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Let’s Talk About Bruno: Why ‘Encanto’ Song’s Success Is Such a Big Deal

"We Don't Talk About Bruno" transcends "Let It Go" on Billboard's Hot 100, and that's a tremendous deal.

As it turns out, we do gotta talk about Bruno. The hit song from Disney's "Encanto" called "We Don't Talk About Bruno" has sprung to the top of the charts, becoming Disney's highest-ranking song since 1995. 

The Frozen Juggernaut

I distinctly remember the year 2014. It was a fun year, personally. One could not escape "Let It Go" from Disney's smash hit, "Frozen." It was freaking everywhere. It was one of the only Disney songs I'd ever seen morph into memes, mash-ups, and absurd parodies. That massive movie had "Breaking Bad" parodies on youtube that you can find. "Frozen" was inescapable. "Let It Go" peaked at Billboard's #5 back in 2014.

Representation Matters

In the seven years since Frozen's release, the world has changed a lot. Representation has always mattered, but people seem to recognize it a little more now. 

Other than a "Frozen" sequel (which in my opinion was incredible and better than the original) there have been a minimum of five (Moana, Coco, Raya and the Last Dragon, and now Encanto) Disney releases that focus on minority cultures and voices. 

Latino (or Latinx if you prefer) culture was beautifully represented in the dominantly Mexican-themed "Coco." The soundtrack from "Coco" reached the top 40 billboard charts and took home two Academy Awards back in 2018. 

With "Encanto" now jumping even higher on the charts, this should tell mainstream studios that Latino/x culture is important to represent, as well as other ethnic representation. "Encanto" is set in Colombia and does a wonderful job representing a lot of South-American and Colombian cultural aspects. The song "We Don't Talk About Bruno" stems from the main character's (Mirabel) search for her repudiated Uncle. I am resisting describing more to avoid spoiler's because I think everyone should see this film. 

Disney's Golden Age

Disney had top 5 hits from their '90s era classics "Aladdin," "The Lion King," and "Pocahontas." Growing up a '90's kid, it seemed like right when "The Little Mermaid" came out, Disney cranked out hit after hit. Disney had "Hall and Oates" type staying power on the charts in the '90s. Over the past seven years or so, Disney film releases have clawed their way back to the top of the charts. 

With "We Don't Talk About Bruno," Disney's smash hit puts it in a three-way tie as the second-highest-performing song from any animated Disney movie. Much of the music from "Encanto" was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda of "Hamilton" fame who has also written songs for Disney's 2016 smash-hit, "Moana."

As mentioned above, the success of yet another Latino/x centered Disney film touches the heart, personally. There has been a need for representation in mainstream films. Disney has made a lot of those films. Disney isn't perfect, obviously, but these movies are important. When "Rogue One: A Star Wars" story had a main character played by a Mexican actor, I was over the moon. Like many men of my age, I grew up on Star Wars, and seeing my culture represented touched my very soul.

"Coco" made me cry like a baby. It was a touching film with a rich injection of Mexican culture. 

"Encanto" finally reaches a South American Latino/x culture that has been without representation for some time. With this film and especially the music that has topped the charts, Disney hit it out of the park.