Mom shares her two-year-old son’s reaction to ‘Encanto’: ‘There is empowerment in positive representation’

‘Made my heart smile,’ respondent writes on Twitter

Amber Raiken
New York
Monday 10 January 2022 20:11
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Disney’s latest hit animated film, Encanto, has resonated with viewers everywhere, as it tells the story of a family living in a magical town in the mountains of Colombia.

And now, a two-year-old’s reaction to the film has gone viral, as his mom shared a photo of him watching the movie.

On Instagram last month, mom Kaheisha Brand uploaded a post of her two-year-old son, Kenzo, standing in front of the TV, which is playing Encanto.

This photo shows the striking resemblance between Kenzo and Antonio, one of the characters from the film. The second photo is this post also included Kenzo sitting on the floor and watching the movie.

“Check Kenzo out in the new Disney Movie ‘Encanto’ lol #representationmatters#ThankYouDisney#Encanto#EncantoDisney#Disney#NYMMKids,” the caption reads.

The photo of Kenzo has been reposted on Twitter and has over 83,000 retweets. Many Twitter users also shared photos of themselves and their physical resemblances to other characters in Encanto.

Others also emphasised how meaningful this photo of Kenzo is. “Why representation matters !!!!,” one user wrote in a tweet. “Made my heart smile.”

The viral post was also noticed by Jared Bush, the director of Encanto.

“Absolutely adorable!” he wrote in a tweet. “DM me! I wanna send ya something from the Madrigals!”

While speaking to BuzzFeed about her son, Brand explained that she took the photos while watching the film with her family.

“The image of him sitting and staring was actually the first picture I took,” she said about Kenzo. “He seemed to be in awe. He would stare at the screen and turn around smiling. The second picture is when he got up and just looked up at us smiling.”

Brand further detailed how much her family adored both the music and diversity in this hit Disney film.

"We LOVED the diversity amongst the characters, the hair textures and the skin tones!” she said. “And of course the music. ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ lives rent free in our heads.”

Brand also expressed how meaningful it is for her son to see characters in movies and shows that resemble him.

"I think there is empowerment in positive representation,” she told BuzzFeed. “It is important that he see images that reflect him.

“I’m grateful for the creativity behind this movie and the diversity amongst the Black and brown characters,” she added.

In response to all the social media attention that Kezno’s photo has gotten, Brand noted that it was “totally unexpected”.

“There has been an outpouring of love,” she explained. “People have been so appreciative that this picture has echoed what so many people have been feeling. Representation matters.”

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