The Success Of Encanto’s ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’: Disney’s Latest Number One Hit Song

Olivia Mayne

Disney fans’ latest obsession, Encanto, a film about the valuing of the familial bond over individual talents, has taken the world by storm with its catchy soundtrack living rent-free in our heads. Olivia Mayne discusses the reasons why the renowned song We Don’t Talk About Bruno has seen such immense success.

We Don’t Talk About Bruno is in prime position on the US Billboard charts, being the first Disney song in over two decades to reach number one. Let’s hope Frozen can Let it Go! Terrible puns aside, a chart topper doesn’t just materialise itself, so who is the mastermind behind such a hit? Lin-Manuel Miranda, of course! The multi award winning actor, singer-songwriter, playwright and film director, *insert breath*, has yet another notch in his belt with the success of WDTAB, which even bumped Adele out of the top spot (sorry Adele). You might also recognise Lin from his long list of phenomenal musical successes, including Hamilton, In the Heights and his composition in Disney’s Moana.

It was his kid’s reaction to the song, as he was writing it, which affirmed to Lin that it was catchy

As legendary as he is, Lin doesn’t refrain from sharing with us his sweet personality and funny stories about his song writing process for Encanto. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, the exuberant Lin charmed audiences with his revelation that he, “Had to have an NDA for toddlers’ conversation” with his children who kept singing WDTAB, saying, “You guys can’t sing this at school… because you know, your friends don’t know the song yet.” Lin laughs with Jimmy, exclaiming that “We don’t talk about, We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” And it was his kid’s reaction to the song, as he was writing it, which affirmed to Lin that it was catchy and had the potential to be a successful hit.

Indeed, it is so infectious that covers, renditions and parodies have taken social media platforms like TikTok by the reins, with over 11.5 million content creators using the song in their videos. Lin-Manuel Miranda highlights on The Tonight Show that what makes WDTAB’s success more significant is that it is not a solo, ballad or comedic song, but rather a group song, which, regarding its genre, tends to not “get the same kind of love”. Yet, WDTAB’s mashup of Broadway and Latin American influence elevates it as a group number. The song consists of the majority of the cast members singing solos which cumulate and climax at the songs ending to create an overlapping musical tapestry of voices.

Its success attests to the power of team work

Basic melodies repeat over the same chord progression, which is a bassline syncopated with a montuno rhythm, giving the song a Latin American dance vibe. Genius, right! (Thank Lin for that). The song is characterised by the coming together of all the family members in the joint fear of the family’s psychic uncle, Bruno. Its success attests to the power of team work, especially since the cast has to record independently in various location due to COVID-19 restrictions. This group achievement just goes to show, in the wise Encanto lyrics of Lin-Manuel Miranda, “It’s a dream when we work as a team” and whilst the Madrigal family insists that “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”, we DO need to talk about this song and the reasons why it deserves the success it has received thus far.

Olivia Mayne

Featured image courtesy of Budiey via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes made to this image.

In-article images courtesy of @encantomovie via instagram.com. No changes made to these images.

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