We Don’t Talk About Bruno Is Disney’s First Number-One Song in America Since Aladdin
You telling the story or am I?
Encanto family, we have won. For the first time since Aladdin‘s “A Whole New World,” a Disney song has the top spot on the American music charts—”We Don’t Talk About Bruno” has won.
According to CNN, not even “Let It Go,” the song that terrorized elementary and middle school teachers for years, was able to claim that status. It peaked at #5.
In Disney’s Encanto, the Colombian family of the Madrigals live in a mountain village where their magical abilities help keep the community safe and protected. Our protagonist, Mirabel, is the only member of the family to not have received a magical gift. As a result, she feels left out by the other members of a family, which makes her feel like an outsider.
A fellow outsider in the family is Mirabel’s Tio Bruno, who has the power of prophecy, but just like Cassandra from Greek Mythology, just because you can see the future doesn’t mean people will actually listen. Bruno gets mythologized by the family and the town as a malevolent Loki-like figure, with rats along his back, who blights people’s lives with his sight (except Isabela, who was promised to have the life of her dreams and super flower powers—love that for her).
He is introduced this way in “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” in which the many members of his family talk about all the reasons they “don’t talk” about the lost member of their family.
I could honestly sing every single word of the song, but you should just watch it again. I know you want to.
Eventually, we realize that the truth is a lot sadder and more tragic than the song implies.
But why is the song so good?
Like any great musical number, it feels like a huge outpouring of emotions that could only be shared by song. It is dynamic, constantly moving, and it tells a lot about the characters singing.
Pepa, Bruno’s sister and one of the original Madrigal triplets, still holds a lot of resentment towards her brother for “ruining” her wedding. But it also highlights just how anxious her powers can make her, while her husband, Félix, just like in the song, is supportive and doesn’t care about the storm clouds.
Dolores Madrigal, Pepa and Félix’s oldest child, who has super-hearing, is empathic towards Bruno having powers that confused the family and being cursed with information that he didn’t ask for. Dolores could likely feel the same way since she always has access to everyone’s talking, gossip, etc. That girl has heard things.
Camilo Madrigal, the shapeshifter and Pepa and Félix’s elder son, exaggerates and only remembers the most theatrical aspects of Bruno’s personality. Since he was probably fairly young when Bruno left the family, he probably only remembers that.
As for the town lamenting their dead fish, balding, and guts, after watching the movie, it illustrates how the village has come to rely on the Madrigal family to magically assist them. And when they can’t—well, it can affect how they are seen.
It is a catchy song, but it also is an effective musical number that explains the story—everything a musical number should be.
Now, I’m going to play it three more times.
(via CNN, image: Disney)
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