Have you had "We Don't Talk About Bruno" stuck in your head 10 times this past month? If so, you're not alone. Since its premiere on Disney+, the animated hit Encanto has taken over the Internet, thanks to its gorgeous themes of familial love and the catchiest soundtrack ever, composed by Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda. The soundtrack has also been cemented in music history after topping the Billboard charts for three weeks straight, with "Bruno" hitting no. 1 on Billboard, the first Disney song to do so since "A Whole New World" from Aladdin.
For the animated film, set in rural Colombia, Miranda composed several original songs, all inspired by traditional and contemporary Colombian music. These songs get to the heart of the film and the characters' revelations while introducing new musical forms and influences to Disney fans. Here's our breakdown of Encanto's soundtrack.
"The Family Madrigal"
The first song of Encanto is the introduction to the magical Madrigals, sung by our heroine Mirabel, who is spending so much time on her family's powers because she does not have one of her own. Miranda told the Los Angeles Times that his inspiration was "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast, which is also a famous intro song. This is also one of the fastest Disney songs ever, with Stephanie Beatriz getting so many words out it sounds like she's auditioning for Hamilton.
"Colombia, Mi Encanto"
One of the two songs not sung by the cast, "Colombia, Mi Encanto" is a traditional Colombian vallenato sung by iconic singer-songwriter Carlos Vives. It's also a joyous love letter to the country. Miranda told NPR that he was honored to have Vives sing his song. "I'm doing my best Carlos Vives impression as a songwriter. So then to have the great Carlos Vives, who is a hero of mine, to have him actually record the song with his band and his musicians brought a whole other level of authenticity," he said.
"Waiting On A Miracle"
Mirabel's "I want" song reveals how she feels like an outsider within her family without having her own power. In a Disney featurette, Miranda says that he wrote the song on a different beat than all the others, showing that Mirabel's "literally out of beat with the rest of her family." Beatriz also says that by the end of the song, Mirabel realizes that she's ready to "chase down her destiny."
Luisa's song "Surface Pressure," sung by Jessica Darrow, is a bop that speaks to the pressures that the strong ones in families have to go through to keep it all together. In a Disney featurette, Miranda says that the family members are going through "emotional breakthroughs" in their songs, and that feels most true for this one, where Luisa can finally reveals that she can't be strong all the time.
"We Don't Talk About Bruno"
The surprise hit of the soundtrack has grown to become Disney's most popular song in years, thanks in part to its impossibly catchy refrain, "We don't talk about Bruno-no, no, no." Once that gets stuck in your head, there are several threads to follow along, as several members of the family get their own section to reveal their relationship with Bruno and his prophecies. For music nerds, one of the impressive qualities of the song is that each verse is sung over the same chord progression, but with different rhythms and cadences, with Miranda saying that the varied styles were meant to represent the "incredible amount of variety" within Colombian music.
"What Else Can I Do?"
Perfect Isabella's song, sung by Diane Guerrero, is all about how she's bored of being perfect, discovering that her power can be used for so much more than blooming symmetrical flowers. Miranda said in the Disney featurette that the song is inspired by the 90s rock en español movement, evoking musicians like Shakira.
This lovely tearjerker, written by Miranda and sung by Sebastián Yatra, perfectly soundtracks Abuela Alma and Abuelo Pedro's story of love, and the journey that led Abuela to the Madrigal miracle. The lyrics, recorded in both Spanish and English, tell the story of two oruguitas, or caterpillars, who must go their own ways, despite their love for each other, and later turn into mariposas, butterflies. "Dos Oruguitas" is also the film's submission for this year's Oscars, in case you were wondering why "We Don't Talk About Bruno" doesn't end up on the nominations list.
Quinci LeGardye is a Contributing Culture Editor who covers TV, movies, Korean entertainment, books, and pop culture. When she isn’t writing or checking Twitter, she’s probably watching the latest K-drama or giving a concert performance in her car.
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