- “Well, my little friend, I am not, because the truth is, gift or no gift, I am just as special as the rest of my family.”
- ―Mirabel reassuring the Town Kids of her worth in the family.
Mirabel Madrigal is the protagonist of Disney's 2021 animated feature film Encanto. She is the youngest daughter of Julieta and Agustín Madrigal and youngest sister of Isabela and Luisa, who has the distinction of being the only Madrigal by birth without a magical gift. However, when the miracle begins to fade, Mirabel takes it upon herself to save the magic, learning about hidden familial troubles along the way.
Born into the Madrigal family, Mirabel is the youngest daughter of Julieta and Agustín, and the younger sister of Isabela and Luisa. In addition to being the niece of Félix, Pepa and Bruno, Mirabel is also the cousin of Dolores, Camilo and Antonio. Mirabel shared the nursery with her cousin Camilo, who is three months older than her, until he received his gift on his fifth birthday and subsequently moved out of the nursery. On the night of five-year-old Mirabel's gift ceremony, she touched the door handle of her soon-to-be room, excited about what kind of gift she would get. But, her door suddenly faded away, and she didn't get a gift like the rest of her family. This left everyone who attended the ceremony shocked, as well as Abuela Alma. Ever since that day, Mirabel has been desperately trying to make up for not having a gift by helping out in an attempt to "make her family proud". Alma and Isabela over the years distanced themselves from Mirabel because she did not have a magical gift and the pressures they carried respectively. Being the only child not blessed with a gift, she is constantly being made to feel left out of her family. Despite this, she genuinely loves her family.
- Mirabel is a young girl imperfect and weird and quirky, but also deeply emotional and incredibly empathetic.
- Mirabel is a young girl who may be imperfect and “weird,” but is also empathetic and emotional. She’s determined to prove that she belongs, denying to everyone, including herself, that she feels all alone even in her own house.
How with the rest of the Madrigal family, Mirabel was designed to reflect "family archetypes that are immediately relatable". As in the final production, the studio created Mirabel without a magical gift but at the same time empathetic and someone who is always there to help her family. Since the beginning, the idea was for Mirabel to have embroidery in her costume. Despite some of its imperfections, the designs on their clothing were meant to resemble something that would look similar in a teenager’s art book or drawings in a diary.
Mirabel's voice actor, Stephanie Beatriz, described his character: "Mirabel doesn’t have a gift, which I find extremely relatable, because there have been many times in my life where I felt like I didn’t belong, I didn’t measure up, I wasn’t talented enough to be there, I had that sort of imposter syndrome. But I also discovered by getting older, and working more and more on trusting myself, that I do have something to offer, and it is special, and I am myself. So, you know, not everybody’s gonna love that but the people that do, are gonna love it really hard."
Mirabel often shows a free-spirited and optimistic demeanor; despite being the only Madrigal grandchild without a gift and an outcast by her family and peers, she is still very much sociable and friendly to those around her. Lacking a gift of her own, she admires her relatives and hold them in high regard. Her lack of gift also does not hinder her from getting along with most of her relatives: notably her parents, her cousin Antonio, her elder sister Luisa and her uncle Bruno. She also is humble and honest, admitting easily that she and her father are both accident-prone. On top of this, Mirabel appears confident as she claims that she does not need a gift to make herself happy and that she is just as special as everyone else in her family.
Despite seemingly living life happily without any power of her own, Mirabel is very much insecure over the fact that she cannot contribute the same way her relatives do. The worst part of not having a gift is being looked down by her Abuela (and Isabela) and viewed as a nobody in her own family. As she cannot relate with her gifted relatives, she is lonely and feels disconnected from them. Ultimately, her greatest wish is nothing more than to be fully included in the family Madrigal as the only one without a gift. In her pursuit to find answers behind the magic’s weakening, she is shown to be very persistent as she continually followed Luisa while she was running her errands and pestered her until her sister confesses her problems. She also insisted that her uncle Bruno conjure another vision of the future, despite him being uncomfortable with the idea of it. Later on, Mirabel persisted on reconciling with Isabela by embracing her (albeit begrudgingly, doing so only because it’s in Bruno’s vision), and while Isabela is singing about her self-expression and freedom, Mirabel attempts to rush the reconciliation process, but stopped and she eventually helps her sister embrace her true self and they both shared a genuine hug.
While searching for answers on why the magic is dying, Mirabel discovers how much stress each of her family members are under as a result of the expectations set upon their gifts and themselves, which they hide behind effortless façades. She is able to sympathize with her uncle Bruno’s loneliness, understanding his feelings of being an outsider unable to be an asset to the family and community, and resolves to help him be welcomed back into their family after seeing that he is a good man who just had troubles with his gift. In addition, Mirabel helps to give voice to her family’s problems through her compassion and helps them understand that they are valuable as they are, not because of their gifts. This allows Mirabel to relate to her family members in ways she could not previously do, thus allowing her to form stronger bonds with them.
While Mirabel greatly respects Abuela as both the founder of the magic and the matriarch of the Madrigal family, she is unhappy with the fact that Abuela mistreats her for not being blessed with a gift and frequently disallowing her from participating in familial activities. After learning the source of the miracle dying and trying to tell Abuela how to fix it, Abuela was quick to lash out at Mirabel for "hurting the family" and causing misery within the household because she didn't get a gift, which greatly hurt Mirabel. Finally fed up with this treatment, Mirabel stands up to Alma and defends her sisters and her family by saying that she had always seen her as a disappointment and how no one would ever be good enough for her or her expectations (even with their magical gifts) and how Bruno left because she always saw the worst in him (and to an extent, Mirabel), accusing her grandmother of not caring about them. After the destruction of Casita, Mirabel and Abuela have a heart-to-heart conversation away from the family. Though Abuela admits that she had lost sight of what was truly important in her life: her family, and not the gifts they possess; Mirabel, after learning of Abuela's trauma, maturely understood her actions better. Mirabel saw how broken her grandmother was, and forgave Abuela while lifting her spirits by reminding her how she was strong in leading their community and raising her children despite the tragedy she endured. The two then reconciled and mended their relationship. Now, Mirabel is genuinely more confident in her worth, finally seen as an equal in her family (who regain their magic after Casa Madgrial is restored) and community.
Mirabel is a 15-year-old Colombian girl of a 5'2" height, curly chin-length black hair, thick eyebrows, hazel eyes, and visibly dark shade of freckles on her nose and cheeks. Of her sisters, Mirabel is the one who most resembles her mother, Julieta. She wears lime green round-framed glasses and blue pom-pom earrings, and carries around a mochila bag when going out.
Her attire is a white blouse that has colorful butterfly stitching, with frills of black trimming at the neck and sleeves. She wears a long teal skirt with colorful butterfly embroidery and her name stitched on the waistband, with an indigo petticoat and white bloomers, and sandals with pink linking and black ribbons around her ankles. Mirabel's skirt has many embroidered patterns, like butterflies, flowers, a little version of herself and even some motifs representing her relatives, like a candle (for Abuela), a basket of buñuelos (for Julieta), a chameleon (for Camilo), musical notes (for Dolores), and others. At night, she wears a white ankle-length nightgown with a green ribbon at the neckline.
Powers and abilities
Mirabel is not bestowed a magical gift like the rest of her family. However, she does have a stronger affinity with the Casa Madrigal than most of her family; she communicates with the house (or Casita) like it is a real person, and Casita responds to her prompts and helps with her daily routine. Mirabel is skilled in sewing, having embroidered her own clothes and made a stuffed jaguar for her cousin, Antonio. She is also nimble and quick on her feet, displaying skills similar to parkour to navigate through difficult areas like the roof and walls behind the house. She is proficient in singing, dancing, and plays the accordion well.
Mirabel first appears as a five-year-old girl listening to her grandmother, Abuela tell the story of how their family was blessed with magic and how the Miracle Candle will grant her a magical gift during her birthday. When it is time for her ceremony, Mirabel asks Abuela what she thinks her gift will be, to which her grandmother responds that she is a wonder and whatever gift she gets will be just as special as her.
Ten years later, Mirabel is seen helping prepare for her cousin Antonio’s gift ceremony. The Town Kids ask Mirabel what her gift is, but she tries to deflect by explaining her other family member’s gifts. Her cousin Dolores overhears this and explains to the kids that Mirabel didn’t get a gift. Mirabel reassures to the children that she is just as special as the rest of her family, whether she has a gift or not. She proceeds to help her family with preparations but Abuela advises her to step aside, much to her frustration. She finds Antonio hiding under his bed, fearful that his ceremony will fail like hers did. Mirabel reassures her cousin he has nothing to worry about and gives him a stuffed jaguar as a birthday present, convincing him to stop hiding. However, when Antonio’s ceremony begins, he is still too nervous to walk to his door and asks Mirabel to accompany him. Knowing that Alma will disapprove, Mirabel initially refuses but reluctantly agrees to after Antonio insists he needs her. Walking Antonio to his door sets off painful memories of her failed ceremony wherein her door vanished instead of granting her a gift after she touched the knob. Antonio’s ceremony, however, succeeds and he gains the ability to talk to animals. As her family takes a picture without her, Mirabel sings about her insecurities about being the only member without a magical gift and her desire to be treated equally. After the musical number, she begins to see cracks all over the house and when she tries to show everyone, no one believes her as everything seems to be normal.
Later that night, she talks with her mom and asked her how come she's the only member who didn't receive a gift and her mom tells she is just as special as everyone else and wished Mirabel can see that in herself. After that, Mirabel points out how her mom literally healed her wound with a dish she made. During the night when she overhears Alma saying that she believes her, Mirabel decides to jump into action to save the family and the miracle. The next morning, she asked her older cousin Dolores, who was gifted with super hearing, what's going on and she tells her that Luisa's eye was twitching all night. While confronting her older sister, she breaks into a musical number and confesses that she felt so much pressure to live up to Alma's expectations. After the song, Mirabel hugs her sister and says that she carries too much, only for Luisa to return the hug, squeezing Mirabel in the process and reveals to her that her powers became weaker when she saw the cracks. Luisa suggests that Mirabel go to Bruno's old room, recalling that he once had a vision about the family's magic. Mirabel enters to see that it is a giant sand-filled cave and discovers a vision that supposedly shows Mirabel being the cause of the house cracking apart. Upon leaving, Luisa reveals that her strength is fading and Abuela tells Mirabel to stay away from Luisa until she can talk to her.
When Mirabel asked her family about Bruno, everyone tells her not to mention Bruno because his gift cause so much problems. When her father sees the vision, he tells her to keep it a secret from everyone, but unfortunately, Dolores overhears this conversation and couldn't keep it a secret. The dinner and proposal was ruined and everyone (more specifically Abuela, Pepa, and Isabela) blames Mirabel, despite her saying that she had nothing to do with the incident.
Mirabel notices some rats taking the pieces of Bruno's vision and discovers a hidden passage in the walls behind a painting, finding a cloaked figure that she chases. When she falls through the floor, the figure saves her (though it is then revealed the hole is not very deep), revealing himself as Bruno. Bruno revealed that he never left (as he hid inside the walls of the house) and tells Mirabel that his gift wasn't helping the family, but deep down, he still loves his family. Mirabel asked Bruno if the family is hurting because of her, but Bruno said he doesn't know, but he had a vision on the night when Mirabel didn't get her gift: Alma begged him to look in the future and when he did, he saw the magic in danger, the house cracking, and then he saw Mirabel but the vision had two different possibilities, like the future was undecided. Bruno didn't know what it meant, but he knew what everyone will think because he's Bruno and everyone always assume the worst and so he revealed that he left to protect Mirabel. Mirabel convince him to make another prediction and Antonio offers them to use his room (after the rats told him). The prediction shows the same thing until it shows that Mirabel has to embrace Isabela to make the candle brighter, much to her annoyance.
At Bruno's insistence, Mirabel decides to go along with the plan and tells Isabela that they should hug it out. Isabela scoffs at this and demands Mirabel to apologize for "ruining" her life. When Mirabel sarcastically apologizes, Isabela sends her out of her room until Mirabel calls her a "selfish entitled princess." Isabela confesses that she felt so much pressure of being perfect all the time and she never wanted to marry Mariano, only doing so for the family, causing a small cactus to grow. After this confession and through a song, Mirabel gets Isabela to realize that she doesn't have to be perfect and and grew more than just flowers with her gift. They then share a hug right in front of the candle (fulfilling Bruno's vision). After the song, Isabela playfully calls Mirabel a bad influence.
Alma comes in the house and discovers what's going on. Mirabel tries to explain what's happening (which is why she was in Bruno's vision) but Alma snaps at her and blames her for her sisters' problems, hurting the family (and Bruno's departure) all because she wasn't given a gift. Mirabel, fed up with this treatment, angrily snaps back at Abuela and tells her that she will never be good enough for her, no matter how hard she tries. When Mirabel looks at her sisters, she realizes that no one will ever be good enough for Alma and defends Luisa and Isabela by saying they will never be strong enough or perfect enough. While reaching her breaking point, she points out that Bruno left the family because Alma always saw the worst in him and she (Alma) is the reason that the miracle is dying. This argument creates a fissure that splits a nearby mountain and demolishes Casita as the candle extinguishes, leaving the Madrigals powerless. Heartbroken by her failure to save the miracle and supposedly being the cause, Mirabel runs away in shame, while the whole family tries to find her.
The next day, Mirabel has not been found by anyone. A tearful Mirabel sits alone by the river until Alma finds her. Mirabel apologizes and says that she never wanted to hurt the family, she just wanted to prove herself that she's worthy, even though she doesn't have a gift. They had a heart to heart talk and Alma revealed the trauma she went through in the past and apologizes and assures Mirabel it wasn't her fault, but rather hers as she was so afraid to lose their family's miracle and second chance, that she unknowingly put so much emotional trauma on their own family due to years of suffering and heartache. After knowing Alma better, Mirabel encourages by saying that they were given a miracle because of her and the two reconcile and embrace (with golden butterflies circling around them, fulfilling Bruno's second vision).
Shortly afterwards, Bruno arrives on horseback to defend Mirabel by taking the blame for what happened to Casita and confront Abuela, but is surprised to see Abuela embracing him instead of yelling at him. The two ride the horse with a resolute Mirabel as they all go back to the Encanto. Once to the rubbles of their home, Mirabel has a warm reunion with her parents, then she convinces her family that they can rebuild their house when they work together. At the same time, Abuela apologizes to her family for holding on too tight, fearing she would lose them too and they all reunite with Bruno. Right after that, the whole town gathers together to help the Madrigals fix their house, as a show of gratitude for everything they done for them.
As everyone work, Mirabel is seen raising a pillar with her sisters, when Luisa said that she cries sometimes. Isabela and Mirabel hugged their sister, saying they cry as well. Later, Mirabel sees Mariano sad and asks him what's wrong, which in response, says he has much love inside to give. She then introduces him to Dolores, who finally confesses the love she feels for him. Falling in love by her words, Mariano returns his feelings for her, much to Mirabel and Isabela's joy.
When the house is finally finished, unless for the front doorknob, Mirabel is in shock and emotional when she discovers her family made the doorknob for her (with her initials carved on it). Antonio takes her to the front door (just like Mirabel took him to his new door) as she gets emotional seeing that her family is proud of her and of everything she did. When Mirabel adds the doorknob to "her new door", a new source of magic is born (by Mirabel's love for her family, making her the heart of the family), bringing Casita back to life, giving back the Madrigals' gifts, but also making a new front door, with all the Madrigals carved on it, with Mirabel on the middle. Casita then brings everyone inside, as Mirabel watches as her relatives use their just gotten back-gifts in ways that make them happy, then Casita brings the Madrigals together for a new family photo, when Casita suddenly brings everyone closer, making an imperfect family picture.
Mirabel began appearing as a face character in December of 2021 in a limited capacity at Disney California Adventure and Disney's Animal Kingdom, before the Disneyland Resort meet and greet moved to a more long-term spot at Rancho Del Zocalo.
- Mirabel's birthday is on March 6, in homage of Gabriel García Márquez, whom the Encanto staff drew inspiration from his works on magical realism.
- Many people believe Mirabel's full name to be "Mirabel Valentina Rojas Madrigal" according to The Art of Encanto book. However, the storyboarder has confirmed that this is not her full name, and that she was just playing around with potential names for the main character.
- The reason why Mirabel did not get a magical gift was intentionally left unexplained in the film because the directors felt it was unnecessary since it was not the point of the film, and believed that "she is who she needs to be for a very good reason."
- Though, it's theorized that the reason she didn't get a gift is because when she touched the candle, she had wiped her hands on her outfit, getting rid of the 'magic' from her hands. An alternate version of this theory involves that the magic from her hands had absorbed into her, implying that she herself is the gift. This theory has been debunked by director Jared Bush.
- Another theory, and quite popular, is that Mirabel will follow in her Abuela's footsteps, and become the next matriarch of her family and protector of the magic of the Encanto.
- In earlier drafts of the film, it would have been revealed at the end that Julieta somehow purposefully prevented Mirabel from getting a gift in order to shield her from the family pressure.
- Mirabel is the fourth Disney animated protagonist to wear glasses (after Milo Thatch, Chicken Little, and Lewis Robinson), and is also the first female protagonist to do so.
- Mirabel's glasses are an important part of her design, with production designer Lorelay Bove stating that "one of the film's main themes is perspective — how different points of view can affect a relationship — and having our main character wear glasses was an intentional choice to reinforce that theme."
- Initially, during the "Vanellope and the Princesses" sequence in Ralph Breaks the Internet, Snow White was to reveal she was actually nearsighted and needed glasses. There was even some merchandise portraying Snow White wearing glasses, but, for some reason, this trait was dropped.
- The name Mirabel means "wonderful".
- Early in production, the character's name was Mariana. Another early name choice for the character was Beatriz, which is coincidentally the surname of Mirabel's voice actress.
- Many Latin American viewers believe that Mirabel's name was meant to be Maribel, as Mirabel is not an actual Spanish name and would be a very uncommon name in Colombia.
- Mirabel is the second human female protagonist from the Disney Animated Canon to debut in 2021, after Raya from Raya and the Last Dragon.
- This marked the first time in history that two human female protagonists from two different Walt Disney Animation Studios films debuted in the same year.
- Her voice actress, Stephanie Beatriz, starred in the 2021 Warner Bros. live-action movie adaptation of In the Heights with Lin-Manuel Miranda, where Beatriz played the character of Carla. Conversely, Miranda himself wrote the songs for Encanto with In the Heights (also featuring Miranda's contribution to the film based on the musical) being released the same year as Encanto.
- Mirabel is the first Disney female protagonist to have a number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart. She achieved this after "We Don't Talk About Bruno" peaked at number one on said chart.
- Mirabel sweats when she is nervous. At her gift ceremony, she can be seen wiping the sweat off of her hands (or wiping the candle, as some theories say) just before she touches the doorknob. She is also sweating when she is chasing Bruno in the walls of Casita during the movie's climax, as Bruno says that she's "very sweaty" when he is grabbing her hand to prevent her from falling.
- Stephanie Beatriz was pregnant with her daughter Rosaline when she recorded her dialogue and songs and went into labor while recording "Waiting on a Miracle". Following her birth, she apparently instinctively knew the songs by heart at only six months.
- Mirabel and Dolores are the only female members of the family whose names don't end with an "a"
- Despite being the youngest of her sisters, Mirabel’s voice actress, Stephanie Beatriz, is actually the oldest of the their actresses, being six years older than Diane Guerrero, Isabela's actress, and fourteen years older than Jessica Darrow, Luisa's actress.
- According to technical supervisor Nadim Sinno, Mirabel uses the 3B texture for her curly hair, which the animation department had to learn from making Mirabel’s hair realistic.
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