterfly Effect.”
While this might be far fetched if just based on her clothing, user 555Cats555 elaborates on the theory, adding that “It also explains why the vision of her was unstable (moving between two versions) and why she was able to interact with and influence the way the vision appeared while they were in it (guiding Bruno).”
The Gift of Light and Warmth
In the touching scene between Mirabel and Antonio, viewers are able to see just how gentle and nurturing Mirabel is, making her the most likable of Encanto’s main characters. The day Antonio receives his gift is a tough one for her, but she still manages to be there to support her favorite little cousin.
Redditor CleverSpirit thinks that this would translate into a gift that provides people around her with light and warmth. Perhaps she could give off a glow on command, keeping the dark at bay, or provide a gentle heat to anyone she touches.
The final suggested gift is that Mirabel has control over other people’s gifts. This was suggested in some form or fashion by a variety of Reddit users, but a few summed up the reasoning behind the theory best. Redditor Sapriste explains that Mirabel’s conversations with her sisters and cousins add or take away limitations that they previously had, like Isabela’s ability to make only ‘perfect’ flowers. User EggRight adds to this that “she straight up assigned Antonio’s gift.”
Redditor Hawkeye312_ takes it a step further with a power that would have been useful for Mirabel to have: “Power negation. She would keep the rest of the family’s powers in check so none of them go out of control.” Power negation would be incredibly useful in the Madrigal household but does seem a little too similar to Bella’s abilities in Twilight.
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