Lin-Manuel Miranda Explains Why ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ Wasn’t The Encanto Song Disney Submitted For Oscar Consideration

Every year, Oscar nominations are heavily debated, as many like to discuss the chosen nominees as well as the surprises and the snubs. Of course, this year was no different, and the music of Disney's Encanto has been a major part of the discussion. The film's “Dos Oruguitas” was nominated for Best Original Song, while mega-hit “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” was not submitted for awards consideration. The choice has left many fans scratching their heads and, now, the writer of the songs, Lin-Manuel Miranda, explained why the latter wasn’t submitted.

Of course, “Dos Oruguitas” was an important song in the extremely popular Disney movie, as it represented Mirabel and her grandmother, Alma, finally mending their relationship after a major blow-up. Still, it was the earworm “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” that took the world by storm. So it’s understandable that people would wonder why the catchy tune wasn't thrown into the awards mix. But the reason for the former song becoming the Oscar contender had more to do with the film’s overall message, according to Lin-Manuel Miranda. The Tick, Tick… Boom! director said to Variety's Awards Circuit podcast:

I’m still proud of ‘Dos Oruguitas’ as the submission. When those are the parameters, you have to pick the thing that best exemplifies the spirit of the movie, and it contains all of it inside this song – as opposed to a journey of a particular character. It’s the foundational story, but I’m not going to say it wasn’t hard [to choose].

The Hamilton creator did hit the nail on the head when explaining why that song was chosen over the chart-topping hit. Potential Oscar contenders must be submitted by Nov. 1 to be considered nominees for the awards ceremony, which leads to some tough decisions on the studios’ part. In Encanto’s case, the movie hadn’t been released yet, but Disney, of course, wanted to make sure it had a horse in the race. So the multihyphenate chose the song that best fit the overall narrative of the animated film.

This wasn’t the first time Lin-Manuel Miranda and Disney went with the most fitting option over the obvious choice. Miranda wrote music for another Disney musical animated hit, Moana, including signature tunes “How Far I’ll Go” and “You’re Welcome.” Unlike Encanto, both were viral hits, but it was the first one that became an awards season contender. The beloved song ended up getting a Best Original Song nod in 2017. The actor-playwright thought it would’ve been fun to see Dwayne Johnson perform the former on the Oscars stage. But it was in Miranda's best interest to choose the song that best fits the overall theme of the story.

Between the soundtrack and its streaming success, Encanto has become a worldwide hit, with viewers rewatching the film and indulging in its strong soundtrack. And Lin-Manuel Miranda is aware of the animated musical’s cultural status, as he revealed his son is over the ubiquity of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.”

The animated film’s tremendous success may lead to a new franchise as alluded to by Disney CEO Bob Chapek during a recent earnings call. Could that mean a sequel, a Broadway show (which the songwriter thinks the music lends itself to) a tie-in theme park attraction or all the above? Only time will tell, which is the same that can be said for how the film's chosen song will perform at the Oscars.

In the meantime, you can listen to both “Dos Oruguitas” and “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and see where they ranked among the Encanto songs. You can also stream the Oscar-nominated film, which is one of the best movies on Disney+.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).