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Clear skies, clear skies!
―Pepa reciting a mantra to calm her emotions.[src]


Pepa Madrigal is a major character in Disney's 2021 animated feature film Encanto. She is the middle child of Alma and Pedro Madrigal and the mother of Dolores, Camilo, and Antonio, whom she parented alongside her husband Félix. Described as “overly emotional and dramatic”, Pepa’s gift allows her to control the weather via her emotions.

Background

It was my wedding day
We were getting ready and there wasn't a cloud in the sky
Bruno walks in with a mischievous grin and says; It looks like rain.
―Pepa describing her wedding day.

Pepa is one of the three children Alma and Pedro had, alongside her brother, Bruno, and her sister, Julieta. When she was just born, their home was attacked and her family was forced to flee. After her father's death, a miracle was created that blessed the family with an enchanted house and protection from the raiders. Five years later, Pepa and her two siblings opened their magical doors in the house, revealing their powers. Pepa gained the ability to control the weather with her emotions and has had to learn to control her emotions to avoid causing harm to those around her. Pepa met a man named Félix at some point in her life after receiving her gift; he was very good at helping her calm down when she was in a bad mood, causing her to fall in love with him. Alma immediately accepted Félix as her son-in-law and Pepa eventually married him.

Some time later, she and Felix had a daughter (Dolores) and two sons (Camilo and Antonio) together. Pepa besides becoming Agustín's sister-in-law after Julieta married him, she also became the maternal aunt of Isabela, Luisa, and Mirabel. One of the main reasons why she and the townspeople don't like to talk about Bruno is that on her wedding day he told her that "it looks like rain". This caused Pepa to become extremely worried that rain truly was going to ruin their wedding and she freaked out so much that her gift went crazy and made her and Félix get married in a hurricane. Pepa did not have a good opinion of her brother and held onto resentment toward Bruno for this, presumably to mask her worry for when he vanished. After a decade of separation, Pepa finally reunites with her brother again after the fall of the Casita and he reveals that the misunderstanding at the wedding stemmed from his desire to help her relax and embrace her emotions. In the end, Pepa doesn't hold a grudge against Bruno anymore and hugs him happily together with Julieta.

Official Description

Pepa and Félix are a couple rooted in balance. Pepa is “overly dramatic, overly emotional and, for better or worse, her magical gift is that her emotions control the weather. It goes from sunny to hailing to snow to rainbows and her husband loves that about her.[2]
Pepa, one of Abuela Alma’s triplets, was gifted with the power to control the weather with her emotions. The forecast is often unpredictable, however, as Pepa’s emotions are far-reaching and ever-changing.[3]

Development

As with the rest of the Madrigal family, Pepa was designed to reflect "family archetypes that are immediately relatable".[4] The studio created Pepa as quite sensitive and shaky to balance with her husband's more cheerful and laid-back personality.[5]. During the creation process, Pepa's gift was to be indestructible, thus making her somewhat a daredevil, but since it was too similar to Luisa's strength, it was changed to emotion-affected weather (which was originally going to belong to Julieta).[6]

Carolina Gaitan, Pepa's voice actor, describes her character as being relatable to her: "I’m a little bit crazy as well… overly dramatic and sometimes a little bit like a drama queen. But most of all, I think it’s about vulnerability. Like, not to be in control of everything… she’s emotional and she allows herself to be emotional and I think that’s very beautiful about a person, about a character."[7]

Personality

Pepa muttering a mantra repeatedly to calm down.

Described as "overly emotional and dramatic", Pepa is an impatient woman and can get angry easily, contrasting with her husband Félix's more laid-back personality and positive spirit. Pepa also sometimes lets her temper get the better of her, and often says things that she doesn't mean, however she occasionally apologizes for this. When Pepa gets extremely nervous, she rapidly strokes her braid as she repeatedly mutters "Clear skies, clear skies!" to help her control her emotions and thus her weather. According to Mirabel, when she's unhappy, the temperature "gets weird". Unlike her composed sister or her shy brother, Pepa is more outgoing and cheerful than them and, therefore, it is difficult for her to sit still. She has frequent mood swings, going from being happy to angry or vice versa in a moment that alters the weather around her. Pepa can get very nervous, anxious, stressed and sometimes even neurotic very easily. Her emotions sometimes control her more than she can control them, resulting in chaotic weather conditions.

Pepa yelling at her mother Alma when she forces her to calm down her emotions.

His temper can easily calm down when supported by the people he loves. Although she can get angry with Félix at times, Pepa loves her husband and always smiles when he supports or helps her, melting into Félix's arms when she dances with him. Félix can calm her by being flirtatious or even simply placing a hand on her shoulder. To a lesser extent, her children can also calm her down and she relies on them to help her whenever she has an emotional meltdown. An example is when her elder son, Camilo attempted to calm her down after learning their family's magic was dying and was dismayed when she accidentally hurt him with a spark of lightning. Much of Pepa's stress is due to the fact that she has to control her temper everyday, not only to prevent bad weather, but also to avoid hurting the people around her. To make her stress even worse, her mother Alma often negatively criticized Pepa for her emotional rants and rarely supported her, which made Pepa feel she couldn't express her emotions freely.

Pepa is finally free to express her emotions and powers however she likes.

Although she is not ill-intentioned, Pepa can become inclement spiteful. She doesn't like to talk about her brother, Bruno, like the citizens, because Bruno told her "it looks like rain" at her wedding and made her anxious to the point of causing a hurricane, quickly getting angry when Bruno is mentioned. But deep down, she truly missed her brother despite everything that happened between them, her resentment likely masking great guilt. When Bruno finally returned, she was overjoyed and ran to welcome him back with a hug. Like her mother, Alma, Pepa has a tendency for things to be perfect, but does not strive on perfection too much like her mother does. Pepa wanted her younger son, Antonio's gift ceremony to be perfect and worked to give herself a perfect image to her community by controlling her emotions. However, this is all caused by her mother keeping a tight grip on her and her siblings. Although she respects her mother, she is also not afraid to get angry with her when she reprimands her when her emotions were too strong for her to control. When Pepa reconciles with her mother and brother after the fall of Casa Madrigal, Pepa became allowed to express her emotions and powers however she likes.

Pepa dancing happily with her husband and youngest son.

Despite her rapid emotional swings, she is very caring and loving towards her family. Pepa easily forgave her mother when he sincerely apologized for pressuring her and Julieta for years. Like Julieta, Pepa cares deeply about her children and wants the best for them. She wanted her youngest son's fifth birthday to be the best day of his life and expressed how proud she was of him several times. During Antonio's gift ceremony, she was shown approaching him along with Félix to congratulate him and hug him when he received his magical gift. After the Casita collapses, Pepa's main concern was the well-being of her family rather than the loss of her home where she immediately rushed to Antonio who was crying over the loss of his gift. Her affection also extends to her nieces. She is very close to Isabela and to a certain extent also to Mirabel and Luisa. Pepa celebrates and worries about Isabela's marriage proposal and treats her niece as if she were her daughter. Pepa was very upset because Isabela's proposal was going wrong, had a sad look on her face when Luisa cried due to the loss of her super strength and, despite minor friction, tried to save Mirabel when the Casita collapsed.

Physical appearance

Pepa is a 50-year-old[8] woman with fair skin, curly hip-length auburn hair in a braid, and green eyes. She also has a small gap between her two front teeth. She wears an orange-and-yellow dress with amber accents, a yellow ribbon on her head, golden sun-shaped earrings, and orange-and-brown sandals with black ribbons around her ankles. Symbolizing her gift, Pepa's collar has suns on it, with raindrop patterns on her dress and lightning-bolt symbols on the bottom of her dress (along with lighting-bolt symbols on her ribbon), and wearing her said sun-shaped earrings. On her wedding day she used the same sun earrings with an identical copy of her current dress, only white with light pink details and instead of using a ribbon she wore a long wedding veil that reached her hips.

Powers and abilities

Pepa can control the weather through her emotional state; happiness causes warmth and sunshine, whereas frustration, stress, and sadness causes storms and heavy rain. If Pepa gets deeply upset or frustrated, she can cause snowstorms or hurricanes. When feeling these negative emotions, a cloud will appear over her head and follow her wherever she goes. Depending how strong the emotion she is feeling the cloud will increase in size; in fact, she can even inflict her emotions onto actual clouds instead of having a singular one above her and can cause rain and other types of weather onto there, along with being able to summon a tornado around her. If she calms down and tries to stay positive, usually by saying "clear skies" multiple times, the cloud will go away.

At the end of the movie, Pepa was shown creating a light hailstorm, one thing she does when she's frustrated despite being happy. It can be said that Pepa maybe can summon any weather anywhere she prefers without having to feel a certain emotion.

Despite her powerset, she is not all that powerful. When asked if it was possible for Pepa to stop a major natural disaster, Jared Bush responded "I bet she'd try. Doubt she'd succeed".[9]

Appearances

Encanto

Pepa first appears as an infant after she and her siblings were to Alma and Pedro Madrigal. After her family was forced out of their home, leading her father to be killed by soldiers, their family became blessed with magic and were given a new home. At the age of five, Pepa, along with her siblings, Julieta and Bruno, were given magical gifts where Pepa was given the ability to control the weather depending on her emotions.

Relationships

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

Gallery

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

Trivia

  • Pepa's birthday is on October 17, coinciding with start of Thousand Days' War.[10][11]
  • Her gift is similar to another Disney character's power, Elsa, from Frozen and Frozen 2 as when they are not in a good mood, their powers get out of control. Coincidentally, there was a slight nod to Frozen in the song "All of You", when Bruno told Pepa to "Let it go". The opening piano can also be heard in that part.
  • According to Jared Bush, Pepa's room is not able to contain her powers within its walls, so the weather around the Encanto is still affected even when she is in her room.[12]

References

  1. "Triplets' Birth Order". Twitter (December 8, 2021).
  2. Shuler, Skyler (September 10, 2021). "‘Encanto’: Meet The Magical Madrigal Family". TheDisInsider.
  3. Team, D23 (November 16, 2021). "“Encanto” Character Details Revealed". D23.
  4. Brown, Tracy (November 24, 2021). "‘Encanto’ is Disney’s first Latino musical. How the filmmakers got Colombia right". LATimes.
  5. Shuler, Skyler (September 10, 2021). "‘Encanto’: Meet The Magical Madrigal Family". TheDisInsider.
  6. The Art of Encanto
  7. https://www.vitalthrills.com/encanto-movie/
  8. Bush, Jared (December 26, 2021). "Triplets' Ages". Twitter.
  9. Bush, Jared (March 19, 2022). "Pepa's powers". Twitter.
  10. Bush, Jared (March 18, 2022). "Pepa's birthday". Twitter.
  11. Bush, Jared (March 18, 2022). "Meaningful Birthdays". Twitter.
  12. Bush, Jared (January 15, 2022). "Pepa's room". 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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