"We Don't Talk About Bruno" is a song from the computer-animated musical fantasy comedy film Encanto. The movie tells the story of teenager Mirabel Madrigal, born into a Colombian family that possesses magical powers. Because Mirabel does not have any special gift, she's seen as a quirky outsider and gets treated differently. Here, she joins her Aunt Pepa, Uncle Felix, and siblings Dolores, Isabela and Camilo to sing of her vilified Uncle Bruno.
Bruno's ability to see into the future creates multiple grievances that cause the family to outcast him. Nobody mentions Bruno, except telling a cautionary story or gossiping when one of his prophecies comes true. The other family members warn the empathetic Mirabel not to talk about her uncle.
Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana
) wrote this Colombian cha-cha-style song along with all the other Encanto
numbers. He took inspiration from A Little Night Music
's "A Weekend in the Country" and Rent
's "It's Beginning to Snow" as he incorporates several people going in different directions. "It's a complicated family number," Miranda told Indie Wire
"and it introduces themes from characters that we don't have time to go into with their own song."
Miranda wrote this song as a way of bringing the whole Madrigal family to the screen and getting to know them musically. It also shows them chatting behind the back of Abuela Madrigal, the matriarch of the family. "I thought we needed to have a gossip number because there are things you talk about at dinner, in the kitchen after people have left, and there are things you don't talk about in front of Abuela because she doesn't know these two people are dating," he told Variety
. "I pitched that tune, and it allowed me to create musical themes for characters who do not necessarily get their solo."
In the film's early concept art, Bruno's character was called Oscar. Miranda chose the name Bruno so he could work "Bruno, no, no, no" into this song. Also there are a number of real-life Oscar Madrigals in Colombia, so he went for a more unusual Latin first name.
Because of the pandemic, the actors actually recorded their parts for the song in separate studios. Colombian musician Mauro Castillo (Félix) laid down his part in his home country, Rhenzy Feliz (Camilo) in San Luis Obispo, California, and Adassa (Dolores) at her home studio in Nashville.
When "Bruno" climbed to #1 on the Hot 100, it gave Lin-Manuel Miranda his first chart-topping writing credit. His previous best chart placing was the #20 he achieved with his Puerto Rico charity single "Almost Like Praying
"We Don't Talk About Bruno" topped the UK's Official Singles Chart, becoming the first ever original Disney song to do so in the chart's history.
Miranda attributes the song's success to the Covid restrictions of 2020 and 2021. "We've all been locked up for two years," he commented to Associated Press
. "The notion of a bunch of voices happening within one home feels very resonant, with hindsight. There's kind of a part for everyone to play in singing along with the song. If you're not bopping to this melody, another melody is coming along in two seconds because almost every character gets a little feature in it."
Another major factor in the song's success is TikTok. Hordes of users sing along or act out moments from "Talk About Bruno" on the platform, with their videos highlighting its choreography and Latino representation.
When the Encanto soundtrack climbed to #1 on the Billboard 200 chart dated January 15, 2022, it became the sixth animated film soundtrack to top the tally. The Encanto album followed The Lion King (1994), Pocahontas (1995), Curious George (2006), Frozen (2013) and Frozen II (2019).
There are six credited singers: Carolina Gaitán, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero and Stephanie Beatriz. The song broke the all-time record for the most credited singers on a Hot 100 #1 hit.
While "We Don't Talk About Bruno" is being sung, Mariano (Isabela's love interest) walks down the street in a strange manner. When TikTok users cottoned onto Mariano's slow sashay, they started recreating the walk themselves in different scenarios.
"We Don't Talk About Bruno" is the most popular song from Encanto
, but it wasn't submitted for Oscar nomination because Lin-Manuel Miranda felt "Dos Oruguitas
" better represented the film.
Still, "Bruno" was performed on show (as was "Dos Oruguitas"), with guest appearances by Luis Fonsi, Becky G, and Megan Thee Stallion, who did a rap interlude about the song's ubiquity and the ceremony itself.
"We Don't Talk About Bruno" was the most played music video on YouTube in the US in 2022. Kodak Black's "Super Gremlin
" followed in second place, and another Encanto
tune, Jessica Darrow's "Surface Pressure
," came in third.
This won the Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media at the 2023 ceremony. Encanto also won for Best Score Soundtrack and Best Compilation Soundtrack.