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A Child's Reaction to 'Seeing Himself' in 'Encanto' Character Sends Heartfelt Message

Genius Turner

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Walt Disney tagline: "To make people happy."(Joe Penniston/Flickr)

2-year-old New Yorker seeing himself in a movie character sends a powerful message

New York City — "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney's power-mantra, over half a century after his death, still resonates with millions.

Disney's latest blockbuster, Encanto, showcases a character named "Antonio." Kenzo Brooks — a 2-year-old — initially couldn't distinguish his brown skin and curly hair from Antonio's, brown skin and curly hair.

"I truly believe that he thought it was him," Kaheisha, Kenzo's mother, says. "He just kept staring at the screen and looking back at us and smiling."

The great Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, "Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.” Indeed, the boy is the father to the man. For this reason, "Representation matters," as one tweet noted, "it's good seeing us on TV in a good light."

Above all other qualities that contribute to realizing one's potential, "self-belief" is the most important. After all, for the man or woman to dare to be great, the boy or girl first had to believe in such possibility.

Kenzo's father, Keith, offered an insightful take:

He [Kenzo] was able to see someone that looks like him. I know growing up for me that wasn't necessarily often something you see. For me, it did make me feel a little bit emotional to think that my son was able to see this and have this experience.

In short, Disney's Encanto faithfully honors its founder's lofty vision regarding why — "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

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