In Encanto, Mirabel is the only Madrigal child who doesn’t get powers, and several fan theories guess the actual reason why. In Disney’s Encanto, Alma Madrigal (María Cecilia Botero) receives a magical gift after her husband Pedro sacrifices himself to save her and his village from intruders. The sacrifice manifests into an enchanted candle, a magical house, and the family members getting special powers to help the community. However, Mirabel Madrigal (Stephanie Beatriz), one of Alma’s grandchildren, doesn’t get a gift, which causes a strain in the pair’s relationship. Of course, it’s Mirabel’s lack of gifts that drives her to help her family in the end.
Though Mirabel doesn’t get powers, the rest of her family has an assortment of gifts. Mirabel’s sister Luisa (Jessica Darrow) has super strength, and her cousin Camilo (Rhenzy Feliz) can shapeshift into other people. Even Mirabel’s mysterious Uncle Bruno (John Leguizamo) can predict the future. There are several reasons why Mirabel may not receive a gift in the film. Some fans speculate that Mirabel lost her gift after wiping her hands on her clothes during her gift ceremony. Other theories suspect is was Abuela Alma or that the miracle never meant to give her a gift in the first place. Though those theories are possibilities, one costume detail may even reveal a twist. Mirabel has a power, and she was the miracle all along.
Mirabel Wiped Her Hands
The Madrigals have a ceremony in Encanto where a child touches the magic candle before opening a unique doorknob to reveal their gift. However, when Mirabel goes to receive her gift, she wipes her hands on her clothes after touching the candle. Soon, her magical door disappears, and she’s left without any powers. A fan theory (via Reddit) speculates that Mirabel wiped away her gift after wiping her hands.
Though it’s a relatively minor detail, the hand-wiping is a significant difference between Mirabel’s and Antonio’s (Ravi Cabot-Conyers) gift ceremonies. Besides Mirabel, the film also shows her cousin Antonio receiving his gift, and he doesn’t wipe his hands after touching the candle. As a result, he acquires his powers, gaining the gift of talking to animals. When it comes to Mirabel’s lack of powers in Encanto, anything that sets her apart from her family could be a clue. The differences may explain why she doesn’t get special abilities. And with Mirabel’s ceremony appearing in the film alongside Antonio’s, the hand-wiping moment stands out as a critical change.
Mirabel Was Never Meant To Get A Gift
Though Mirabel doesn’t have a gift, another prominent member of the Family Madrigal is sans powers too: That’s Abuela Alma. Encanto suggests that Mirabel will follow in her Abuela Alma’s footsteps, leading the family and helping the town. Abuela Alma even asks Pedro for help in the film, and she says her late husband sent Mirabel to her. Much like Abuela Alma, Mirabel puts the family before herself and helps the Madrigals when they’re in need. Without a power, Abuela Alma is an intermediary between the magical family and the townspeople. Mirabel appears destined to carry on her legacy, perhaps even leading the Madrigals and the village into the modern world.
Mirabel’s True Power Was Communicating With Casita
Along the lines of Mirabel following in Abuela Alma’s footsteps, another theory proposes that Mirabel did have a secret power all along. Throughout the film, Mirabel and Abuela Alma are the main characters that interact with Casita. The house constantly communicates with Mirabel during the movie. Still, it strictly follows Alma’s orders when she gives a command, even scooting Mirabel closer to Alma when she’s not paying attention during a meal.
Though Casita helps save all the Madrigals when the building ultimately collapses, the house appears to have a special relationship with both Alma and Mirabel. Strengthening the Encanto fan theory more, Mirabel brings the miracle back to the house by placing the doorknob on the rebuilt structure in the end.
Abuela Alma Caused Mirabel’s Lack Of Powers
On the darker side of the possibilities, one fan theory speculates that Mirabel didn’t get a gift as a punishment for Alma. The theory (via Reddit) states that Mirabel was born for the wrong reasons. As shown with Alma’s reaction to Isabela (Diane Guerrero) potentially getting married, she views the marriages as a chance to “bring a new generation of magical blessings” for the family.
The theory proposes that Mirabel’s parents weren’t planning on having a third child, but Abuela Alma pushed them to bring another miracle into the house. As a result, Abuela lost sight of the family as individuals and only focused on what they could bring to the Madrigals as a whole. Therefore, as a punishment, Mirabel didn’t get a gift.
Mirabel Was The Miracle Itself
In Encanto, the Family Madrigal doesn’t understand their magic, and all Abuela Alma knows is that the magic came after her husband’s death. Therefore, Abuela Alma also doesn’t understand why Mirabel doesn’t receive her gift and thinks the family is losing the magic. However, there are several hints that Mirabel is the embodiment of the miracle in Encanto. After all, Abuela Alma says Pedro sent Mirabel to her, and Mirabel is the only reason Casita becomes sentient again. If she hadn’t placed the doorknob in the end, Casita would simply be a regular house.
Another small clue may hint that Mirabel is the personification of the miracle. Throughout the film, the Madrigals’ outfits hint at their special powers. For instance, Isabella, Mirabel’s older sister, has flowers all over her dress, indicating her power to create plants. Also, Mirabel’s cousin Dolores (Adassa) has soundwaves on her clothes, hinting at her superpowered hearing abilities. In Mirabel’s case, she has butterflies on her dress, which match the butterflies on the enchanted Encanto candle.
Notably, at the start of Encanto, Abuela Alma tells Mirabel, “This candle holds the miracle given to our family,” so Mirabel’s choice of outfit doesn’t seem like an accident. The film’s ending also includes the song “Dos Oruguitas,” which means “two little caterpillars.” Like caterpillars turn into butterflies, Mirabel’s butterflies represent the changing miracle and how the Madrigals and their relationships with their gifts evolve by the end of Encanto.