Dos Oruguitas

Album: Encanto (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2021)
Charted: 36
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Songfacts®:

  • Colombian singer-songwriter Sebastián Yatra recorded this acoustic, Spanish-language ballad for the Disney animated movie Encanto. Yatra does not voice any of the characters in the film, but producer and songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda admires the singer, and because Encanto is set in Yatra's native country, he asked him to sing this song.
  • "Dos Oruguitas" tells the story of two caterpillars in love (the title translates as "Two Little Caterpillars"). They navigate the world together and for a time are inseparable, before finding themselves cocooned and disorientated. The two creatures don't want to let each other go but realize they will need to in order to fulfill their destinies. By the end, now grown into butterflies, they both know that it is their time to fly apart and find their own future.
  • The song represents the journey of Abuela Alma Madrigal, the matriarch of the Madrigal family, and the truth of her tragic past. Abuela Alma acquired the magic of the Encanto at a pivotal time in her life when she fled her home and lost her husband Pedro. "I wrote the song about these two caterpillars who are in love and don't want to let each other go, but of course, they have to let each other go, because how on earth will the miracle come if they don't make room and make space for that?" Miranda explained to Variety. "That to me felt like a delicious metaphor for what the entire family is going through."
  • Songwriters often use caterpillars as symbols of change as the unappealing creatures transform into beautiful butterflies. Donovan, for instance, sings in "There is a Mountain":

    The caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within
  • "Dos Oruguitas" was Lin-Manuel Miranda's first song written entirely in Spanish. Though Miranda spoke Spanish at his New York home as a child, he's not fluent in the language anymore. When he set himself the task of writing a Colombian folk song that feels like it's always existed, it took him out of his comfort zone.

    Miranda insisted on writing the song first in Spanish, with a thesaurus beside him at all times. "It was important to me that I write it in Spanish, rather than write it in English and translate it, because you can always feel translation," Miranda told The Los Angeles Times. "There are masterful translators out there - I am not one of them. I was really proud of it, I felt like I pulled it from a deeper place within myself."
  • The English version of "Two Oruguitas," also sung by Sebastián Yatra, plays during the end credits of Encanto.
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote eight original songs for Encanto, but "Dos Oruguitas" was the only one submitted for Oscar nomination. Miranda chose "Dos Oruguitas," as he felt it best exemplifies the spirit of Encanto. "That song sort of covers the foundational emotion and moment when this family began," he explained in a Billboard Pop Shop Podcast. "And, so, it kind of made sense organically as the song to submit."

    Another reason Miranda gave was it makes his wife cry. "My wife is a tough cry," he said. "It's very hard to make her feel things. (Laughs.) So, I just sort of was like, 'well this is the song that, you know, feels like the heart of the movie.'"

    Miranda observed the reactions of people watching the movie, as they exclaimed "Oh Abuela, why can't you let anyone live?!" Then they see the tragic flashback where this song plays of Abuela and her late husband Pedro and it forces a reconsideration. "It's the best example of what I think art can do, which is like, engender empathy," he said. "And that's the moment when it happens. So, it kind of organically made sense for us."
  • "Dos Oruguitas" earned an Oscar nomination but lost to Billie Eilish's "No Time To Die" from the James Bond film of the same name. Sebastián Yatra performed the song at the ceremony, which also included a performance of the more popular Encanto song "We Don't Talk About Bruno," even though it wasn't nominated. Encanto did win for Best Animated Feature Film.

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