Will smash hit ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ make ‘Encanto’ an Oscar frontrunner?

While Disney chose to submit “Dos Oruguitas” to the Oscars as its representative song from “Encanto,” it is “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” that, ironically, has everyone talking. The earworm has been heard everywhere from TikTok to YouTube covers, hitting No. 1 on the Spotify streaming chart and peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, surpassing the other ubiquitous Disney song of the past decade, “Let It Go” from 2013’s “Frozen.” It’s possible that Disney is doubting its decision to push “Dos Oruguitas” instead, but the unexpected success of “Bruno” could end up rising all tides for “Encanto” at the Oscars.

Disney could not have predicted the success of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” — the song and film were released three weeks after the submission deadline — so it can hardly be blamed for going with the more emotional ballad, the kind of song that has won Disney multiple Oscars in the past. “Dos Oruguitas” will likely earn songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda his second Oscar nomination, as suggested by the latest Gold Derby odds, and he might have a chance of upsetting frontrunner “No Time to Die.” Not only has Disney had great success in Best Original Song in the past, but the “Encanto” soundtrack recently hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and voters may see a vote for “Dos Oruguitas” as a way to honor Miranda’s indelible contributions to the film. In the process, it would also make the multihyphenate an EGOT winner.

SEE ‘Encanto’ jumps to the top of Billboard 200 albums chart: Good news for Lin-Manuel Miranda Oscar hopes?

As for Best Animated Feature, “Encanto” is peaking at the right time to not only score an easy Oscar nomination but even a win. The race has been somewhat chaotic; while “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” has done the best with critics awards, both “Encanto” and “Flee” have picked up a number of wins along the way too. “Encanto” is No. 1 in our odds and will likely stay there if the buzz for the film persists as it has since its theatrical release in November. The film now being widely accessible on Disney+ and embraced in such a positive way should give it a boost over other mainstream contenders like “Luca,” “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” and “Raya and the Last Dragon,” which were all released in the first half of 2021.

Should “Encanto” win both categories, it would follow in the footsteps of “Toy Story 3,” “Frozen” and “Coco,” which all won Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song in 2011, 2014 and 2018, respectively. But none of these films had another song from their soundtracks that overshadowed the winning tune, which puts “Encanto” in a unique position. The unexpected success of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” should only help the film in the end, though, especially for parents in the academy who are relieved that their kids have finally moved on from “Let It Go.”

Oscar odds for Best Original Song
What will win?

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