Luisa Madrigal from Encanto is a Bright and Shiny Assault on Reality


Want more?
Check out the episode of The Pop Culture Coram Deo Podcast on Encanto for a thorough analysis of the film
Or check out the expanded edition of this post on The Federalist.

My family was late to Encanto and had been told by friends the film quite good. For my part, having now seen the movie, I can’t get past Luisa Madrigal just being a dude in a dress.

The character trope is about as obvious as can be: “Strong woman” has to be literally strong. It’s exhausting; Hollywood has collapsed feminine strength into one image, the one that most conceals the ways in which women are distinctly strong.

The images aren’t the whole of the presentation, though: The song Luisa sings which helps define her character – Surface Pressure – is filled with the imagery and angst of responsibility for a family, a deeply masculine concern.

Looper gets it.

Don’t talk to me about realisic-portrayals-of-plus-size women; Louisa isn’t plus-sized. She’s jacked. You want realism? Check out how Louisa’s character model compares to the husky-voiced actress who makes her sing:

Wouldn’t you like to inject whoever at Disney made the voice-casting choice with truth serum and ask, “Now, why did you conclude Luisa needed a husky-voiced actress?”

Encanto isn’t ignorant of traditional female stereotypes. In fact, the portrayal of women – drawn from the traditional family culture of Colombia, which Woke Disney feels ok portraying – is quite excellent otherwise: Mom heals people by feeding them. Another woman’s emotions swing around from sunny skies to literal storm clouds. One of the women hears everything & isn’t trustworthy.

Then there is Louisa.

My wife’s theory is that Louisa is there to function like The Objective Room at N.I.C.E. did for Mark Studdock in Lewis’ That Hideous Strength: force the affirmation that reality is plastic, free to be formed & reshaped at human will.

If this isn’t familiar to you (a) you have to read Lewis’ Ransom Trilogy. The 3rd book, That Hideous Strength, is the blueprint for what we’re living through. Here’s more on Studdock & the Objective Room from The Discovery Institute but be warned: spoilers abound.

Here’s the take-away. Disney is deeply, deeply committed to using their access to children’s lives to shape what children think of as “normal.” That’s young brain is a sponge & this works for information, practice, & aesthetics. Disney knows this & uses it. Do you?

They couldn’t be clearer. This is what they want – and families who want to see their children live well (and on the far side of our cultural descent into actual madness) better get on this, decide where Disney gets to come in your house, & how to talk to your kids in a way that helps them love the true, good, and beautiful while (as a necessary corollary) recognizing + rejecting this kind of dehumanizing messaging.

We live in a constant propaganda onslaught. This isn’t the time to get lax.

Need help? You can read more here: “Kids’ Movies, Disney Princesses, and the Moral Discipleship of Children

Want more? We’re trying here at Servants and Heralds with Pop Culture Coram Deo; Jared and both I write and record the podcast to give families a hand up on how to live & move in our pop culture environment.

If you are up for a more thorough treatment the best I know is The Pop Culture Parent – Jared Moore, Stephen Burnett, and Ted Turnau do a great job in the book (a) helping parents ramp up or (b) improve on already-strong practice.

To close, women are wonders of God’s creative goodness & wisdom. Louisa, part of our ongoing assault on reality, masks, hides, & conceals that truth. Women are strong, indeed, in uniquely feminine ways- in ways that contrast with currently fashionable destructive nonsense.

Transgender weightlifter Janae Marie Kroc. Photo by Per Bernal.


The twitter thread that began this post got rediscovered by the Egalitarian/LGBTQ+/Woke crowd. I thought I would add an update that came out of that renewal of interest.

1.) We know what non-Size 1 characters in Disney look like. We also know what guys look like. Below you’ll find an example of each. Which does Luisa most resemble?

2.) The bad guys get exactly what I’m saying (see the Looper pic above) and fought really hard to make it happen. This is directly counter to the normal insistence that body representation be handled accurately. What do you think made them pivot from that insistence?

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5 thoughts on “Luisa Madrigal from Encanto is a Bright and Shiny Assault on Reality

  1. Varied entertainment is propaganda but imposing religion in schools it’s normal, LMAO.
    Nevertheless, it’s ironic seeing a guy complaining about the diversity of reality while judging “normality” through the lenses of the Bible, a book that has been modified countless times to fit any agenda of any era.

    1. “Modified countless times” is funny.

      No new material from the atheists in a while, huh? Woke stuff ate y’all alive.

  2. I don’t know about unrealistic, there is a mom that looks like Luisa from Encanto. Here is the link.

    There is also a female body builder who would disagree with you.
    She goes by the name sporty Beth on youtube.

    That being said, I disliked Luisa’s design. Strong women can be beautiful. Look at characters like Wonder Woman, Tsunade from Naruto, the female characters from the 80s She-ra. I found Luisa’s character depressing; it was like she could not embrace her femininity. Throughout the movie she is treated like a man. In one scene she helping people get off their donkeys and parking them. I always though she must secretly wish she had gotten Isabela’s powers. Isabela may have been under the pressure to be perfect and have an arranged marriage but at least she got to be feminine. People see her as a lady and treat her as one.

  3. 100% disagree. I am a woman with big muscles and I have a deep voice, I have always felt self conscious. Diverse representation of body types does not make her a man in a dress. You can do a simple hashtag search and see all the muscular women dressing as Luisa in cosplay. Your point is close-minded and way more dangerous to youth than this movie.

  4. Thank you, I honestly hate Luisa’s character design. I keep seeing feminists praise it, but anyone with knowledge of the human body knows that a woman cannot become that buff without steroids or having too much testosterone. The women of the colonial era were working hard all the time and they never became buff. Besides her overall masculine design, she is used in a very masculine way by her family. I would have loved to see a large woman portrayed in a feminine way.

    Most of the women that resemble Luisa in real life aren’t buff they are just overweight.

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