“There’s nothing better than seeing your child’s joy — especially being represented in a Disney movie!”
If you’re a human being on this Earth, chances are Encanto has been playing on a loop in your home for weeks now. Same goes with the soundtrack.
Many adults and children alike have been able to see a part of themselves in the film, and for 2-year-old Manu Araújo Marques, seeing herself represented was a moment of pure joy.
She recently went viral after her mom, Hannary Araújo, posted a video of Manu watching Encanto for the first time onto her daughter’s Instagram earlier this month. In the video, she looks to the TV, sees a young Mirabel, and says, “It’s me mommy!” in Portuguese.
Manu later repeats, “It’s me!” before her mom says, “It’s you? Look at mommy, let me see if it’s you,” and Manu turns around to show her their uncanny resemblance.
Once Manu sees Mirabel as an adult again, she says, “I grew up, mommy” and her mom finishes by saying, “How beautiful.”
The heartwarming video was reposted by @imaginago on Twitter and got nearly 20,000 likes, along with the attention of Stephanie Beatriz, who voices Mirabel in the film.
Hannary, who is based with her family in Minas Gerais, Brazil, told BuzzFeed that she was speechless when she saw the joy in her daughter’s eyes. She said, “There’s nothing better than seeing your child’s joy — especially being represented in a Disney movie!”
And given that Mirabel is the first main, Disney animated female character to wear glasses, that made the character resonate with both Manu and her mom even more. Hannary said, “My biggest fear when I learned that Manu would wear glasses would be bullying at school! But over the course of the movie, I completely changed my mind and saw that princesses wear glasses too!”
The moment was such a delight that Hannary wishes she could pass on this experience to other children who just want to see themselves represented too. She said, “If I could create custom dolls for each child, I would open a factory right away! Because you don’t know the importance this generates in a child’s life! Just as she is being represented by a princess, I want other children to feel the same joy as hers — the same magic!”
People online have been falling in love with Manu’s reaction, even if they don’t speak Portuguese themselves.
And ever since Stephanie shared the video, people have been stopping Manu and her family on the street. “It’s unbelievable,” Hannary said.
Encanto‘s impact on future generations won’t go unnoticed, and Hannary would like Disney and the people behind the film to know, “You changed our lives and showed us the true meaning of representation for the whole world, especially for our children — those who will build a better future!”
And as for their family’s favorite part of the film? Well, there’s just too many moments to choose from, but seeing Mirabel was all they needed to fall in love. Hannary concluded with, “We see our Manu in her.”