Dolores Was Secretly The ‘Villain’ Of Encanto


Encanto, a movie about the magical Madrigals, doesn’t truly have a bad guy, but one theory speculates that Dolores was the villain all along.

Disney’s Encanto, which tells the story of the magical Madrigals, doesn’t have a bad guy, but one theory speculates that Dolores was the secret villain all along. Mirabel Madrigal (Stephanie Beatriz) is the only Madrigal family member in Encanto who doesn’t get a magical gift. Unfortunately, this puts a strain on her relationship with Abuela Alma (María Cecilia Botero). Alma is worried about losing the miracle and letting her family and their village down, so she doesn’t always treat Mirabel well. However, when the family’s magical house begins to crack, Mirabel’s lack of powers is what drives her to figure out the solution and make her family proud.


Though Mirabel doesn’t have a gift, the rest of her family gets various powers. For instance, Mirabel’s perfect sister Isabela (Diane Guerrero) can create flowers and plants, which delight the village. Additionally, Mirabel’s cousin Dolores (Adassa) has superhuman hearing and knows all the gossip in the town. Even Mirabel’s mysterious Uncle Bruno (John Leguizamo) has the gift of predicting the future. However, Bruno’s visions are bad most of the time, causing a range of problems for the family. For example, Pepa Madrigal (Carolina Gaitán) can control the weather, and Bruno’s prediction of rain on her wedding day turns the day into a hurricane.

Related: Encanto: Mirabel Is Reincarnated Pedro – Theory Explained

Though Encanto doesn’t have a traditional villain, one theory states Dolores could be the film’s secret antagonist. According to the fan theory (via Reddit), Dolores wants her family to lose their powers. After all, the gift of super hearing isn’t necessarily as helpful as increased strength or instant plant life. Like Mirabel, Dolores also gets overlooked in her family. Additionally, Dolores loves Mariano (Maluma), but he’s betrothed to Isabela and overlooks Dolores when her perfect cousin is around. However, if Isabela didn’t have her Encanto powers, that might change things. This is why Dolores doesn’t say anything about Bruno’s current residence within the house’s walls, and she immediately reveals that Mirabel shows up in a vision where Casita falls apart. She’s probably heard Bruno talk about his vision before, and she wants the family to lose the miracle. Ruining Isabela’s engagement to Mariano is just the cherry on top.

Why Dolores Might Really Be Encanto’s Villain

Encanto Dolores Covers Ears with Fireworks

There’s a strong case that Dolores wouldn’t want the family to have powers. Her brother Camilo (Rhenzy Feliz) constantly shapeshifts to pull pranks, and her mother creates storms whenever she gets emotional. Plus, superpowered hearing means Dolores doesn’t do well with loud noises, and she’s probably heard a lot of difficult conversations she’d rather have avoided. The film doesn’t portray Dolores as actively trying to sabotage her family, but it makes sense why she would. Mirabel doesn’t get a gift, and it’d suit Dolores just fine if the rest of the family were in a similar place.

But calling Dolores a villain doesn’t quite fit the bill. Dolores gets overlooked like Mirabel and secretly pines for Mariano, but she doesn’t appear to do anything with malicious intent in the film. And though Dolores believes she hears Bruno, she doesn’t know for sure. At the end of the film, she even appears vindicated that Bruno shows up, which is at least proof that she wasn’t hearing rats talking in the walls. So she’s not truly a villain in Encanto, but that doesn’t mean she’d be heartbroken if the family’s powers went away either. 

Why There Being No Real Encanto Villain Makes It Better

Encanto Mirabel and Abuela Hugging

Not only is Dolores not really a secret villain in Encanto, but the fact that Encanto has no villain is actually one of the film’s best attributes. Ultimately, Encanto isn’t a simple story of good vs. evil but a nuanced tale about the challenges of unifying a multigenerational family and the importance of valuing everyone regardless of their unique contribution to the world. This type of story never needed an identifiable antagonist – instead, Encanto‘s story is elevated by a range of complex and well-crafted characters that feel like they could be real people (bar being able to talk to animals). Abuela, Dolores, and the rest of the Madrigals fit this description snugly, as they have meaningful motivations, fears, and flaws without being one-note or sacrificing the stakes of the story. Encanto offers a heartwarming and relevant message for all ages, and by not having a true villain, it’s a stronger representation of real relationship dynamics that’s effective, deceptively layered, and relatable.

More: Encanto Detail May Secretly Prove The Best Theory About Abuelo Pedro

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