While the movie, Encanto, shocked with its themes of generational trauma, there are four deleted scenes released that would have provided different perspectives on the Madrigal family. In the film, Alma and her husband, Pedro, had to run away from armed forces attacking their village in Colombia, but Pedro was killed before Alma found the magical Encanto, a safe place to raise her family. Each of her children (Bruno, Pepa, and Julieta) gained powers. However, while most their children, Isabela, Luisa, Dolores, Camilo, and Antonio, Mirabel was the only one who didn’t, leading to her becoming an outsider in her own family.
With its complex yet relatable themes, Encanto has earned widespread praise, as well as support for Encanto 2 or another spinoff. Encanto earned more than $250 million globally (via Box Office Mojo) and won the respective categories for Best Animated Picture at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards, among other accolades. Since the movie’s release, the creators of Encanto have continued to provide content with the Art of Encanto, and in the four deleted scenes available on Disney Plus.
1 Isabela Goes Into The Woods
Isabela was expected to marry Mariano Guzmán in Encanto, a fate she doesn’t want but is willing to face in order to help the family. However, the deleted scene “Isabela Goes Into The Woods” shows that Isabela was originally supposed to be far more resistant to the engagement. When Mirabel goes to ask Isabela for a flower, which was supposed to help repair Casita, she sees her go into the woods and seemingly be attacked by a wild animal.
This scene seemingly takes the place of “What Else Can I Do,” introducing Mirabel to her sister’s unhappiness. Isabela was planning to run away from the Encanto in order to be with her boyfriend, the nerdy Bobo Marquez. While Mirabel assumes that Bobo must have forced her sister to go with him, Isabela reveals that he is the only person she has ever been able to be her true self with.
Although this scene has an interesting angle, the creators were right to cut Isabela’s love interest, as that plot doesn’t break new ground as much as Isabela’s final storyline. After being forced on a pedestal her entire life, Isabela takes the time to find herself, not for a man, but for herself. The idea that Isabela could prefer to be single, rather than just having a different love interest in mind, is powerful as it shows that a person can find happiness by themselves and doesn’t need to be dependent on anyone else.
Although Mirabel is the only child in the Madrigal family without a special power, her father and uncle are in a similar position, making it unusual that the film rarely addressed their dynamic. Félix and Agustín never seem to be pushed out of the family, which makes it hard to understand why Abuela disliked Mirabel. This idea is explored in the deleted scene “Chores!” in which Mirabel, Agustín, and Félix are expected to stay home and do chores while the other Madrigals are celebrated for their gifts in town.
While Mirabel feels rejected by Abuela, Félix and Agustín try to cheer her up by talking about the cool things they can do when nobody else was home, including exploring some of Casita’s other rooms. Shown in the clip, Dolores’s room is full of scientific tools, including beakers with different colored liquids. They then sit back to watch the family at work, with Agustín trying to comfort Mirabel while Félix gets distracted by the other Madrigals. Perhaps most importantly, Agustín tells Mirabel, “No one’s saying being a Madrigal is easy,” directly acknowledging her struggle.
The scene was drawn early in the drafting process, as it included many differences (such as Bruno backstory). Dolores also had the power to heal with food instead of Julieta and Pepa was indestructable (Animator Meg Park shared concept art for this version of Pepa). Given all of these changes, it would have required a lot of reworking to fit into the final storyline, especially with how callous Félix was toward Oscar and Mirabel’s pain. However, including this deleted scene would have provided a special moment between Mirabel and her father as it might have been able to explore the different ways of managing the power imbalance.
3 “Back To The Mural”
The deleted scene, “Back To The Mural”, would have could have been pivotal since it not only provided Abuela with character growth but also revisits Abuelo Pedro’s sad story. In the scene, Abuela tries to find Mirabel in her former home, but stumbles upon a mural dedicated to Pedro, with the quote “To love at all is to love entirely.” Being confronted by Pedro’s guiding belief, she finally realizes her part in hurting the family as Alma realizes that he would never have wanted her to become the person she did after his death. It also makes Alma’s realization come from herself, rather than from Mirabel.
Since some struggled to forgive Abuela after the way she treated Bruno and the other members of her family, the deleted scene may have made for a better ending. It has a clearer bad guy, and while Alma is certainly sympathetic, she takes responsibility for her actions, swearing to Mirabel that “None of this is your fault.” It would have been a rare example where the ‘villain’ of the movie acknowledges their actions and dedicates themselves to doing better in the future.
4 “Another Way In”
Mirabel has to get into Bruno’s room to get insight into why Casita is falling apart, but the deleted scene “Another Way In” shows a version of events where she had to connect with her family before she could get to that information. The scene provides a better view of Antonio’s room as well as setting up a different lead-in for “Surface Pressure.” However, it doesn’t seem to add much to the story that wasn’t in the final product other than more insight into the characters’ rooms.
Mirabel can’t access Bruno’s room directly, so she ends up traveling through Antonio’s room to access the room through a crack in the Casita. This helped to bolster the connection between Antonio and Mirabel, although Antonio is more of a plot vehicle than a character. Mirabel finds Bruno’s vision, but it rolls away, forcing Mirabel to choose between comforting a crying Luisa and catching the prophecy.
Although there are some gems in this deleted scene, particularly through their insight into other rooms within Casita, there are also several reasons that the final version worked better. Antonio plays a very passive role in the scene, in comparison with his more active assistance in the movie. In addition, Luisa forces Mirabel to hear her problems, rather than Mirabel choosing to help and letting Luisa finally get some of her anxiety out.
The scene would need to be edited to fit into the final movie, but its highlights deserve to be pointed out. Antonio’s room is exciting, and the idea that cracks in the Madrigal family cause long-hidden secrets to be discovered would have been a great metaphor for the film to explore. Although every deleted scene had its reasons for being removed, they all contribute to the world of Encanto with additional character explorations and world-building for the die-hard fans to enjoy.