Mirabel Madrigal is the protagonist of Disney’s 2021 animated film Encanto. She is the youngest daughter of Julieta and Agustín Madrigal, and has two sisters and three brothers. Determining who Mirabel’s oldest sibling is requires looking closely at the Madrigal family tree.
The Madrigal Family
The Madrigal family consists of Abuela Alma, her three daughters Julieta, Pepa, and Alma, and their respective husbands and children. The family lives together in an enchanted casita in the mountains of Colombia and each member is blessed with a unique magical gift except for Mirabel.
Abuela Alma is the matriarch of the family. Her magical gift isStrength of the Bear and she keeps the magic of the Encanto alive.
Julieta is the middle daughter and her gift is Healing. She is married to Agustín and they have three children together – Isabela, Mirabel, and Antonio.
Pepa is the second oldest daughter and her gift is Weather Control. She is married to Félix and they have three children together – Dolores, Camilo, and Mariano.
Luisa is the oldest daughter and her gift is Superhuman Strength. She does not have a partner or children.
The Oldest Sibling
Based on the description of the Madrigal family tree, Mirabel’s oldest sibling is clearly Luisa, the oldest daughter of Abuela Alma.
As the firstborn child, Luisa has the responsibility of using her super strength to perform many duties around the Encanto. This includes lifting heavy objects, constructing buildings, and carrying out other physically demanding tasks. Her strength helps maintain the prosperity of the Encanto for the whole family.
Even as the oldest, Luisa’s status does not make her exempt from the pressures within the family. She feels the need to be strong for everyone else physically and emotionally. This takes an unseen toll on Luisa over the years.
More About Luisa
Here are some additional details about Mirabel’s oldest sister Luisa:
- Her age is never confirmed but she appears to be in her late 20s or early 30s
- She has dark brown hair which she wears pulled back in a low bun
- Her outfit consists of a mustard yellow blouse with white stripes, a purple skirt, and brown boots
- Luisa is muscular and bulky from years of physical labor
- She is driven, responsible, and willing to sacrifice herself for the family
- Luisa secretly struggles with feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed
In one scene, Luisa sings about the pressures she faces:
Give it to your sister, your sister’s older
Give her all the heavy things we can’t shoulder
Who am I if I can’t run with the ball?
If I fall to pieces, who will pick them all up?
This provides insight into how Luisa feels obligated to bear the weight for the whole Encanto to function properly. She doubts herself and her identity outside of her gift.
Luisa and Mirabel’s Relationship
Despite their age gap, Luisa and Mirabel have a close sisterly bond. As the oldest sibling, Luisa cares deeply about her little sister and wants to encourage her. She knows how it feels to be different in the Madrigal family.
When Mirabel is feeling inadequate for not having a gift, Luisa tries to reassure her:
Mirabel, we love you just the way you are. Our sister, who we know and miss. Sure, you’re not super strong, but you’re still a Madrigal!
This shows Luisa’s affection and acceptance of Mirabel even without powers. She emphasizes Mirabel’s value in their family is unconditional.
Key Moments Between the Sisters
There are some significant interactions between Luisa and Mirabel in the film:
- Luisa saves Mirabel when the casita begins collapsing. She shields her sister to protect her from harm.
- When Luisa’s gift starts weakening, Mirabel encourages her and tells her “It’s okay to need help too.”
- At the end, Mirabel helps Luisa let go of the heavy burdens placed on her.
Their sisterly bond remains strong despite being very different. Luisa’s protective caring for Mirabel is evident as the oldest sibling.
In summary, Mirabel’s oldest sister is clearly Luisa Madrigal. As the oldest daughter in the Madrigal family, she bears the responsibility of using her superhuman strength to aid the Encanto. Luisa’s duty weighs heavily on her at times, but her little sister Mirabel sees her value beyond just her gift. Their sisterly relationship reflects love and acceptance that endures through the family’s hardships. Understanding the role of the oldest child like Luisa provides insight into the Madrigal family dynamics.
|Early 30s (Oldest)
This table summarizes the key information about Mirabel’s three siblings, showing that Luisa is the oldest. Isabela is the oldest daughter of Julieta and Agustín, making her Mirabel’s oldest sister. Antonio is the youngest sibling.
In the Madrigal family, the firstborn children like Luisa and Isabela feel a strong responsibility to use their gifts to benefit the Encanto. They experience pressure from a young age to harness their powers for the good of the community. The strain affects Luisa more over time.
Meanwhile, the younger siblings like Mirabel and Antonio have more freedom. But Mirabel longs for the sense of purpose a gift would bring her. Antonio learns to use his powers at a young age with encouragement.
Although she hides it well, Luisa struggles with anxiety and burnout from exhausting herself physically and mentally for years. She sings:
I see it clear, or at least I used to…
The path was right there and I, I followed through…
So why did I slip? Why did I fall?
When the pressure would rise, why did I stall?
Luisa puts intense pressure on herself to perform feats of strength for the Encanto daily. It takes a toll on her mental health over time. She also bears the emotional weight of providing for everyone.
Eventually Luisa reaches her breaking point when her gift of strength begins to falter. She can no longer lift the same heavy objects that she once could. Luisa panics about letting everyone down if she asks for help or admits she is struggling.
Causes of Luisa’s Decline
Several factors contribute to the decline of Luisa’s powers and mental state:
- Exhaustion from overexerting her physical strength daily
- Stress from feeling solely responsible for the Encanto’s prosperity
- Pressure to always be strong and never show vulnerability
- Lack of support system or help
- Sacrificing her own needs and wellbeing
Luisa suppresses her doubts and anxieties for years, convinced she just needs to keep pushing herself harder. In reality, she needs to accept help from her sisters.
How Mirabel Helps Luisa
When Luisa’s powers falter, Mirabel sees the toll her sister’s struggles have taken. She encourages Luisa to stop bearing the weight alone. Mirabel says:
You don’t have to be strong for us anymore. Don’t hold back the river, let it flow… Cry if you need to, it’s okay to let go.
With her sister’s support, Luisa finally releases the immense pressure and burdens she placed on herself for years. She allows herself to be vulnerable and asks others for help moving forward.
Letting go of sole responsibility for the Encanto restores balance within Luisa. She realizes her value is not just defined by her gift. By lifting this weight, Luisa’s inner strength and magic return stronger than before.
Her little sister Mirabel’s empathy and willingness to listen allowed Luisa to open up. Their bond proves they can rely on one another during difficult times.
Luisa’s Song Lyrics
The lyrics in Luisa’s main musical number “Surface Pressure” provide insight into her secret struggles as the strong older sister. Here are some key excerpts:
Give it to your sister, it doesn’t hurt and see if she can handle every family burden
Watch as she buckles and bends but never breaks…
I see it clear, or at least I used to…The path was right there and I, I followed through…
So why did I slip? Why did I fall? When the pressure would rise, why did I stall?
Surface pressure, pushing down on me…It’s making it harder to breathe…No one can see it, no one can feel it, it’s underneath the surface.
…I know I’ve got to stay above water, keep my conscience clear, but the waves keep rising higher…Give my family the best I’ve got until I’ve got nothing left.
These lyrics demonstrate Luisa’s inner turmoil as she struggles to uphold impossible expectations. She feels alone in dealing with the mounting pressure and worries about failing her family. Luisa believes she cannot falter and must keep sacrificing herself, until she finally hits her limit.
Having these feelings reflected in song illustrates Luisa’s unseen struggles poignantly. Though appearing strong on the outside, internally she feels the immense pressure threatening to drag her under.
Luisa Madrigal, as the oldest sister, bears a tremendous amount of responsibility for the Encanto’s prosperity. The demands weigh heavily on her over the years and cause her anxiety, self-doubt, and exhaustion. Luisa hides her struggles well by always projecting strength.
When Luisa finally confides in her younger sister Mirabel, it allows her to release the pressure. Mirabel helps Luisa understand she doesn’t have to shoulder the burden alone anymore. This support ultimately restores Luisa’s power and mental health.
Though she is the strong older sibling, Luisa still needs empathy and encouragement at times. Her experiences reveal important lessons about recognizing limitations, asking for help, and the power of family support. Luisa’s story connects deeply with anyone who has felt the crushing weight of others’ expectations.
Understanding Luisa’s perspective provides greater insight into the family dynamics and relationships in Encanto. It adds meaningful emotional depth to the exceptional gifts and magic portrayed in the film.