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With three Oscar nominations for Encanto today – Best Original Score for Germaine Franco; Best Animated Feature for Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Yvett Merino, and Clark Spencer; and Best Original song for “Dos Oruguitas” by Lin-Manuel Miranda – it’s hard to say the beloved film from Walt Disney Animation Studios was snubbed. But there is still at least one glaring omission as far as fans are concerned.
Sure, we all get plenty emotional while listening to “Dos Oruguitas,” but “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is not just a banger and a stone groove, but also a bona fide hit. So much so that last month, it became the first original Disney song to sit atop Billboard's Hot 100 list since Aladdin's "A Whole New World" (written by Alan Menken and Tim Rice) did so way back in 1993. And that’s not to mention all the TikTok reenactment play it’s still getting.
Well, everyone’s talking about “Bruno” today, now that the wrong song seems to have been nominated. But according to Entertainment Weekly, there’s some viable reasoning behind it… namely the Mouse House didn’t submit “Bruno” to the Academy to vote upon. But perhaps that's all part of Disney's plan?
At the time of submission for Academy consideration, Disney didn’t know it had a hit on its hands with “Bruno.” So instead, they opted to avoid splitting votes and go with just the Spanish language ballad, “Dos Oruguitas,” which forgoes the snappy pop number for the more dramatic fare.
As EW points out, this goes along with most of Disney’s past Best Original Song winners: Pocahontas' "Colors of the Wind," Beauty and the Beast’s title number, The Lion King’s "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," and Aladdin’s "A Whole New World." Granted, The Little Mermaid’s “Under the Sea” defies that rule, since it was submitted over the schmaltzier "Part of Your World," perhaps because Oscar and everyone else knows that down where it’s wetter is always better.
As far as Encanto goes, co-director Howard told the New York Times they chose “Dos Oruguitas” because 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." So there’s plenty of emotional heft involved, even if it’s not quite the earworm that “Bruno” has become.
If Disney did choose wisely, and the song does prove Oscar worthy this year, it will give Lin-Manuel Miranda the coveted EGOT honor: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. So here's hoping the Academy won't sing "no, no, no" while wondering where "Bruno" is.
The Academy Awards take place Sunday, March 27 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.