Why the chart-topping 'Encanto' song 'We Don't Talk About Bruno' wasn't eligible for an Oscar nod

Instead, the Disney movie's ballad 'Dos Oruguitas' scored the Oscar nomination.

OTRC logo
Tuesday, February 8, 2022
'We Don't Talk About Bruno' is the No. 1 song in America
The catchy tune, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, knocked Adele's "Easy On Me" out of the top spot.

LOS ANGELES -- This month, "We Don't Talk About Bruno" from "Encanto" became the highest-charting song from a Disney animated film in more than 26 years, ranking higher than even "Let It Go."

Lin-Manuel Miranda's catchy tune has been streamed on Spotify 100 million times. The last Disney song to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart was "A Whole New World" from "Aladdin" in 1993.

But even as everyone is talking about "Bruno", it won't be competing at the Oscars. ("No, no, no," as the song goes.)

Instead, "Encanto's" moving, allegorical ballad "Dos Oruguitas" scored the Oscar nomination, the Academy revealed Tuesday.

FULL LIST: 2022 Oscar nominations

Jane Campion's gothic western "The Power of the Dog" led nominations for the 94th Oscars. Here are the nominees in key categories.

The reason? Miranda said he never saw the massive popularity of "We Don't Talk About Bruno" coming. The Academy only accepts two songs from any one film by the same writer on its shortlist. Also, submission deadlines were in fall 2021, weeks before "Encanto's" meteoric rise in popularity.

"I was saying to a friend: I think this is my 'Send in the Clowns,'" Miranda said in an interview with the Associated Press. "'Send in the Clowns' was Stephen Sondheim's only chart-topper. Who would have guessed out of the millions of songs he wrote that it would be 'Send in the Clowns'? It feels random in one sense."

"But on the other hand, we've all been locked up for two years," he continued. "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."

Disney instead submitted "Dos Oruguitas" -- sung by Colombian singer-songwriter Sebastián Yatra -- for consideration. The song's name translates as "Two Caterpillars" and played in the background during a flashback showing the traumatic origins of the Madrigal family's powers.

Miranda composed it striving for the simplicity and metaphor of an old folk song.

"It's one of the only songs where a character is not singing it. You're not seeing a character sing it, and I think it's all the more powerful because of it," he said.

And "Bruno" isn't the only "Encanto" song to top the charts. "Dos Oruguitas," along with "Surface Pressure," "The Family Madrigal," "What Else Can I Do?" and "Waiting on a Miracle," also charted, and "Encanto" itself became the first movie soundtrack since 2019 to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts earlier this month.

If Miranda scores a win for "Dos Oruguitas," it would give him his first Oscar -- and since he's already won Tonys, Grammys and Emmys -- EGOT status.

Mark your calendars: March 27 is Oscar Sunday. Live coverage begins Sunday morning and continues all day with special "On The Red Carpet" coverage leading up to the 94th Academy Awards ceremony. After the last award is handed out, stay with "On The Red Carpet" for continuing coverage. Be sure to follow @OnTheRedCarpet on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok for all your Oscar news and information.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of this station.