Mom captures a powerful moment: 2-year-old son mistook him for Disney’s ‘Encanto’ character

Kenzo’s face lit up when he saw Antonio, a character from Encanto who looked exactly like him, with curly hair and brown skin.

The image of a 2-year-old son standing in front of the TV alongside a still from ‘Encanto’ smiling from ear to ear is proof that representations matter. Kaheisha Brand was watching Disney’s Encanto with her 2-year-old son Kenzo when a character who resembled him appeared on the screen. Kenzo had an almost instant connection with the character Antonio and couldn’t stop smiling. Kenzo was glued to the TV and eagerly followed Antonio’s journey after noticing that his curly hair and brown skin matched the character’s appearance. Kenzo thought he saw himself on the screen. His mother, Kaheisha, posted a photo of her son smiling alongside Antonio. She also shared a photo of Kenzo staring at ‘himself’ on screen. “Check Kenzo out in the new Disney Movie ‘Encanto’ lol,” she captioned the Instagram post.

Brand says she couldn’t help but smile when she saw her son bond with Antonio. “He immediately gravitated towards the image of Antonio,” Brand told TODAY Parents. “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.” Brand stated that his gaze was fixed on the screen and that he was smiling the entire time.

The ‘Encanto’ is described by Disney as “The story of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live in a magical place called an Encanto in Colombia’s mountains. The magic of town has bestowed a unique gift on each child in the family, except one, Mirabel..” Brand says it just shows how important for pop culture to be inclusive. “He instantly lit up, and turned to us, and was smiling and that made me take the picture because it made my heart happy that it brought such enjoyment to him,” she said. .

Keith Brooks, Kenzo’s father, and Brand are pleased that they chose ‘Encanto’ for their child to watch.”One of the themes that it presented was family, and how strong family is, and how strong family can be when it’s united,” said Brooks. “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. And I thought ‘Encanto’ was the first movie film on any aspect that touched upon Afro Latina and Latinos and Colombia.”

Another example of how representation matters is Kenzo’s connection with Antonio. Last year, a Black doctor recalled a little girl jumping into her arms and hugging her after seeing Doc McStuffins, a Black woman character from a Disney Channel animated children’s television series. Dr. Rachel, who is from Ghana, explained why that moment meant as much to her as it did to that child, saying she felt more accepted and celebrated than she had ever felt through any DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiative. She took to Twitter to recount her encounter with the little girl who made her day, writing: ” Little girl just jumped into my arms and rested her head on my shoulder in the ED. Her dad said, “she’s never seen a black doctor before and I think she thinks you’re Doc McStuffins.”

She also discussed the significance of representation and why it made a greater difference than DEI initiatives, which are common in many cases. Rachel is a rising peds PGY3 at Brown and a future chief resident. “So now I’m thinking maybe Disney Junior has done more for me as a black woman in medicine than most DEI initiatives,” Dr. Buckle-Rashid tweeted later.