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I'm the strong one
I’m not nervous
I’m as tough as the crust of the earth is.
―Luisa Madrigal[src]


Luisa Madrigal is a supporting character in Disney's 2021 animated feature film, Encanto. She is the middle child of Julieta and Agustín Madrigal, the younger sister of Isabela and the older sister of Mirabel. A strapping bodybuilder who is described as the "rock" of the family, Luisa was gifted with super strength to do the jobs that others cannot.

Background

Born into the Madrigal family, Luisa is the middle daughter of Julieta and Agustín, younger sister of Isabela and older sister of Mirabel. In addition to being the niece of Félix, Pepa and Bruno, Luisa is also the cousin of Dolores, Camilo and Antonio. In the early years of her life, Luisa lived in the nursery with her sister Isabela and cousin Dolores who were two years older than her. When Isabela and Dolores received their gifts and moved into their own rooms, Luisa was left in the nursery by herself until the births of Camilo and Mirabel who were four years younger. On the night of Luisa‘s fifth birthday, Isabela made her a flower crown as a birthday present and at her gift ceremony she received the gift of superhuman strength. After Luisa received her gift, she spent the rest of the night doing tricks with it for the townspeople and subsequently moved out of the nursery and into her own room.

Luisa is good-natured and tough, but deep down feels vulnerable since she has a lot of pressure from her Abuela Alma. Luisa takes care of all the family's chores and her community's chores with her super-strength and is relied upon a lot, but not a lot of people ask for how she feels about doing all the chores. She is outwardly tough and strong and appears to not care about the expectations set on her, and only shows her positive sides such as her kind, brave, and obvious strong sides. However, Luisa also has anxiety about what will happen when she messes up and can no longer be relied on, which she hides from people around her.

Official Description

Hardworking and determined, Luisa is Mirabel’s other older sister. She was given the gift of super strength. Luisa is the go-to person for all of the heavy lifting and Mirabel relies on her as she carries all the family burdens without complaining.[1]
Luisa is considered the rock of the family. She is physically the strongest and carrying the heaviest weights, including the emotional ones. Luisa is also sensitive and secretly bursting with oversized emotions that conflict with her tough persona.[2]

Development

How with the rest of the Madrigal family, Luisa was designed to reflect "family archetypes that are immediately relatable".[3] As in the final production, the studio created Luisa from the start as the brawny and dependable of her family with a soft feminine side to her, playing with the balance of a strong figure. During the creation process, the studio also took inspiration from a lot of female Olympic athletes (mostly hammer and shot-put throwers) to create Luisa's look, expressions, and movements.[4]

Jessica Darrow, her voice actor, describes her character: "I love Luisa so much, too, because of how much we are alike. We are both tough crybabies, you know? We got the tough exterior, but soft, mushy, gushy center. And, you know, we’re very much the rock of both of our families, I think. We definitely keep it all together… she’s the emotional superhero of the film." [5]

Personality

Luisa happily riding a unicorn in her fantasy.

True to how Mirabel described her, Luisa is the strongest and most reliable member of the family. Having been gifted with super strength, both her family and the people of the town rely on her power. In turn, Luisa greatly appreciates that she can be of significant contribution to her community. She is one of the noblest members of the family as she happily enjoys helping others whenever she gets the chance, showing her generosity. Luisa is shown to be very tolerant doing anything anyone asks of her with no complaint despite people rarely ever showing her appreciation. In contrast to her imposing appearance, Luisa is relatively quiet and doesn't much enjoy being the center of attention. Luisa has a taste for things that can be considered cute or childish, such as rainbows, unicorns, and pink clouds. In addition to that she collects stuffed animals in her room, which shows that she has a weakness for cute things.[6] Kind and helpful, Luisa gets along not only with much of her family but also with many of the townspeople, displaying a friendly attitude when welcoming them to Antonio's gift ceremony.

Luisa hugging Mirabel after telling her about her insecurities.

Luisa becomes quite affectionate with her family and adores them more than anything else. Unlike some of the family members who shun Mirabel for not having a gift (sans their parents and cousin Antonio), Luisa seems to get along just fine with her, with neither sister showing animosity to the other. Luisa does not seem to hold any hard feelings toward Mirabel for being without a gift, and does not view her as a burden to the family, quickly apologizing after blowing up at her. After Casa Madrigal is destroyed and Mirabel runs away, Luisa shows concern for her sister and goes looking for her. Despite the horrible way her Abuela used to treat Mirabel, as the house collapsed Luisa's first concern was her grandmother's well-being and she caught her when the family was pushed out by the house. In addition, Luisa does not have any negative opinions of her uncle Bruno either, instead seeing him as a good man like her mother, older sister, Isabela, and cousin, Dolores do.

Luisa in panic after losing her gift and not being able to do the family's chores.

Despite being powerful and reliable, Luisa secretly feels burdened by the pressure of fulfilling everyone’s demands, and would feel insignificant if she cannot contribute the way Abuela, her family, and the community expect her to. Luisa can become very dependent on her gift and without it she believes she is nothing. She also feels like she always needs to be tough and be ready for what she needs to carry or burden. She is willing to hide her feelings in order to follow the wishes of others, believing that it is her duty to do what others tell her, although she also expresses a desire to be able to relax and not have to bear the "crushing weight" of everyone's expectations. Although heavily stressed, Luisa keeps all of her struggles to herself, only telling Mirabel after the latter persistently questions her once she learned from Dolores that her eye twitched on the night that their family’s miracle faltered.

Luisa learning to relax and overcoming her insecurities.

As Luisa begins losing her strength, she becomes easily distressed and pressured as she cannot use her power the way she used to, berating herself and calling herself horrible things. She is also shown to cry during this time around, sobbing uncontrollably after her power begins to fade, showing a more sensitive and pessimistic side to her. Luisa's depression was so great that at dinner with the Guzmáns she could hardly speak or walk without beginning to sob and she ran away in anguish when her father chased her to help her. When Alma blames Mirabel for the family's problems, all Luisa and Isabela can do was shamefully look down, showing that they are not any different from Mirabel. As Mirabel defends Luisa and Isabela by pointing out that they will never live up to Alma's expectations, Luisa (along with Isabela) avoids looking at Alma but looks incredibly hurt. Indicating she knows that Mirabel is right that she can never be strong enough as Alma wishes. With Mirabel's support and Abuela’s realization, Luisa comes to understand that she is worth more than her gift and learns not to bottle her emotions, but rather express them healthily while taking time to enjoy herself and share happiness with her family.

Physical appearance

Luisa is a 19-year-old[7] young Colombian woman with a muscular build, who is significantly taller than everyone else in her family. She has tan skin and hazel eyes. Her brown hair is tied up in a bun with a red ribbon. Of her sisters, Luisa is the one who most resembles her father, Agustín. She wears a white, short-sleeved shirt with a red ribbon at the top, and a long indigo skirt with dark purple and pink stripes at the bottom. She also has felt bracelets: on the left, red and denim and on the right, red denim and yellow. She wears dark blue shoes with two dark blue ankle straps. To symbolize her super strength, Luisa's skirt has many free weights at the bottom, along with weights on her bracelets.

Powers and abilities

Luisa lifting two large and heavy pianos with little effort.

Luisa has the power of Superhuman Strength; allowing her to lift large and heavy things. Her strength is so great she is capable of moving sizable animals such as donkeys, people, large objects such as barrels, or even heavy things such as buildings and bridges with ease. She can also lift an entire church, as well as kick a tilting house back into place. Unlike other members of her family who struggle in some degree to contain and control their power, there is no indication that Luisa cannot control her strength. She can easily give Mirabel a hug without hurting her or carry objects smaller than her without destroying them, showing she has good control of her super strength.

Luisa’s gift also grants her increased durability, as she is shown to throw a rock into the air and does not even flinch when it falls on her. However, she can still be injured, though it's unknown to what extent.[8] Having a power related to muscles and movements, she is also good at physical activities. Upon getting up in the morning, Luisa was shown running on a treadmill that the Casita made while carrying heavy weights in her hands. She was able to do this while keeping a consistent speed and not slowing down. While not directly mentioned, it is seen in "Surface Pressure" that she has a good knowledge of history and Greek mythology.

Appearances

Encanto

Luisa lifting a bridge while working in the village.

Luisa first appeared exercising outside her magic door with Casita's help before getting ready for the day and heading to the village with the rest of her family to help around. In "The Family Madrigal," Luisa is seen dancing along with the rest of her relatives and greets Mirabel and the town kids kindly as she works. She does different jobs in the town such as carrying around construction equipment and moving a bridge with her super strength, running to help other people when called. Since the day was also her younger cousin's, Antonio, fifth birthday and gift ceremony, Luisa soon returned home to help prepare for the celebration. Luisa begins to move and load some things under the orders of her Abuela Alma for Antonio's party.

Luisa holding up a plate of snacks while some children are happily on her back.

By nightfall and before Antonio's ceremony was about to begin, Luisa along with Camilo were given the task of greeting the guests to the Casita, using their gift to regroup the guests' animals. Later, Luisa can be seen putting out snacks in preparation for Antonio’s party while small children hang off of her back and arms. Luisa is joined by her parents and cousins as they all listen intently to Alma's speech before Antonio walks to her door. After her cousin received his gift, Luisa happily cheers along with her uncles as Antonio rides his jaguar into his new room. As the party moved into Antonio's magical bedroom, Luisa was in awe at the sight and took a family picture, which everyone unknowingly excluded Mirabel from. After Mirabel interrupted Antonio's party to warn everyone of the house being in danger, Mirabel led everyone out of the room to show them the cracks but there weren't any. While trying to brighten the mood, Luisa held the piano for her father as he played a song, and although she was smiling, she had a nervous look on her face.

Luisa's eye twitching from stress during breakfast.

The next morning before breakfast, Dolores reveals to Mirabel that Luisa has been worried about magic because her eye was twitching all night (making Mirabel want to question her). After setting the table for breakfast, Luisa sits next to her mother and Mirabel tries to ask Luisa what she knows about the issues with the magic, causing Luisa's eye starts twitching. Mirabel pounds the table in excitement and starts yelling, which prompts Alma to have the Casita move Mirabel's seat from Luisa's side to her side. When the family announcements were over, Luisa left the table in a hurry to go into town. She moved the town’s church, and was requested to reroute the river as well as put the donkeys back in the barn. As Luisa was picking up the donkeys, Mirabel follows her and starts asking her what she was hiding about the magic. Luisa says that she isn’t hiding anything, and she just has a lot of chores to do so Mirabel should just go home. As Mirabel continues to press the issue, Luisa gets visibly irritated but continues to insist that there isn’t anything for her to tell Mirabel. When Mirabel points out that Luisa is clearly worried about something, Luisa snaps at her that there isn’t anything wrong, much to the surprise of both Luisa and Mirabel, the former of whom apologizes to Mirabel for her outburst.

Luisa expressing her pressures and insecurities in her role in the family.

Luisa continues to insist that there isn’t anything wrong and she isn’t nervous, although she says this with a forced smile and with her eye twitching. To the confusion of Mirabel and the donkeys present, she begins throwing and destroying rocks at random before expressing her true feelings in "Surface Pressure". Luisa expresses her fears about not being able to handle her responsibilities through different disastrous scenarios which she has to save and protect Mirabel. She also talks about her daily anxiety about the exorbitant amount of pressure she’s always under, and her desire to be able to not have to deal with the weight of everyone’s expectations. When she was done, Mirabel gave her a hug and told her she thinks she carries too much, and Luisa hugs Mirabel back, squeezing her so hard that she cracks her joints. Luisa states that she thinks she overdoes it sometimes, and confides in Mirabel that when she saw the cracks the previous night, she felt her powers becoming weaker. When Luisa is reminded of the donkeys, she puts Mirabel down and starts to recollect the donkeys. When Mirabel asks Luisa to expand on what she’s talking about, and again asks her what she thinks is hurting the magic, Luisa says she doesn’t know. However, she did tell Mirabel that at some point she heard the elders in their family talking about Bruno, and he had a “horrible vision” about the magic before he left. Luisa then tells Mirabel that if she wants to know what’s going on with the magic, she needs to go into their uncle's tower and find his vision. Luisa urges her sister to be careful, telling her that Bruno’s room is off-limits for a reason.

Luisa bursting into tears during dinner with the Guzmáns.

Shortly after this, after Mirabel had run into Alma after having collected Bruno’s vision from his room, Luisa came running into the house and hysterically explained to Alma that she was losing her gift. Luisa states that her and Mirabel had a talk about how Luisa shouldn’t carry so much, and so she tried not to but then she realized she was going to let everyone down, and when she picked up the donkeys and threw them back into the barn the donkeys were actually heavy. Luisa then started crying and ran into her room. As the Madrigal family prepares for dinner with the Guzmans during "We Don't Talk About Bruno", Luisa is seen struggling to lift a plant pot and is seen sobbing from not being able to do it properly. During dinner, Señora Guzmán says that Mariano wanted to sing a song and requests that Luisa bring over the piano. Luisa agrees but she gets up from the table crying. When she comes back into the dining room, Luisa struggles to drag the piano across the floor and she cries about her inability to be able to lift the piano. As dinner starts spiraling out of control with the spread of Bruno‘s vision about the magic fading, Luisa runs out of the dining room, crying while calling herself a loser as her father tries to console her.

Luisa (along with Isabela) looks down in shame and fear as Alma and Mirabel gets into a heated argument.

Later that same day, when Alma berates their sister as she proceeds to blame her for all the family’s troubles because she wasn't given a gift, Luisa and Isabela shamefully look down. As their parents stand by their side, Luisa and Isabela avoid looking at Alma when Mirabel defends them by saying that they will never be good enough for Alma (even with their magical gifts). When the Casita begins to destroy around her and the candle begins to go out, Luisa stands still in shock unable to move due to fear and loss of her gift. As the house begins to collapse, Mirabel tries to save the candle while the Casita forces everyone back and Luisa catches Alma as they’re all thrown out of the house except Mirabel. After the Casita is destroyed and the candle dies along with the magic, Julieta noticed Mirabel went missing so the Madrigals and the other townspeople spread out to search for her, with Luisa being seen searching the woods.

Luisa happy to regain her super strength by moving a plant pot.

By the next day, Luisa and the family saw that Mirabel and Alma (who reconcile with each other) returned to Casita's ruins and during "All of You" Alma revealed to the entire family that Bruno hid behind the rubble, immediately accepted back into the family. With the family all together, Mirabel rallied them to fix the house. When Luisa tries to lift some rubble from the house, Mirabel tells her that she's more than just her gift which makes Luisa emotional. Moment after the entire town also pitched in as thanks for all the Madrigals had done for them. When Isabela says it's a dream when they work together, and compliments Luisa's strength, Luisa admits that she cries sometimes, and Isabela and Mirabel give her a comforting hug while saying they cry too. Luisa acknowledges that she isn't as strong as she used to be, but she's getting smarter, and she helps her sisters plant new cacti. After completing the house, Mirabel added a doorknob the family made just for her to the front door, which caused Casita to spring back to life, and the magic returned to the entire Encanto. Luisa moves a plant pot that she struggled to move earlier, and is happy that her strength is back. The donkeys then lift her up and throw her into a hammock and give her a drink which she enjoys even with the hailstorm coming from her aunt Pepa. The Madrigals then celebrated the return of their home and gifts with a family picture while Casita squished the whole family closer together unexpectedly.

Relationships

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The Disney Wiki has an article focusing on the relationships of Luisa Madrigal.

Gallery

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The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Luisa Madrigal.

Trivia

  • Luisa's birthday is on November 14, coinciding with the Day of the Colombian Woman; set on the date of the execution of Colombian spy and war heroine Policarpa Salavarrieta.[9][10]
  • Early in production, the character was to be named Lydia.[11]
  • The animators struggled to animate Luisa's model with the correct muscle mass throughout the animation process,
  • Despite being the middle child, Luisa's voice actress, Jessica Darrow, is actually the youngest of the three actresses, being nine years younger than Diane Guerrero and fourteen years younger than Stephanie Beatriz.
  • According to the novel Disney Encanto: A Tale of Three Sisters, Luisa's room is a maze of weights and pulleys. There are ropes to climb, bars to swing across, and a shower to clean herself up.
    • Concept art reveals that her room would have resembled a beach side villa with exercise equipment. Another had it be a rocky canyon and one had it resemble a boring room with a secret entrance to a theme park.
  • Luisa's favorite food is bandeja paisa.[12]

References

  1. Newsdesk, Disney (September 10, 2021). "“Encanto” Character Details Revealed". LaughingPlace.
  2. Lee, Michael (September 9, 2021). "How the Magical Casita in ‘Encanto’ is a New Kind of Disney Castle". The Nerds Of Color.
  3. Brown, Tracy (November 24, 2021). "‘Encanto’ is Disney’s first Latino musical. How the filmmakers got Colombia right". LATimes.
  4. The Art of Encanto
  5. https://www.vitalthrills.com/encanto-movie/
  6. Bush, Jared (March 19, 2022). "Luisa's love for stuffed animals". Twitter.
  7. Bush, Jared (December 8, 2021). "Ages". Twitter.
  8. Bush, Jared (January 15, 2022). "Lusia's Gift". Twitter.
  9. Bush, Jared (April 3, 2022). "Luisa's Birthday". Twitter.
  10. Bush, Jared (March 18, 2022). "Meaningful Birthdays". Twitter.
  11. Sharpe, Josh (December 9, 2020). "Exclusive: New Details for Walt Disney Animation Studios’ ‘Encanto’". The Disinsider.
  12. Bush, Jared (June 19, 2022). "Luisa's Favorite Food". Twitter.

External links

Navigation

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Encanto movie logo.png
Media
Encanto (soundtrack/video) • The Art of Encanto
Disney Parks
Parades: Main Street Electrical Parade
Characters
Encanto: Mirabel MadrigalBruno MadrigalAlma MadrigalIsabela MadrigalLuisa MadrigalDolores MadrigalCamilo MadrigalAntonio MadrigalPepa MadrigalJulieta MadrigalFélix MadrigalAgustín MadrigalPedro MadrigalMariano GuzmánPicoCerberusSeñora GuzmánOsvaldoParceTown KidsSeñora OzmaOld ArturoTiple MaestroSeñor RendonSeñor FloresLiliJosé
Deleted: Zoe MadrigalFuega MadrigalJosé MadrigalAmélia and Sofía MadrigalMiranda MadrigalPrincesa MadrigalBubo Marquez
Locations
ColombiaSouth AmericaEncantoCasa MadrigalAlma's Village
Songs
The Family MadrigalColombia, Mi EncantoWaiting on a MiracleEn Barranquilla Me QuedoSurface PressureWe Don't Talk About BrunoWhat Else Can I Do?Dos OruguitasAll of You
See also
The MadrigalsMiracle Candle
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