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How Disney Created the Hit Single ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’

Despite its huge popularity, “Bruno” won’t get any Oscar love: The studio submitted only “Dos Oruguitas,” an emotional Spanish ballad performed by Sebastián Yatra, for awards consideration. That song, while not as ubiquitous as “Bruno,” made the academy’s best original song short list last month. Should it go on to take the statuette, it would make history as Disney’s first non-English-language winner.

“‘Dos Oruguitas’ was so central to the emotional theme of the movie,” Howard said when asked if they had considered submitting “Bruno.” He added, “It’s probably the most critical bit of musical storytelling in the whole film because it has to do with the history of the family and Mirabel understanding her grandmother.”

In fact, betting on “Bruno” would have been a bold strategic departure. You’d need to look as far back as “Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid” (1989) to find a Disney Oscar winner with a similar theatrical quirkiness. Since then, when the studio has wowed the academy, it has been overwhelmingly for ballads, including “A Whole New World” (“Aladdin”), “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (“The Lion King”), “Colors of the Wind” (“Pocahontas”), “Let It Go” (“Frozen”) and “Remember Me” (Pixar’s “Coco”), along with the occasional Randy Newman ditty.

Besides, multiple submissions could have risked the possibility of splitting votes, and Miranda lacks only an Oscar to achieve the rare career E.G.O.T. This wouldn’t be his first nomination: His “Moana” track, “How Far I’ll Go,” lost to “City of Stars” from “La La Land.” (In addition to his work on “Encanto,” he also directed “Tick, Tick … Boom!” and could potentially land a nomination for that film.)

Beyond awards season, the “Encanto” directors said they were open to the possibility of a sequel, stage show or spinoff series. “I would love for there to be continuing stories of these characters because they’re real people to us,” Bush said. “Ninety minutes is not enough time to spend with the Madrigals.”

And despite some fans’ theories that “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” — and the repeated reprimand “Silenzio, Bruno!” in the Pixar film “Luca” — show Disney has an anti-Bruno agenda, the filmmakers insist it isn’t so.

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