Encanto, Disney’s upcoming animated feature from co-directors Byron Howard and Jared Bush, tells the story of the one member of the Madrigal family who, for some unknown reason, isn’t born with a magical gift. Marisol — voiced by Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Stephanie Beatriz — knows there’s something inside her that makes her unique, but it’s hard to feel connected to her family members because of all the truly wondrous things they can do with their abilities.
Though Mirabel is Encanto’s central protagonist, her family plays an important role both in contextualizing her journey and embodying many of the themes the movie explores. When Gizmodo recently sat down with Encanto’s creative team, they explained how each of the Madrigals’ abilities reflects important elements of who they are as people, but each character’s inner truth is far more complicated than their powers let on.
Who Is Isabela?
While Mirabel loves her family, her relationship with her eldest sister Isabela (Doom Patrol’s Diane Guerrero) is made somewhat difficult by the way that everyone sees Isabella as a golden child. The elegant and graceful way Isabella wields her ability to control plant life makes it that much easier for people to see her as a perfectionist, but Bush explained that this very perception is what makes Isabela feel trapped — something she tries to hide from everyone.
Who Is Luisa?
Similarly, Luisa (Jessica Darrow), the middle sister of the Madrigal family, is both powerful and hiding a secret, according to Bush. But where Isabela uses her charm and flowers to mask her feelings of sadness, Luisa hides a wellspring of “oversized emotions” behind her impressive super strength and stoic demeanour.
Who Are Augustín and Julieta?
Based on her lack of powers, Mirabel seems to take after her father Augustín (Wilmer Valderrama), an ordinary, accident-prone man who married into magic after meeting her mother. Julieta (Angie Cepeda) is the town doctor who also possesses the ability to heal people through the food she cooks. “So of all the Madrigals, she’s probably got it the most together, and she’s a good caretaker for this town,” Howards explained. “And her voice has that wonderful warmth and professionalism that every doctor should have.”
Who Are Aunt Pepa and Uncle Félix?
Even by the Madrigals’ extraordinary standards, Mirabel’s Aunt Pepa (Carolina Gaitán) is considered a bit extra at times due to her emotional temperament and the way her feelings directly impact the weather around her. Thankfully, her husband Félix (Mauro Castillo), another ordinary man, is there to keep her grounded.
Who Is Dolores?
Of Pepa and Félix’s children, Dolores (singer Adassa) is the one who’s most well-informed about everyone else’s business. That’s thanks to her magical super-hearing cluing her into what others say, even when they don’t mean to be heard.
Who Is Camilo?
Félix and Pepa’s oldest son Camilo (Runaways’ Rhenzy Feliz) is still in the process of figuring out who he is, but by the time he’s introduced in Encanto, he’s already skilled at controlling his power to shapeshift into other people’s physical forms.
Who Is Antonio?
Mirabel’s closest with her youngest cousin Antonio (Ravi-Cabot Conyers), who spends his time hanging out with the wild animals he can speak with. He also doesn’t begrudge Mirabel for her lack of powers. Encanto being a Disney movie, it’s safe to assume that Antonio will feature significantly in some of the story’s wilder moments, but what’s really going to be interesting to see is how he and the other kids end up learning more about the final Madrigal…
Who Is Bruno?
Throughout their presentation, Encanto’s team was careful not to say much about Bruno, Julieta and Pepa’s estranged triplet brother who can see negative visions of the future. At some point, the Madrigals came to believe that Bruno himself was the cause of the problems in his vision and the rift that developed between them all is something that Mirabel will have to navigate on her own. Whatever the truth is about Bruno — and whether it has anything to do with the danger that magic is put in — is just one of the mysteries looming over Encanto ahead of its release this fall.
We’ll have more information about the animated movie in the coming days so stay tuned. Encanto hits theatres on December 2, and comes to Disney+ on December 24.