We don’t usually talk much about Disney’s Hispanic flicks or tunes, but it’s very much worth talking about “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” a track from the Mouse House’s hot soundtrack from “Encanto,” which is now enjoying a third non-successive week at No. 1 on the Billboard’s single and album charts.
Further, the “Bruno” tune –wholly unrelated to Bruno Mars, our homegrown superstar — has surpassed the studio’s “Let It Go” title from the movie, “Frozen.”
And “Bruno” is the first Disney track to sit atop the music charts since “A Whole New World” from “Aladdin” was numero uno back in 1993.
In case you’ve been out of the loop, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, of “Hamilton” fame, and it’s one of eight tunes he composed for the film. Miranda, of course, has become a prolific figure in the Disney universe, since the studio acquired the movie version of Miranda’s Tony Award-winning Broadway musical which evolved into a much-see product on Disney+, the studio’s streaming service, enabling the blockbuster into homes and viewed by folks who couldn’t see or afford the show in pre-pandemic times.
The actor-composer-mega-star also acted in the studio’s “Mary Poppins” sequel and has turned on his composition skills to create music for animated projects, the latest being “Encanto,” which translates to “charm.”
The animated tale is about a family from Colombia, named the Madrigals, who receive magical gifts in their town of Encanto. Mirabel, voiced by Stephanie Beatriz, wants to save the secretive magic of her family’s gift. Bruno, Mirabel’s estranged uncle voiced by John Leguizamo, has the power to see the future. So in the song, the family wants to be mum about Bruno and seal their lips, so “Bruno, no, no, no,” is a catchy recurring lyric kids and adults alike can sing.
The studio also is touting the fact that Miranda’s solely-composed hit track is the first by a solo composer to hit No. 1 in four years, since Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” reached the top spot, without the customary deejay support in radio spins, without concert tours to promote the artist and his music, without the benefit of exposure from a Broadway show, virtually without the normal push and sell. It first charted at No. 50, then leapt to No. 2, and grabbed the pinnacle last week.
In comparison, “Let It Go” became a song a legion of young girls (and some adults) could never let go, from the hit movie which eventually was transformed into a blockbuster on Broadway. Even then, “Let It Go” peaked only at No. 5 on the hit parade.
“Bruno” was not easy on Adele’s “Easy on Me,” her hit ballad benefitting from a TV concert , which prevailed at No. 1 for 10 weeks, until vanquished by “Bruno.”
The tune was gaining 34.9 million U.S. streams, twice more than Adele’s return-to-the-charts biggie, though it received only 1.5 million radio airplay numbers, about 1/62nd the impressions of Adele’s powerhouse radio appeal.
Not surprisingly, radio has discovered “Bruno,” so it’s finally widening its network of listeners.
But with six voices credited for the performance – beating an old record of five – folks are beginning to “know” the unknown: Carolina Gaitanh, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerro and Stephanie Beatriz are the six performers.
The lone disappointment for the song: it cannot compete for an Academy Award since Disney only submitted another “Encanto” track, “Dos Oruguitas,” for Best Song consideration for the upcoming Oscarcast. At nomination time, “Bruno” was not yet on the radar, and “Dos Oruguitas” (translated as “Two Little Caterpillas”), was deemed a possible contender; the tune expresses how Abeula, the Madrigal family matriarch, lost her husband.
If the song makes the cut and wins an Oscar, it would complete composer Miranda’s EGOT status (he’s already got an Emmy, Grammy, and Tony — but lacks an Oscar). Could happen that the popularity and power of “Bruno” might earn votes for “Oruguitas.”
Thus, the whole issue of the success of “Bruno” has triggered analytical chatter about this phenom. Did Tik-Tok trigger response and reaction and framed the rise of a novelty ? Did the earlier “Despacito” Puerto Rican best-seller by Luis Fonsi- Daddy Yankee and/or the more recent romantic Shawn Mendes-Camila Cabello duet “Senorita, ” set up its success, with their Spanish flavors and motifs? Are Latinos fueling and dominating the streaming processes? Or is this one of those once-in-decade flukes, where an unexpected unknown leaps into the limelight and get everybody giggling delight, like the dance-crazy Los Del Rio chartbuster, “Macarena”?
So this swirling, unexpected to-do about “Encanto” has become a source of delight and the operative word is charm. Next to ponder: which will come first, an “Encanto” sequel or a Disney Broadway musical production? Either could already be in the works. …
Let’s talk about ‘Doogie’
So let’s also talk about Doogie, as in “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.,” the certified filmed-in-Hawaii family sit-com. It’s earned a green light for a second season.
But why not? It’s the best series filmed in Hawaii ever.
Disney+, which is streaming the show, has not yet announced a start-up date for film production, nor an airdate premiere for season two.
Peyton Elizabeth Lee plays the wunderkind teen doctor, aka Lahela, a role originated by Neil Patrick Harris’ popular sitcom of yesteryear, “Doogie Howser.” Her parents are portrayed by Kathleen Rose Perkins (mom, and the teen’s doctor-mom) and Jason Scott Lee (dad, who owns a shave ice and floral truck).
Kourtney Kang is writer-exec producer.
So let the “Doogie” boogie begin. …
And that’s Show Biz. …