Disney’s Encanto A Movie Guide for Cultivating Forgiveness in a Family or Class


Disney’s Encanto is a heartwarming movie that explores themes of family, misunderstandings, healing, and forgiveness. While these concepts can be challenging for young students to grasp, Encanto approaches them with a vibrant, lighthearted narrative and a collection of catchy songs. By engaging students through singing along and learning about each character, the movie encourages them to explore the nature of identity, societal pressure, and relationships within their own families and broader community. This movie guide is designed for first and second-grade students, but can be adapted for older students as well.

Things to Know About This Guide

This guide offers two different approaches to teaching Encanto:

  1. Show a few specific clips, paired with discussion questions.
  2. Show the entire film, paired with a more in-depth lesson plan and handout.

Feel free to use either approach or combine them into one lesson or unit based around the movie. If you have limited time, showing a few key clips and discussing them may be ideal. For a more extensive exploration, showing the entire film and having multiple days of discussion is recommended. You can also adapt the lesson to best suit your class’s needs.

Lesson Objectives

This lesson is designed to align with the CASEL 5 competencies for social and emotional learning as well as various thinking routines from the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero. With this lesson, you can help your students:

  1. Develop interests and a sense of purpose.
  2. Show the courage to take initiative.
  3. Resist negative social pressure.
  4. Reflect on one’s role in promoting personal, family, and community well-being.
  5. Resolve conflicts constructively.
  6. Show concern for the feelings of others.
  7. Identify solutions for personal and social problems.

Encanto Clips and SEL Discussion Questions for Students

Clip #1: The Family Madrigal (3:00–9:50)

  • What does it mean to have a “gift”?
  • What skills or gifts do you have? What skills would your family say you have? Do you agree or disagree?
  • What skills or gifts does your family (or people around you) have?

Clip #2: Beloved Community (16:30–19:50)

  • What is a community?
  • Who is in your community?
  • How can people use their special skills to help their community?

Clip #3: Feeling Left Out (19:50–24:55)

  • What emotion do you think Mirabel is feeling when she sees her family taking a picture without her? Why?
  • How does it feel to be left out of a community or feel like you don’t belong? How important is it to feel like you belong?

Clip #4: Surface Pressure (33:16–37:47)

  • What does it mean to be “under pressure” from family or friends? How does it feel to be under pressure from people who love you?
  • How does Luisa feel about being under pressure to help people she cares about?
  • Who are some other people pressure can come from?

Clip #5: We Don’t Talk About Bruno (46:00–49:30)

  • Each character shares their point of view about Bruno. What is a “point of view”?

Clip #6: Understanding Bruno (53:40–1:01:22)

  • Discuss: What is a personality? What are some personality traits?
  • Is Bruno’s personality what you thought? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever talked with someone who was not like you thought they would be?

Clip #7: Embracing Isabela (1:02:08–1:05)

  • What does it mean to “embrace” someone?
  • How does Mirabel feel about needing to get closer to and connect with Isabela to save the miracle?
  • Why doesn’t Mirabel get along with Isabela?

Clip #8: Forgiveness (1:06:28–1:11:40)

  • What does it mean to forgive someone?
  • What changes in this scene that makes them forgive each other?

Clip #9: Embracing Imperfection (1:08:45–1:11:40)

  • Is it possible for someone to be perfect? Why or why not?

Clip #10: Conflict with Abuela (1:11:40–11:13:32)

  • Do you think it was OK for Mirabel to talk to her grandmother like this at this moment? Why or why not?

Clip #11: Abuela’s Perspective (1:16:58–1:23:21)

  • Why was Abuela protective over the family and the miracle?
  • If you were Mirabel, would you forgive Abuela?

Clip #12: Working Together (1:21:46–1:24:10)

  • How did the family Madrigal come together to fix the house?
  • When have you ever worked with a group to solve a problem?

Clip #13: Embracing Imperfection (1:24:10–1:31:00)

  • How is the family able to be happy even though they aren’t perfect?

Encanto SEL Lesson Plan and Graphic Organizer

Before the Movie

  • Hand out copies of the Encanto Active Viewing Guide.
  • Give students a few minutes to complete the Before You Watch question.
  • Ask students to describe themselves with vocabulary words and complete a sentence to illustrate how their family would describe them.

During the Movie

  • Ask students to pay attention to how characters describe Bruno.
  • Pause the movie after the song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” for students to write descriptive words or draw a picture of how Bruno is perceived.

After the Movie

  • Have students reflect on Bruno’s description and how he is different from how he was depicted by the Madrigal family.
  • Ask students to complete new sentences with what they’ve learned about Bruno’s character after meeting him.
  • Have students share one fun fact about themselves with the class.

Creative Extensions

  • Encourage students to share a time they forgave someone after an argument.
  • Ask students to draw a three-frame picture of a disagreement, an apology, and what happened after.
  • Discuss how the family’s imperfections contribute to their happiness.

By using this movie guide and engaging students in thoughtful discussions, you can help cultivate forgiveness and empathy in your family or classroom.