“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” just passed “Let It Go” to become the biggest Billboard Hot 100 hit for a Disney movie in 26 years.
Lin-Manuel Miranda worked on the music and songs for Encanto for five years, and he joked that his 7-year-old and 3-year-old were his “beta testers,” in that if they liked a song, he knew it was perfect.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, his dad Luis, and the Encanto filmmaking team took a two-week research trip to Colombia where they were able to study the music and culture that helped influence the songs.
Due to the fact that everyone was working on Encanto from home, Disney was very strict about giving footage out. So, Lin-Manuel Miranda had to ask for specific sections of the film while writing the songs.
“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” was inspired by the thing that happens in a family where everyone always gossips about the thing you all agree not to talk about.
When creating the character of Bruno, director Jared Bush sent Lin-Manuel Miranda a list of potential names for the character and Lin immediately replied, “Definitely Bruno.” It was because the name perfectly fit for a song Lin was writing: “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.”
“The Family Madrigal” is inspired by “Belle” from Beauty and the Beast. Both songs introduce the audience to the characters and town.
In “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” when the entire family is singing over each other, they are all singing over the same chord progression with “a totally different rhythm and a totally different cadence.”
The different styles of music showcased in “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” were also meant to represent the “incredible amount of variety” within Colombian music.
After Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” he recorded a demo track to send to the directors and cast, where he sang all 10 parts.
Due to COVID-19, the actors actually recorded their parts for “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” separately in studios across the United States and Colombia.
Disney submitted “Dos Oruguitas” for consideration in the Best Original Song category at the 2022 Academy Awards, and if it wins it would become Disney’s first non-English-language winner in the category.
When Mirabel starts singing fast and naming her family members in “The Family Madrigal,” it is actually the fastest singing a character has had to do in Disney history.
Also, for that Mirabel verse in “The Family Madrigal,” Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote it so it sounds like a horn line and something that would sound great on a tumpet.
“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” recently surpassed “Let It Go” from Frozen to become the biggest Billboard Hot 100 hit from a Disney animated movie in 26 years.
When Bruno sings his apology to Pepa during “All of You” about ruining her wedding day, he sings “Let it go,” and then the opening notes of “Let It Go” from Frozen can be heard as part of the song.
“Waiting on a Miracle” is written in a totally different beat than the rest of the songs in Encanto to show that Mirabel is “literally out of beat” with the rest of her family.
Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote “Surface Pressure” as a “love letter and apology” to his older sister, who had to deal with a lot of the same pressures Luisa faces.
Lin-Manuel Miranda says it’s “thrilling” to be a lyricist working on an animated movie because the animators can move “at the speed of thought.” Like for “Surface Pressure,” Lin was simply rhyming everything he could with the word “nervous,” and they were able to animate it all.
In order to get the folk sound for “Dos Oruguitas,” Lin-Manuel Miranda imitated some of his favorite songwriters like Antônio Carlos Jobim and Joan Manuel Serrat.
Lin-Manuel Miranda personally picked Sebastián Yatra to join the Encanto soundtrack after listening to his song “Adiós,” which was recently nominated for a Latin Grammy Award.
While writing “Colombia, Mi Encanto,” Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspired a lot by Carlos Vives, who ended up recording the song for the film.
The Encanto directors Jared Bush and Byron Howard, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and teams across the world worked tirelessly to make sure the songs could be translated into as many languages as possible while keeping the “spirit of the song” in tact.
In fact, a video of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” which features the hit song sung in 21 different languages, surpassed more than 12 million views on YouTube in just one week.
And finally, the entire Encanto soundtrack became only the sixth animated film soundtrack to hit No. 1 in the history of the Billboard Hot 200 albums chart, which began regularly publishing weekly in 1956.