Disney’s Encanto Has Even More Smash Hits From Lin-Manuel Miranda

Mirabel and Bruno looking surprised in Encanto
(Image credit: Disney)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Lin-Manuel Miranda is a musical genius and cannot write a bad song. The award-winning mastermind behind Hamilton and In the Heights is next gifting the world with eight original songs in Disney’s Encanto. And we know that all of Miranda’s new songs are smash hits because the creators of the film had a rough time naming a favorite. 

With a couple of months left until release, the amazing team at Walt Disney Animation Studios is hard at work putting the finishing touches on the feature film Encanto. Disney was kind enough to give some members of the press an early look, and I was completely blown away. Right off the bat, it had me singing new Lin-Manuel Miranda songs, so I had to ask the creators their favorites when I spoke with them on behalf of CinemaBlend, and it turned out to be my toughest question! Director Byron Howard answered with the following:

I would say I have favorites for different reasons. The Family Madrigal song that begins the movie is probably the fastest singing that a Disney character has ever done, like in the history of Disney ever it’s incredible. And Stephanie [Beatriz] nails it, and it's just such a fun romp through this amazing town and meeting the family members and just the color and the variety and the choreography. That is a real standout for me.

Encanto has a big cast, twelve members of the Madrigal family to be exact. They live in a magical house hidden in the mountains of Colombia, and every member of the family is given a magical gift when they come of age. Everyone except Mirabel, that is. The filmmakers needed a memorable way to introduce the characters and their gifts to the audience, and that’s done with Mirabel (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz)’s opening song written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. 

There is a missing member of the Madrigal family, Bruno, who the others don’t talk about. Why they don’t discuss him is explored in the catchiest song which is my personal favorite (although I haven’t heard all the songs yet, so I reserve the right to change my mind), and many on the Encanto animation team. Producer Yvette Merino said:

It's a cop-out to say I love them all, but the Bruno song from the moment it came in, We Don't Talk About Bruno has always been one of the ones that I kind of sit there and move to every single time. All of them though. I do.

You can’t not dance to this song. I dare you to try when you hear it. Director and co-writer Jared Bush offered more praise for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ while also hyping another song. He said:

I won't say Bruno, ‘cause you've already said Bruno, but Bruno is definitely a huge standout. I will say that when we heard Louisa’s song, Surface Pressure, for the first time, from the beginning Lin was like ‘I think the strong sister is all about reggaeton.’ And when he brought that song in, we were like, ‘oh my God, it's so fun.’ It comes at a point in the movie where you need big comedy, huge fantasy. We have dancing donkeys. I mean, it's, I don't know how you can beat that song.

This all just speaks to the genius of Lin-Manuel Miranda. Need to establish twelve characters in a three-minute song? Done. Need to give Luisa, a character with super-strength, a fun number that showcases her gift while simultaneously displaying the emotional weight she carries? Done. Is there anything Miranda cannot do?

Lin-Manuel Miranda made me cry when watching Hamilton, Netflix’s Vivo, In the Heights, and Moana, so I was already expecting to cry at some point during Encanto. Co-director and co-writer Charise Castro Smith all but confirmed that will happen with these words:

The last song of the movie is pretty extraordinary. Lin really was able to combine lots of different themes from the entire movie into that one song. And it's just an amazing ensemble piece. So I really love that one.

You don’t have long to wait before thanking Lin-Manuel Miranda for creating more of your favorites. Disney’s Encanto is playing in theaters November 24th. You’ll be singing and dancing to these hits in no time.

Samantha LaBat

Obsessed with Hamilton and most things Disney. Gets too attached to TV show characters. Loves a good thriller, but will only tolerate so much blood.