Animation behemoth Disney is renowned for creating fun, endearing family films. The Disney machine has, to date, produced 120 feature films, and you have to admit, they very rarely fail to deliver, much like recent hit Encanto. Certainly, Disney’s offerings of late have stepped up a notch, with films like Luca, Soul and Inside Out bringing further nuance and emotion to the animated world.
One thing remains a constant with Disney’s work though, and that is its penchant for a catchy musical number. The staple of any great Disney film is a glorious, original soundtrack. Think back to classics such as The Jungle Book and 101 Dalmations, or the incredible run Disney enjoyed in the 1990s with films like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. Wherever you look, great songs are there to be found in the Disney archives.
More recently, it was the music of Frozen which captured the hearts of children, and invaded the minds of parents the world over. Until now, that is. With their latest effort, Encanto, Disney has produced another musical marvel and the breakout hit song ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ has matched a twenty-seven-year-old record.
After rising to number four on the Billboard top 100, ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ becomes the first Disney song to chart that high since 1995. Previously, ‘Colours Of The Wind’ from Pocahontas, and ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight?’ from The Lion King in 1994, both also reached the top four. Queen Elsa of Arendelle, sadly, only ever reached number five in the Billboard chart, with ‘Let It Go’.
It’s easy to see why Encanto has been so successful, too. The songs are fantastic. Thanks to my kids, the soundtrack is on a loop in my household all day, every day. Sure, I would love to be able to hear my own thoughts again instead of the Disney earworms, but that’s the life of a parent, I guess. But, it’s Bruno’s theme which steals the show, with the tune topping many streaming charts, and hitting number one on the global Youtube music videos chart.
Funnily enough, this song could have been very different were it not for Lin Manuel Miranda. Originally, the character of Bruno was set to be named Oscar, before Miranda decided against it. Suffice to say, ‘We Don’t Talk About Oscar’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, so chalk that up as another win for the musical maestro.
Encanto has clearly struck a chord with audiences, for many reasons, not least of all for the fact it continues Disney’s drive for diversity and exploration of different cultures. It seems Encanto’s huge success could well lead to a Disney Plus spin-off series, too, according to the film’s director, Jared Bush.