Lin-Manuel Miranda in Disney+


“We Don’t Talk about Bruno” became one of 2022’s most viral hits. Encanto’s signature tune was the hit no one saw coming, including the song’s writer Lin-Manuel Miranda. The animated movie and the hit song did modestly well in the theaters, but it wasn’t until the film popped up on Disney+ that things took off. Upon the Oscar-winning film’s streaming debut, Miranda got inundated with messages from others after social media got hold of the song. One of those messages came from an unexpected fan as the Tick, Tick… Boom! director recalled a funny direct message he got from fellow director Taika Waititi.   

The viral sensation was an instant earworm even before the Disney animated film found a second life online. Miranda revealed to Variety that his father-in-law found the song catchy upon hearing the demo version. He mentioned his in-law recalled singing the inescapable hit for three days. Before the musical comedy dropped on Disney+ (currently available through a subscription), the multihyphenate went on vacation with his wife. The Hamilton star recalled the flurry of messages he received, including Taika Waititi, after the film took over the world.

Then my wife and I went on vacation for two weeks and I started getting messages: First from friends, ‘My kids can’t stop singing it!,’ because it really exploded when it hit Disney+. Then I got a Twitter DM from [actor-filmmaker] Taika Waititi, who I’m friendly with but I don’t know that well, who was like, ‘I’m gonna kill you — it’s great, but my kids won’t stop singing it!’ And then when we got back it was like it had taken over the world.

Miranda knew “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” was an earworm, but didn’t think he would have a viral worldwide hit. You know the musical number was ubiquitous even Waititi sends you a direct message. But the song’s popularity went beyond the internet as it stayed atop the Billboard Hot 100 for weeks following tremendous radio play and streaming numbers. The hit song inspired numerous online dance and cover videos. The Broadway-style number’s impact led to the Encanto cast opening this year’s Oscars (despite not being submitted for Best Song). Its presence is still felt as kids (and adults) continue watching the animated movie a year after its theatrical release despite his son being over the hit song.

Mirabel singing in Encanto

(Image credit: Disney)

Before taking off on social media, Miranda admitted Disney wasn’t pushing the song as they did with the big hits of the Disney Renaissance. The multihyphenate credited TikTok and social media for causing the song to become a worldwide sensation. Despite the song’s catchiness and signature hook, he didn’t see it becoming the movie’s biggest hit, referring to the Grammy-nominated song as “a collection of a lot of different moments.” The 42-year-old entertainer knew the viral hit didn’t follow a typical pop song structure, which is why its virality caught him off guard. Even after the signature tune reached pop culture status, he didn’t dream “it would be a hit.”

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