Adorable 2-Year-Old Is Beyond Excited To See Himself Represented in Disney’s ‘Encanto’

 

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A post shared by Kenzo B. (@katchingupwithkenzo)

Media representation is important. When there are stories that highlight people of different races and ethnicities, it gives all audiences the chance to feel seen. The Disney animated film Encanto—which tells the story of the extraordinary Madridgal family in Colombia—has given a new way, particularly for kids, to experience the power of representation. If you need any proof of why it matters so much, just look to the broad smile of a 2-year-old named Kenzo. When he saw Encanto’s Antonio character come on the screen, he realized that the boy looked just like him and was overjoyed.

Kenzo’s mom Kaheisha Brand snapped a couple of photos of him next to Antonio. They both share the same curly locks and brown skin. Once Kenzo saw Antonio, he couldn’t look away. “He immediately gravitated towards the image of Antonio,” Brand said. “It just made my heart smile because I do believe that he thought he was seeing himself because of the resemblance between him and Antonio.”

“To be able to see the people of Colombia and the different skin complexions they have and to be able to see yourself in other areas of the world that you didn't necessarily know about, I thought that was extremely powerful,” Brand continued. “And I thought Encanto was the first movie film on any aspect that touched upon Afro Latina and Latinos and Colombia.”

Brand posted the photos of Kenzo transfixed on Antonio on the little boy's Instagram account, @katchingupwithkenzo. The post went viral, which she views as a sign that it resonated with others. “I think that for me, and for us, it made us feel like there're so many people that echoed the same sentiments that we felt in that moment that our child was being seen.”

When 2-year-old Kenzo saw Antonio in the Disney animated film Encanto, he was excited to see himself represented on screen.

His mom, Kaheisha Brand shared the photos online where they went viral. His joy resonated with other people who feel underrepresented in television and film.

Other folks posted photos in which they (or someone else) found they share a striking resemblance to another non-white animated character.

h/t: [Upworthy, BuzzFeed]

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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