Her triplets were watching her raptly. Julieta had a hand on her heart, a sweet smile on her face. Bruno tilted his head curiously, his smile growing as if to silently encourage Alma to continue. Pepa sniffled, a little cloud above her head, a rainbow peeking out from behind it.
“That’s so sweet,” Pepa murmured.
“It was,” Alma agreed. “It wasn’t anything dramatic or ground-shaking. It was just…” A connection. A boy and a girl, enjoying each other’s company. Something special clicking into place.
“We connected,” Alma said. “Speaking with Pedro was as easy as breathing. It felt like speaking with an old friend. As if we knew each other for a long time.”
As if a piece of her heart said, Oh, there you are. I’ve been looking all over for you.
Alma and the triplets discuss Pedro. Isabela works on her new dress as storm clouds herald the impending arrival of newcomers...
i’m rlly glad with the way luisa was portrayed in encanto. bcus she is strong, she is built muscly and broad and tall. BUT she also wears dresses and doesn’t have a ‘boyish’ hairstyle. she isn’t masculine. she’s feminine.
yk a lot of women in fiction who are portrayed as strong are always immediately made to be masculine as well. and obviously this solidifies the “men are strong” stereotype. women in fiction who are muscly, or who are fighters or who are strong are almost ALWAYS portrayed as masculine but luisa isn’t.
women can be strong and feminine. women can be muscly and wear dresses. and that strength that’s “all so masculine and man like (/sarc)” doesn’t take anything away from their womanhood/femininity.
I just realised yet another little detail that symbolises so much in the story!
During Dos Orugitas, we see a young Alma Madrigal that seemed to be cheerful, playful and even a little clumsy. The braided hair, the frilly dress and the big smiles help create an image of her as a sweet, carefree young woman who was not afraid to just be herself.
Once the tragedy with Pedro happens and the miracle is born, Alma immediately takes shelter in casita and we see her alone, silently processing the events of the evening; looking extremely weary, lonely and traumatised. She looks down at her babies. Her Julieta, her Pepa and her Brunito, and her expression changes. She knows she needs to be strong for them. She’s resolute, but there’s a sadness in her eyes that says she knows what this means for her, too. She can never go back to the woman she used to be.
The next time we see Alma, she is putting on a black cloak and leaving the room. This room was the cocoon where she transformed into a new person, leaving her old self behind. She's become different. Her smile doesn't quite meet her eyes anymore. She looks tired, somber. Older, even.
There's a shadow, a trauma she's carrying that soon takes form in the perfectionism and control that eventually hurt her loved ones. This event shapes the way she deals with challenges from this moment on, and she is always in fear of the family losing their home once again.
She became harsh. Strict. Everything has to be perfect in order to protect and earn the miracle the love of her life granted their family with his noble sacrifice.
This is an incredibly strong woman who has been through hell and came out alive, for her family's sake. This black cloak follows her from her young years to her old age, and becomes a constant throughout the movie. It represents the weight and the burden of the grief she silently carried ever since that moment, and will continue to carry for the rest of her life. It represents the change she had to go through, putting her emotions last in order to become the strong matriarch her kids and the village needed. It represents the loss of not only her beloved Pedro, but also of her innocence, her youth, her laughter and her smile.
From the moment young Alma Madrigal and her children were gifted a miracle, she became the one responsible for the whole village. She, as the only one blessed with the magic and the one whose gift repelled the enemies, was naturally placed in a position of power and leadership in the worst moment of her life.
It's likely she was the one everyone immediately looked to for directions right after the miracle happened, and that she had to leave her feelings behind to help other lost and grieving people rebuild their lives and their homes, creating what the village of Encanto eventually became. She put everyone else first. She was extremely selfless.
Alma Madrigal is such a complex character. There are so many layers to her personality. This is why you guys can't just write her off as a villain or as a horrible person/grandmother. It's not so black and white.
Exscue the quality (Disney+ have a thing for no capturing stuff) but this right here I love the Family door.
Everyone is on here including both Felix and Agustin. Mirabel is in the centre of the family holding everyone together. Bruno is with his sisters and family again Also if you notice Isabela dress it's her new one not the "perfect" flower one.
my encanto analysis/headcanon that no one asked for
so, i was just looking through some encanto fanart and headcanons and came across this piece (artist: https://mobile.twitter.com/ye_enc):
abuela had triplets - julieta, pepa, and bruno. both julieta and pepa had three kids - isabella, luisa, and mirabel for julieta, and dolores, camilo, and antonio for pepa.
what i noticed is that for each batch of three, each individual falls under a certain category, and it seems to follow by age.
julieta was, as this lovely fanart shows, likely depended on quite frequently for her ability to heal via her cooking. her gift would have been the most useful and therefore she likely would have been praised the most as “the perfect one”.
this, of course, next falls to isabella, who we see this with the most frequently. abuela very clearly is living the life she wished she could have lived through isabella, and is viewed as the perfect golden child by everyone around her.
dolores is a little different, but i believe she still fits the trope. she is basically the physical embodiment of “seen but not heard.” she keeps quiet on the things she knows would upset her family and doesn’t make herself heard, even when she is in pain, whether physical or emotional. she doesn’t tell anyone that she knows bruno has been living in the walls for the ten years he’s been missing; she doesn’t tell anyone about her feelings for mariano, because she knows that will upset abuela and her cousin’s “perfect for the encanto” arrangement; and one can only imagine how loud certain things are to her, that are endurable for us (fireworks, for example).
next are the middle children: pepa, luisa, and camilo. all of them have some kind of pressure on their shoulders. (and - just a fun thing i noticed - while luisa’s literal pressure is the many things she carries, pepa’s pressure is atmospheric pressure, because she controls the weather. but anyway, lol).
all three of these characters are told in one way or another to bottle up their emotions and keep them buried inside. with pepa, we see this very directly as she is constantly told by the other characters (especially abuela) to, as the fanart above shows, calm down and essentially turn off her emotions because of the damage she can cause with her weather powers. this kind of reminds me of the “conceal, don’t feel” thing that elsa had with her gloves. both pepa and elsa demonstrate the same growth throughout their movies, too - learning to accept themselves and their abilities and thus being able to control them instead of being controlled by them - but, i digress.
luisa, by contrast, is indirectly told to keep her emotions at bay. she is treated as something of a useful tool, both by the town and by abuela, and seen in a very masculine light despite her relatively feminine personality. because of this treatment and the expectation that she will always be strong that comes with it, she falls into the same category as pepa.
camilo, like dolores, is a little different, but still fits. we don’t see much of him in the movie, but i imagine he is depended on as being the funny one. if anyone reading this is into k-pop or bts, think of camilo as like the j-hope or the jin of the group. he’s always expected to be funny and smiling, lifting everyone else’s spirits - but who lifts his spirits?
and lastly, we have the youngest siblings - bruno, mirabel, and antonio. they fit into the roll, of course, of the scapegoat, of family disappointments.
bruno was rejected by the town and by his family, seen as a harbinger of chaos and horror, a bad omen - all because he can see the future, something that he obviously cannot control. but, of course, it’s easier to simply blame someone else than accept the truth or take responsibility for your own actions.
mirabel, of course, is treated in much the same way. she is seen as a bad omen, as well, and is quite literally feared to be the one who will destroy the family and the encanto, because of bruno’s vision.
antonio does not quite fit into this category, but i think if he had not gotten a gift, he would have been shunned in much the same way as bruno or mirabel. it can also be argued that his gift isn’t really very useful, and we can see abuela struggle for a moment to think of how they could put his gift to use at the breakfast at the beginning of the movie (”i told them to warm up your seat”).
anyway - this is all to say that each of the siblings in each of the batches of three appears to fill (or almost fill) the same rolls. i’m sure someone else has already noticed this and i’m just late to the party - but i thought it was cool.
I think it's cute how all the Madrigal kids have like, a designated grown-up? Like, obviously this is a loving family and everyone loves one another but when there's that many you end up with favorites/people who think they're your favorites.
So here's how I think the designated grown-ups go:
Isabela-> Abuela: Obviously, she spent years as Abuela's golden child. She wants Abuela to be happy.
Luisa-> Agustín: I have little reasoning other than they play the piano together and she kinda gives me wholesome daddy's girl vibes.
Mirabel-> Julieta: She loves all her kids equally. But Mirabel needed a little extra attention because she didn't have a gift. Plus, that means Mirabel was the least busy in town and could hang out the most.
Camilo-> Pepa: A MOMMA'S BOY!! (Let the middles be coddled 2k22!!!) He loves his Mami. Period. We all know it.
Dolores-> Bruno or Félix: Okay so hear me out. Bruno because being the only one to listen to him for years. Her dad because her dad always has her back against Camilo and he's the other even keeled one of their branch.
Antonio->Mirabel: But wait, Mirabel is a kid? Not to Antonio. She is absolutely his guide to the world and how he understands grown-ups even if he knows she's more a 'grown-up lite' right now.