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Alma Madrigal is the matriarch of the Madrigal family and a major character in Disney's 2021 animated feature film, Encanto.


Abuela Alma is the matriarch of the Madrigal family. When she was younger - when Pepa, Julieta, and Bruno were babies - she and her husband Pedro were forced to flee their home village from armed conflict. The marauders followed and in an attempt to let everyone escape, Pedro sacrificed himself by distracting them so his family could escape and got himself killed. When Alma was left hopeless in the darkest moment, a miracle blessed them and her candle, creating La Casa Madrigal. To this day, every child born in the family is blessed with their own unique magical gifts, except Alma's youngest granddaughter Mirabel.


As matriarch of the Madrigal Family, Alma is dedicated to doing what (in her eyes) is best for her family, and hoists expectations on her children and grandchildren in how they use their gifts to help the community. She is stern, firm, and unfortunately often assumes the worst in a situation or even in others, especially her son, Bruno, and her youngest granddaughter, Mirabel.

Alma tries to be patient and understanding, but from her point of view, she feels some should just step aside and do nothing without her express approval. As a result, she is very controlling and denies there is anything wrong, assuring her neighbors that all is well and that there is nothing to fear, even when Casa Madrigal is cracking all around her.

When she sees how her expectations of her family are unraveling because of Mirabel (who is only trying to help the family), who will seemingly cause the miracle to disappear according to Bruno's vision, Alma unfairly blames her for everything, accusing her of hurting the family out of resentment for not receiving a gift. It is then when her angered granddaughter turns the argument back on her by snapping that the family's issues and miracle fading is really because of Alma pressuring them to constantly be perfect, followed by the casita collapsing, that Alma realizes how much she has put her family through.

In a sincere heart-to-heart with Mirabel, Alma reveals more insight on their family begininings: her husband Pedro, the family patriarch, sacrificed his life to buy time for his family and the refuges they were traveling with to escape from the pursuing marauders that forced them from their village, resulting in the birth of their miracle which repelled the attackers and created their encanto. Losing the love of her life, her home and everything she knew and loved traumatized Alma so much that she swore it would never happen again, determined to preserve it. But over time, she lost sight of what truly mattered and unintentionally took their miracle for granted, and she forgot what made their family so special was not the magic but the fact that they are a family, which is the real miracle.

Now understanding the pain and loss Alma has suffered, Mirabel assures her grandmother that it is because of her that they were granted a miracle, that they are a family and nothing is so broken that they cannot fix together. Touched by her granddaughter's words, Alma finally realizes, after asking Pedro for help, that Mirabel was the answer to her prayers and they reconcile.

Alma then becomes a happier and warmer person than she was before, and reconciles with the rest of her family, apologizing for how she held on too tight out of fear she would lose them all as well, but now understands that they are the true miracle, not the gift of magic itself, and the bonds of family are reforged stronger than ever as they and the community rebuild the Casita, the newfound foundation in the family restoring the magic.

Physical appearance[]

Abuela Alma is an old woman with grey hair and hazel eyes. She wears a long maroon/magenta dress with butterflies and streaks embroidered on it, a belt with a key and two pocket watches, and black high heels. On special occasions, like a Madrigal child's gift ceremony or Isabela's proposal dinner, Alma wears a black shawl.

When Alma was younger, she was slightly taller with a slim build and had her brown hair tied in two braids with red ribbons; she had donned a white shirt with a red skirt. during the escape from her village, she wore a magenta sweater.

Powers and abilities[]

While having no magical gift herself, Abuela Alma is in charge of all the magic in the family since she takes care of the magical candle that gives her family their magical gifts.


  • Early in production, the character's name was Andrea.[1]
  • Alma wears a black shawl. This shows that she is in mourning for her husband Pedro. After revisting the sight of his death in years and making amends with Mirabel, she no longer wears it when she apologizes to her family in "All of You", displaying she has made peace with passing.
  • While not much focus is given to Alma's room, it is supposed to be an exact recreation of her old home.