If you didn’t cry or feel called out at least once during this movie, you and I had very different experiences. Encanto is a story about a sentient magical house and the magical family that lives inside of it, though the story centres mainly around Mirabel (the only member of the madrigal family that doesn’t have a magical gift) and her mission to figure out why her home’s magic is dying.
The Disney film was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Charise Castro Smith, and Jared Bush (who also directed it). It’s a gorgeously colourful feature with a heartwarming story. Mirabel’s need to be seen as valid and helpful hits just a little bit too hard sometimes and the last few songs can turn into real tear-jerkers if you’re not careful (I swear I cry every time I watch it). The music is fantastic and, depending on the day, every character in Encanto can end up being your favourite at some point. Let’s take a look at each member of the family Madrigal in Encanto and what makes their characters so cool.
12. Abuela Alma Madrigal
The matriarch of the Madrigal family has the highest expectations for the magically gifted members of her family and constantly strives for perfection. The way she treats Mirabel because of something beyond her control left a bad taste in a lot of fans’ mouths (especially when people saw how nervous Antonio was before receiving his gift, clearly worried about whether he was going to be treated by Abuela and the rest of the family the same way Mirabel was).
While learning about her backstory and the hurt and trauma caused by her past (during which she was driven from her home shortly after giving birth to the triplets and lost her husband in the worst possible way) did gain her some sympathy, most viewers were unable to get past their dislike of this Encanto character.
It’s clear that she was blinded by her grief, which led to her not being able to see the value of her family past their magical gifts, but her actions were completely inexcusable. You don’t get to dismiss your granddaughter just because she wasn’t given magical powers.
Abuela Alma Madrigal is voiced by the brilliant María Cecilia Botero.
11. Pepa Madrigal
She is the middle child of Alma and was gifted with the ability to control the weather through her emotions. Despite having it for years, Pepa has the most difficulty with her gift and is constantly being ridiculed by her mother for her inability to control her emotions. From a young age, she had to teach herself to keep her emotions bottled so that she wouldn’t harm anyone.
This Encanto character is the mother of Dolores, Camilo, and Antonio and is married to her very supportive husband Félix, who is able to easily calm her down when her emotions get too much for her and is the perfect opposite of her “overly emotional” self.
During the song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”, she seems to hold a bit of resentment towards her brother for ruining her wedding day when she freaked out over him telling her what she assumed was a prediction, but later on, it becomes clear that that was just a cover for how worried about him she actually way.
When she sees Bruno for the first time after they’ve been separated for years, she doesn’t hesitate to hug him with such enthusiasm that she actually picks him up.
Carolina Gaitán is the woman responsible for bringing Pepa to life.
Félix Madrigal is a very supportive and loving husband whose carefree and fun-loving personality perfectly compliments his wife’s stormy and overdramatic one. He has been described as the life of the party and loves making people smile, even getting his stoic mother-in-law to crack a smile during a small interaction between them. He has a decent relationship with Alma, but he will not hesitate to defend his wife from her when Pepa’s emotions become too much, and the weather begins to get a bit out of control.
He seems to be the only one who truly enjoys Pepa’s gift, more than happy to dance in the rain with her and going so far as to describe their wedding day as a “joyous” occasion, despite the fact that Pepa feels like she ruined it with the hurricane she caused.
The love and care he has for his family is evident in the small interactions he has with his sons and nieces. He and Camilo (his oldest son) are constantly having sassy exchanges, and he’s quick to check his head for any injuries after he’d made an attempt to save the Miracle Candle alongside Mirabel and Isabela. He’s quick to encourage Antonio (his youngest son) just before he gets his gift and moves quickly to make sure that he isn’t crushed when the house starts collapsing around them.
He has affectionally called Isabela (his oldest niece) an angel and was more than happy to talk about Bruno with Mirabel when she went asking about him.
Mauro Castillo does an excellent job of bringing his Encanto character to life.
9. Julieta Madrigal
She is the eldest daughter of Alma and Pedro Madrigal and one of the few members of the family who doesn’t have a problem with their gift (she heals people through the food she lovingly prepares for them, so there’s not really much that can go wrong with that system.
She loves all her daughters equally, always doing her best to comfort Mirabel when she’s feeling down in the dumps about being unable to help the same way her gifted family members can, and is extremely protective of both them and her husband, a trait which comes out when Alma is blaming Mirabel for everything that is going wrong and demanding to know why she wasn’t told about Bruno’s prophesy.
Her marriage to the accident-prone Agustín is adorable and by far one of the best relationships in the movie. Her calmness is perfectly complimented by his clumsiness, and his extensive list of injuries allows her ample opportunity to hone both her cooking and her gift.
She never spoke ill of Bruno after he disappeared and was actually quite sad at her brother’s decision to run away. When she sees him for the first time after they’d been separated for years, she hugs him with great enthusiasm (though not as much as Pepa).
Angie Cepeda does a brilliant job of bringing the sweetest Encanto character in the film to life.
He is the accident-prone husband of Julieta and the father of Mirabel, Isabela, and Luisa. He cares a lot for his wife and daughters and won’t hesitate to stand up for them when Alma’s being hard on everyone.
He and his mother-in-law never got along well. He’s extremely clumsy and probably one of the last people she would have ever picked for her daughter to marry, but that didn’t stop the two of them from falling in love and developing the sweetest romance.
He understands the exclusion his youngest daughter feels and tries to bond with her through those feelings to varying degrees of success. He claims that Mirabel takes after his wife, but based on her level of clumsiness shown throughout the film, it’s clear which parent she takes after more.
This supportive dad and husband is brought to life by Wilmer Valderrama.
7. Bruno Madrigal
The youngest of Alma’s children and her only son. This Encanto character was gifted with the ability to see into the future and this caused people to become scared of him because his predictions were often very bleak for the people involved.
After Mirabel didn’t receive her gift, Bruno was asked to look into the future and see what it would mean for the future of the Madrigal household. After learning that there were two potential futures, both with Mirabel at the centre and knowing that people would react negatively towards the vision he disappeared in an effort to protect his niece, and the town quickly began to paint him as a villain.
It’s clear that he has such a deep love for his family, going out of his way to protect his young niece from being blamed for something beyond her control and repairing any cracks that had shown up in the walls of the house. He couldn’t bring himself to leave, but he forced himself to remain separate from everyone.
Bruno is a little bit awkward and because of his gift will occasionally say things that are supposed to be jovial but that will get completely taken out of context (like when he tried to joke with Pepa on her wedding day and alleviate her nerves, but only ended up getting her to freak out more than she already was).
He loves his rats and theatre and will often combine the two and put on little shows for himself, practising what he believes is his true gift, acting.
His awkwardness is brought to life by John Leguizamo.
6. Isabela Madrigal
She is Mirabel’s older sister and her Abuela Alma’s favourite grandchild. She was the golden child of the family who was given the unique gift of Chlorokinesis (the ability to control and grow plants) and grew up dealing with very high expectations from her grandmother and, as a result, ended up hiding her insecurities behind the perfect persona she had developed.
She is shown to be extremely graceful and Mirabel, who finds her irritating (mostly because of how she carries herself, but also probably because a lot of her Abuela’s attention is on Isabela), describes her as “effortlessly perfect.” She quickly learns the truth about Isabela and helps her to break free from the expectations on her and just be herself, which ends up bringing the two sisters closer than they have ever been before.
When Isabela finally cracks from the pressure, she discovers that she can grow a lot more than she’d originally thought and begins the journey of living the life of her dreams that had been promised to her by her uncle Bruno.
Diane Guerrero does an excellent job of bringing her Encanto character to life.
Is the oldest child of Pepa and Félix. This Encanto character was gifted with enhanced hearing and basically knows everything about everyone. She’s either really bad at keeping secrets or just really enjoys creating drama by sharing information with people she really shouldn’t be sharing information with. While her gift is very helpful to her, it can cause her a lot of pain when stuff gets too loud and you will occasionally catch her covering her ears to help muffle the sound
She’s a very quiet character, often talking in a whisper and making little squeaks, though she does enjoy making jokes and the occasional snide, sarcastic comment at the expense of one of her family members.
The care that she has for her family is clear. She is protective of her brothers and shares a typical sibling bond with Camilo and she is quick to do as her Abuela asks and helps to comfort her after the house collapses.
She is also shown to have no ill feelings towards her uncle, who revealed to her that the man she loved would one day be betrothed to another. She doesn’t portray him as a bad person, is sympathetic about his powers (probably because of her experience with her own), and even keeps the fact that he was hidden in the walls to herself, despite her reputation for being unable to keep a secret.
Adassa does an expert job of bringing Dolores to life through her many adorable little squeaks.
4. Luisa Madrigal
The middle child of Julieta and Agustín and possibly one of the most relatable characters in the movie. Luisa was given the gift of enhanced strength and uses it to help everyone around town, often dropping what she is doing to help whoever asks her for it.
It becomes clear during Surface Pressure that Luisa is struggling with the expectations put on her as much as Isabela is and is constantly worried that her strength won’t be enough to protect her family if they ever get into trouble. She’s one of the first people to be affected by the slowly dying magic and immediately starts to feel useless as soon as she is unable to pick something up.
She is very protective of her family, shown in her refusal to tell Mirabel what’s wrong until she actually snaps at her younger sister’s continued persistence. We were all very happy for her when she was finally allowed a well-needed rest at the end of the film.
Jessica Darrow was the perfect pic for Luisa.
3. Camilo Madrigal
Dolores’s younger brother has often been described as a “theatre kid.” He has the ability to shapeshift into anyone he chooses. While he does mostly use his gift to help the people in his small community, he has been known to use it to get more food (by changing into his sister) or to make fun of his dad (by purposefully morphing into a shorter version of them that has a higher pitched voice – though this had the added intention of trying to help alleviate his younger brother nerves before he got his gift by making him laugh).
While this Encanto character doesn’t have as much responsibility on him as some of the other members of his family, he still feels pressure from his Abuela to be helpful and will often hide his insecurities behind his cheerful demeanour. It has been said that he is a teenager who “doesn’t quite know who he is yet,” implying that he may have some identity issues.
The youngest daughter of Julieta and Agustin, as well as the only member of her family who doesn’t have a special gift. Mirabel is an extremely friendly person who goes out of her way to comfort her family (seen when she gives her youngest cousin, Antonio, a pep talk before he receives his gift) and tries to make a difference in their lives in any way she can despite on having a gift herself.
She is mostly optimistic about her situation, insisting that she can be happy without a gift and that she is just as special as her magical family members, but in the moments when she is on her own, we can see that she struggles deeply with the fact that she doesn’t have a gift and that she is desperate for her Abuela to see her as more than just a disappointment who is constantly getting in the way.
When the magic starts to fade and problems being to arise, this desperate need to prove herself sets her on an adventure during which she restores the bonds that had previously been broken, specifically between her and her eldest sister and her with her Abuela. She also encourages Louisa to take a break from all the strain she puts on herself and even manages to get her uncle Bruno to return home.
Her relatability, determination, and quirkiness make her one of the most enjoyable characters in the film.
She is voiced by Stephanie Beatriz and a younger version of the Encanto character is voiced by Noemi Josefina Flores.
1. Antonio Madrigal
He is by far the most adorable member of the Madrigal family and the most fun Encanto character. Antonio is the youngest son of Pepa and Félix and was gifted with the ability to communicate with animals, which he very quickly used to bond with Parce (a jaguar), Pico (a toucan), and Chispi (a very unimpressed-looking capybara).
Antonio clearly looks up to Mirabel and values her as a cousin, pleading with her to join him on his walk up to his door before he receives his gift. It’s a really sweet moment that shows off just how close the two of them are.
He doesn’t have a very large role in the movie, but his kind-heartedness and innocence make him one of the most enjoyable characters. He is brought to life by the equally adorable Ravi Cabot-Conyers.