This colorful, enchanting, and emotional film tells the story of the Madrigal family. Each of the family members received a magical power when they turned 5 years old—except Mirabel. As Mirabel struggles to stop comparing herself to her extraordinary family members, she helps each of her relatives discover who they truly are, uniting the family and saving their home. By the end, we’re wrapped up in a breathtaking story of healing and familial love.
The Madrigal family is full of 12 fascinating and spectacular characters. As these characters grow and develop throughout the film, here are some powerful lessons we can learn from the women.
Mirabel – Don’t judge your family by what they can do.
Mirabel understandably struggles being the only Madrigal without a magical gift, comparing herself to her family and feeling suppressed by Abulea Alma because of it. She perseveres in loving her family members for their inherent value as people, rather than labeling them by their gifts. Along the way, Mirabel not only discovers her own gifts, she frees her family from seeing themselves and each other as their powers.
Isabela – Don’t listen to perfect expectations put on you.
Isabela is referred to as “the golden child” multiple times. Everyone views her as completely perfect. She’s graceful, she’s beautiful, but deep down she’s hurting in an attempt to fulfill the perfect image imprinted upon her. When Isabel finally admits that she doesn’t want to marry Mariano or complete every task perfectly to meet others’ expectations, she finds freedom and joy.
Dolores – Speak your emotions, don’t suppress them.
Dolores has magical hearing, allowing her to pick up on even the tiniest whisper. Though many may label her as the town gossip, she struggles to confess her own feelings. She’s been in love with Mariano for as long as she can remember, but rather than admit it, she remains quiet as Abuela sets him up with Isabela. But by the end of the movie, Mirabel helps her profess her emotions.
Pepa – Let others love you.
Pepa’s emotions control the weather around her. Even though her stress and anxiety cause thunderstorms and tornadoes, she doesn’t distance herself from her family. When the Madrigal’s begin to lose their magic, Pepa openly breaks down. Rather than run, she lets her own children love and receive her in the storm.
Luisa – Don’t carry all the weight.
Luisa can carry it all, literally. Her gift of super-strength aids her in helping everyone in the village with their needs. But underneath the strength, Luisa is overcome by her power, singing, “Under the surface / I’m pretty sure I’m worthless if I can’t be of service.” She attempts to carry it all, but the weight of her friends and family’s burdens are crushing her. When Luisa loses her power, Mirabel helps her understand that her identity is not in her strength and she doesn’t have to carry the weight alone.
Julieta – Choose to love, especially those in front of you.
Julieta and Agustín are the parents of Isabela, Luisa, and Mirabel. Julieta has magical healing powers, transferred into the food she cooks. Meanwhile, Agustín married into the magical family and has no powers. But even in Agustín’s clumsiness, and Mirabel’s lack of magic, Julieta chooses to love them both consistently and unconditionally. She doesn’t label them by their abilities, and loves them with no judgment.
Abuela Alma – Learn to apologize, because reconciliation heals.
As the head of the Madrigal family, Alma raised her children after her husband died during a civil war. Blessed with a miracle in the thick of her hardship, she witnessed each of her children and grandchildren receive unique powers in their magical home. Though Alma sets an example of using your gifts to serve others throughout the town, she mistakenly begins to see the family’s gifts as earned, not given, and fears losing them. In her confusion and fear, Abuela shuns Mirabel, but the conflict resolves when she apologizes for not seeing each person’s inherent dignity, gifted or not. With her apology, Alma and paves a path of healing for the entire family.