Encanto: Is Dolores Madrigal the real villain of the film?

In Encanto, Dolores Madrigal has been touted as the real villain of the film, and we share why this is the case, and whether it is true or not.

Encanto is arguably the surprise Disney animation film that became an international success from 2021. So much so that the film won the Oscar for the Best Animated Feature Film in 2022.

The narrative is centred around Mirabel Madrigal, who is described as, “A Colombian teenage girl has to face the frustration of being the only member of her family without magical powers,” according to IMDb.

Since the film does not have a clear antagonist established, fans have shared their conspiracies about who the villain of the film is. One of the recurring characters labelled as the villain is Dolores Madrigal, due to her behaviour throughout the film.

What is the story behind Encanto?

On the surface, Encanto is the story of the Madrigal family, who are in a point in their lives where they are attempting to understand one another as individuals, rather than as the roles they have to assume because of the gifts they were blessed with and the powers each family member has.

But the film is steeped with Colombian history as it tells the story of the result of the violence and displacement experienced by generations of Colombians who lived through what seemed like an unending civil war in the country.

This civil war is historically considered to have been ongoing for over a century.

Encanto: Is Dolores Madrigal the real villain of the film?

Encanto managed to tell a story that does not have a defined antagonist, which is considered one of the most poignant aspects that the film is touted for.

As such, this has created room for fans to speculate who they believe is the real villain. While Abuela Alma Madrigal is touted as such, another recurring character is Dolores Madrigal.

The eldest born daughter to Pepa and Felix, Dolores is the soft-spoken gossip whose special power is that she has supersonic hearing. This is considered the reason that she was the villain of the film, because of how she used her powers throughout the film.

Hence the first reason she is touted as a villain is because even with her powers, she claimed she could not hear that her Uncle Bruno was living within the walls of the house.

Thus, it was suggested that she purposefully ignored Uncle Bruno for years in the walls of the house without mentioning it to anyone.

Secondly, she “ruined” Isabela’s engagement by sharing the news about Mirabel being the curse, which was meant to end the family’s miracle. Furthermore, at the end of the film she ended up with Mariano, the man who was set to marry Isabela.

While it does seem clear when laid out in this manner, there have been counter arguments against these actions which prove that Dolores is the villain of the film.

Why Dolores could not “hear” Uncle Bruno

The hit song from the film, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” counters the notion that Dolores could not “hear” Uncle Bruno.

This is as Dolores suggests that she associates Bruno with the sound of rats, and again, when she tells Mirabel that, “The only one worried about the magic is you… and the rats talking in the walls.”

As such, it is believed that after years of young Isabel attempting to tell her family that she can hear Uncle Bruno, and her mother being emphatic about Bruno not being mentioned, Dolores simply associated his voice with the sound of rats.

This is believed to only emphasise the emotional core of the film.

Did Dolores sabotage Isabela’s engagement?

In watching Encanto, it is clear that Dolores is a gossip. This trait is associated with her gift, as she hears everything and, hence, shares everything.

As such, upon discovering Mirabel’s secret, it made sense that she would reveal it. Was the dinner table the most appropriate place? Perhaps not.

But the miracle was already in danger and if the engagement went ahead, it would have propped Abuela as the villain as she would have been deceitful in the manner that she arranged the marriage between Isabela and Mariano.

Did Dolores and Mariano get married?

By the end of Encanto, Bruno’s prophecy about Dolores being in love with a man who is just out of her reach is realised when she falls in love with Mariano, who was initially promised to Isabela.

While Mariano is ready to get married immediately, Dolores wants to take it slow.

Since there have been suggestions that there will not be an Encanto 2, it is difficult to tell where the love story of the couple will go. Hopefully, if there is an Encanto series, the love story of the two characters will be explored in more detail.