We thought Encanto’s ‘We Don’t Talk about Bruno’ couldn’t get any better. We were wrong.
If you didn’t spend all of January 2022 singing “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” to yourself several times a day, what were you even doing?
People who have watched Disney’s “Encanto” and become enchanted with the songs—which is hard not to do when Lin-Manuel Miranda is involved—have joked about what an earworm “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is. But it’s not a joke. That song gets in your head and takes over everything. Only unlike many earwormy songs, you end up not minding too much because it’s such a good song. It’s not No. 1 on the Billboard Chart—both domestically and globally—for no reason.
(Hot tip: When “Bruno” inevitably gets stuck in your head, it’s best just to lean into it. Turn it on and turn it up. Sing it out loud and dance around the house. Get your family to join in. Fighting it is futile.)
My family really didn’t think “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” could get any better. We’d seen some remixes and mash-ups, but nothing made the original any better—until now.
Last month, Disney released a version of the song that seamlessly incorporates 21 different languages. Disney movies are beloved around the world and their popular films get dubbed into various languages. It’s a formidable task, trying to match up the voices and timing and meaning as closely as possible to the original while still sounding good in different languages. As with all things Disney, the standards of quality are high, which becomes apparent when you see how well it works to put these languages together.
For those who haven’t heard it (First of all, how? Secondly, why?) the song is sung by various members of the Madrigal family, whose individual magical gifts help them serve the village of Encanto. The gift of one family member, Bruno, was the ability to glimpse the future, which had caused some problems in the past when people misunderstood his predictions as actually causing those things to happen. He disappeared one day, leaving behind nothing but rumors about how he had made all kinds of terrible things happen, which is what this song illustrates.
Amazing, right? It’s mind-blowing how many languages there are in the world (this is just 21 of thousands) and that humans have so many ways of saying—or singing—the exact same thing. Many of us may have never even heard some of these languages spoken before. And some of them sound a bit different when they are sung versus being spoken. So fun to listen to.
The video has been viewed more than 27 million times. And now Disney has released a version of another “Encanto” favorite “Surface Pressure” in 27 languages. And yes, it’s just as impressive.
“Surface Pressure” is the theme song for Luisa, the Madrigal family member whose gift of strength is constantly being called upon by the family and community. She sings about how much pressure she feels beneath the surface to always be strong, never breaking no matter what. Her song has resonated with people everywhere who suffer from expectations of perfection and being able to handle it all, either from themselves or others.
It’s an internal reality people in various cultures face, so hearing it sung in more than two dozen languages truly feels right.
Well done, Disney. Just when we think you’ve achieved unmatched greatness yet again, you turn around and make it even better.
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