The real meaning behind the “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” lyrics shows Disney’s Encanto in a much more devastating light. The breakout song from the 2021 animated musical illuminates a theme from Encanto that deals with estranged family members. Nevertheless, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” has sparked conversations on touchy subjects while remaining a commercial smash for The Walt Disney Company. The infectious Encanto song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” has proven that Disney is still making memorable soundtracks. “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is a catchy song that illustrates how the Madrigal family finds their mysterious uncle to be a disaster.
Part of the Encanto soundtrack, the song delves into the family’s impulse to blame Bruno for anything that goes wrong, claiming it is the fault of his mystical power. Encanto‘s Madrigal family chose to ignore the conversation about where Bruno went after he seemingly disappeared and left his room in ruins. The Madrigals continue to be silent and do not discuss the absent family member until it is revealed that he has secretly been hidden within their home the whole time. All of this “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” lyrics meaning sits near the surface, but the song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”‘s lyrics tell an even deeper tragic tale.
We Don’t Talk About Bruno Is About Gaslighting Neurodiversity
While the “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” lyrics seem light-hearted, Encanto is made more devastating because of the underlying true meaning of the song. Thanks to the songwriting of Lin-Manuel Miranda, the rhythmic Encanto track allowed for a deeper look into the topic of neurodiversity. What makes this taboo subject so heartbreaking is not because of who Bruno is, but for the unjust way in which the family viewed his actions and behaviors. The Encanto family kept Bruno at a distance. On the surface level, the song’s title shows the fear of discussing uncomfortable aspects of neurodivergent behaviors, seen with the missing member of the Madrigal family, Bruno (John Leguizamo).
The undertone of the “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” lyrics hints at the real meaning of why the Madrigals do not speak about Bruno; the family truly does not know what to do with the estranged brother. The Madrigal family, whether consciously or not, have been gaslighting Bruno, blaming him for events that would happen regardless of his premonitions. Anything considered unhappy or too blunt is shunned by the family in hope of keeping up a form of toxic positivity.
This flaw is exacerbated by the matriarch of Encanto, Abuela Alma Madrigal, and her insistence on not acknowledging Bruno’s neurodiversity, made abundantly clear by the “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” lyrics. As Bruno’s brain functions differently than what the family considers neurotypical, it is apparent that he does not have a place at the table. The Madrigals are clearly about appearances, so anything diverging from their idyllic Casita life is considered off-limits.
Bruno’s Song Exposes The Cruelty Of The Madrigals
While the “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” lyrics could act as a learning moment for the Madrigal family, it instead forced Bruno to stay in hiding within the house’s walls. Although Bruno was gifted with the ability to see future events, the family saw a flaw in his differences. His uncanny magical power was too much for the Madrigals, who would rather live in a drama-free home, devoid of any negative forecasts, predictions, or conflicts. The disturbing decision to shy away from Bruno’s Encanto secret illustrated how cruel Encanto‘s Madrigals could be to their own family.
This representation of the family as image-conscious helped to humanize Bruno and made his self-exile more poignant. This message brought a meaning of unconditional love and how families are allowed to express their emotions. This pernicious view of never mentioning Bruno created long-lasting cracks in the Madrigal family. The main character, Mirabel, illuminated the need for a change in attitude in the situation, addressing the situation as imperfect rather than pretending everything was okay, as was echoed in Luisa’s “Surface Pressure” and Isabela’s “What Else Can I Do?” In relation to the rest of the family, Mirabel’s bright outlook made her even more of a hero for treating Bruno respectfully.
The true tragedy in the “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” lyrics was the family’s dangerous inaction and placing blame on Bruno’s mental health issues. The difficult family struggle lies within the real meaning of Disney’s infectiously good Lin Manuel-Miranda song. Encanto‘s Bruno is a tragic figure, but his family failing to mention the elephant in the room is both the film’s catchiest song and most devastating plot point.
Encanto’s Songs Are Deeper And Sadder Than They Seem
Aside from the “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” lyrics, all of Encanto‘s songs also have deeper meanings that grow sadder upon further contemplation and deeper analysis. Each Lin Manuel-Miranda track is upbeat and colorful in terms of melody, but the lyrics always illustrate how the Madrigals grapple with intergenerational trauma due to the strict expectations of their matriarch Abuela, who herself suffered great tragedy in the past.
Each of Encanto‘s Madrigal family members struggles to maintain their perfect image and help the family in the way Abuela deems fit, even if most of them hide it more subtly than Bruno. For all of these reasons, Encanto is actually a much more thematically complex film than it lets on, even with its classic Disney happy ending, upbeat, Latin-fusion-tinged melodies, and pop-leaning music production.
What Are We Don’t Talk About Bruno’s Lyrics
The song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is primarily sung by Pepa and Félix, with a few interjections from townspeople and their children Dolores and Camilo. It begins with Pepa and Félix talking about their wedding day and Bruno’s prediction ruining it, singing, “Bruno says, “It looks like rain” (why did he tell us?), In doing so, he floods my brain (Abuela, get the umbrellas), Married in a hurricane.” Dolores then chimes in, further insulting his neurodiversity by singing, “Grew to live in fear of Bruno stuttering or stumbling, I can always hear him sort of muttering and mumbling.”
Camilo only adds to this disrespect, singing, “A seven-foot frame, Rats along his back, When he calls your name, It all fades to black, Yeah, he sees your dreams, And feasts on your screams.” The townspeople in Encanto don’t even try to come to Bruno’s defense, blaming his prophecies for everything from going bald (“He said that all my hair would disappear Now look at my head!”) to putting on weight (“He told me I’d grow a gut! And just like he said”). While the “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” lyrics are catchy, they ultimately speak to the Madrigal family’s disdain toward difference.