The We Don’t Talk About Bruno Oscars performance was disappointing to say the least


Courtesy of Vox

Ell Samara, Graphic Designer

After the 2021 Disney movie, Encanto won Best Animated Feature at the 2022 Oscars, it was followed up by a disappointing performance of its hit song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”. Many fans expected an original rendition of the song including the original pacing and cast members, however, that was not entirely what happened. 

The song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”, written by Lin Manuel-Miranda, was a huge hit, setting a record for the biggest number of primary artists being on a No. 1 Hot 100 single. This song was No. 1 for quite a few weeks, even becoming more popular on the social media app TikTok. The song tells the tale of Bruno Madrigal who, in the song, wreaks havoc with his premonitions of the future. The mix of lyricism and instrumentation made it bound to become popular. Yet, the anticipation for the single to be performed at the 94th Academy Awards was better than the actual performance itself.

The performance began with Carolina Gaitan, the actress who voiced Pepa,  singing the opening verses, then Mauro Castillo, who voiced Felix, joined her on stage. This portion was then followed by Adassa (Dolores), Stephanie Beatriz (Mirabel), and Diane Guerrero (Isabella) as they all sang different parts to fit each other in before the guest performers took over. This disappointed many since they expected to see each actor singing their part during the song, rather than each of them being squeezed into 30 seconds.

The first guest was the musician known as Megan Thee Stallion, who added a new rap verse to the song, which had nothing to do with Encanto but rather the Oscars itself. If fans wanted a guest to appear for this performance, one would assume that the guest should stay with the theme. Along with her, the singers Becky G and Luis Fonsi sang the last part of the song, which led to a very underwhelming ending, in which they were barely audible. 

In Ashley Lund’s MovieWeb article ‘Fans Think We Don’t Talk About Bruno Oscars Performance Should Never Be Mentioned Again’, she stated, “Those who tuned in to see the ensemble performance were left confused … when the performance turned out to be a mostly rewritten version of the song that centered its attention on the Oscars,”

Many fans took to social media to express their disdain about the performance, the majority of the hate towards the performance came from the unnecessary rap solo that Megan Thee Stallion did. A lot of people said that this solo did not feel like a Disney song. The entire performance felt out of place. While the visuals were bright and paid homage to the original film, it was obvious the physical song was not. 

The original song was popular for many reasons, one being its originality. The Atlantic’s writer Spencer Kornhaber suspected in his article ‘The Biggest Reason ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ Is a Hit’ is that, “Disney is so culturally dominant right now. In 2019 … [Disney] released seven of the year’s top-10 highest-grossing movies. Disney+ has since come to conquer home entertainment: Of the top 15 streaming movies of 2021, Disney originated 11.” 

Leila Cobo, the Billboard company’s Latin-industry lead as well as one of the vice presidents, said that the Disney song wouldn’t have become as popular as it did if “Despacito” did not come out. “Despacito” was a song that Lusi Fonsi and Daddy Yankee released in 2017, which in turn became an enormous hit. The song spent 16 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. After this song was released it created a cultural atmosphere where more Latin songs got released and they became more popular than before. 

As mentioned previously, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” was also quite famous on TikTok. TikTok is a social media platform that allows people to make sounds and use them for up to three-minute-long videos. Kornhaber said, “The song happens to have all of the features that TikTok cherishes: theatricality, specificity, humor, surprise, and an invitation to roleplay.” This means that all different sides of TikTok could use sounds with this song in it, boosting the popularity astronomically higher than it would be if this song never hit TikTok.

Fans are still upset with the Oscar performance. The choice of celebrities to take over was not the right choice as many fans complained on social media, and many are arguing that Megan Thee Stallion’s rap solo took away from the original cast’s performance, which it did. Overall, Disney will have to redeem themselves with a better live performance of their songs.