We don’t talk about You-Know…

“‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ is the #1 song in the world right now,” the radio announcer said this morning. I watched my boys in my rearview mirror; their ears pricked up. “In case you don’t have kids and, for some reason, have no idea what we’re talking about, here’s a little clip from the song.”

© Disney

“Trust me,” he added, “Now, all day long at the office, you’ll be singing, ‘Bruno, no no no….'”

Have you heard the incredibly catchy “Bruno?” You should have now (the video’s right there). It’s a song from Disney’s 2021 animated film Encanto; the musical phenomenon of creative genius Lin-Manuel Miranda -a man already popular for creating In the Heights and Hamilton. From the Disney side, he’s responsible for the songs from “Moana.”

With so much success, what can he say except, “You’re Welcome?”

Bruno, whom we are not to talk about, is a member of a family almost-all blessed with magic talents. While his sisters heal through food and change the weather with mood, he’s able to see visions of the future. Understandably, this skill quickly makes Bruno a pariah of both the Family Madrigal and the local (normal) town. The film’s talentless protagonist and Bruno’s niece, Mirabel, seeks information to solve the mystery of their suddenly-failing magic.

While Encanto leaves me wishing for a clearer conflict and a more solid resolution, the music leaves me and my family wanting to play it again and again. Why?

Did you actually listen?

The tune of “Bruno” is a Salsa. It stomps along in a syncopated pattern, constantly pushing us to aural completion. Add the video of actual dancing and you can’t stop your feet from tapping.

Me; I’m interested in discussing its addictive appeal. We writers need to take note. If we can create the same movement in an unresolved conflict, think how happy readers will be at resolution. Consider how word choice can orchestrate any scene like the steps of a dance. Imagine offbeat poetic meter!

Do you see it? Have you intentionally crafted prose or verse this way? What’s your favorite Disney song?


Here’s last week:
Wednesday, January 26: Discussed the strange people who might like cats in “Dogs or Cats, and is it all Toxoplasmosis?

Thursday, January 27: Announced the winner of the Terrible Poetry Contest, Matt.

Friday, January 28: Friday Photo. It’s a bit undead.
Also, announced this week’s Terrible Poetry Contest. PLEASE ENTER. There’s still time.

Saturday, January 29: Tried the Golden Shovel form with my own poem.

Sunday, January 30: A quote from Life of Pi.

Monday, January 31: “I’m a Mormon, So” I am a teetotaler.

Tuesday, February 1: Wrote a folk song about 49ers -not the football team.

©2022 Chel Owens

54 thoughts on “We don’t talk about You-Know…

  1. I knew what was going on in the kid world because that came with the territory when I taught. This is my introduction to Bruno.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Tale As Old As Time” from Beauty and the Beast comes to mind. So that might be my favorite Disney song. The meter is regular with five lines per stanza, exact rhymes and simple, everyday words. The sentiment expressed is noble.

    This was the first time I heard the Bruno song, but I have already forgotten it especially after listening to Robbie’s selection “Painting the Roses Red”. The sentiment expressed in Bruno left me confused. That might have helped me forget it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Tale As Old As Time” is an excellent song, and an excellent comparison to “Bruno.” The former is elegant, romantic, regal, and timeless; the latter is spicy, syncopated, flashy, and busy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Chel many years ago our youngest got a music degree, I remember him telling me how a hit song was written… It needs to be layered, repetitive and catchy and have a sound beat.
    Here is an example from Imogen Heap.

    One of the biggest hits of this type is from Kylie Minogue and old as it is it never ages!

    Disney music uses these techniques, beat, repetition and layering to the full. These are tools that can most definitely be used in writing prose or poetry we just need to learn and hone these skills.
    My favourite Disney song?

    Hope you’re having a good day 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, Willow! Exactly! Isn’t it interesting to look at the ingredients that way?

      Aladdin has an excellent score. Your pick creates a slurred movement and a conversation of love. These Disney composers are good!


  4. There’s something freaky about Disney animation these days. Too much realism. I prefer the old school, stop frame animations with exaggerated cartoony caricatures.

    I would pick any song from The Jungle Book, but probably Louis Prima singing as King Louis, the orangutan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The new animation is very beautiful; yes, quite realistic. I wonder if that’s generational to like it or that we have that technology but it would be better for mental development to bring back the old style?

      Your favorite is also Kevin’s favorite. I really like how King Louie sings it as well!


      1. I don’t know how far they’ll go with virtual realism. How soon before there are no actors on screen, just animated characters? Too spooky for me.

        I have an album of Louis Prima somewhere; he sings like that all the time.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved Encanto but I didn’t exactly know what the moral was because it sort of veered off. However, the song is fun!! I try every day to write with cadence and rhythm…one day I will succeed… as to my favorite song….Everybody wants to be a cat, because a cats the only cat who knows where it’s at….Aristocats…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I harken back to Mary Poppins for Supercalifragi—- and A Spoonful of Sugar. Recent years have created an aversion to animated films with music tracks. *Gasp* age is setting in?!?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A very catchy salsa – thank goodness I couldn’t catch most of the words else I would be singing it all day! The last Disney movie I saw (I’m not joking – as your President might say) was “The Lady and the Tramp” in 1955. It was great – especially the spaghetti scene.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A great way to approach prose. There’s definitely a rhythm to it and each author has their own, as part of their voice. But I hadn’t consciously thought about if it’s syncopated or not. I think subconsciously I have mixed and chopped the rhythm in emotionally tumultuous or intense action scenes. But the rhythm for catchiness or addictiveness in most writing is usually more noticeable in the plot building and storytelling aspects. It will be fun to actively experiment with rhythm in the prose. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. To me the actual words chosen are part of the beat and rhythm. So I’m not just meaning syllables and sentence length and structure, but also hard words and soft words (if you know what I mean?) and other tools that makes language and meaning/storytelling ebb and flow. I think it would be easiest to start with trying it in a short story or even flash piece. But a whole novel could be amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I just heard about this song a couple of days ago, but had not listened to it, so thanks for sharing that video. It is a wonderful song.

    No surprise, though, since it comes from Lin-Manuel Miranda. He is a genius.

    THere are so many great Disney songs, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But off the top of my head, one of my favorites is Why SHould I Worry from Oliver and COmpany…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I am a huge Billy Joel fan, that’s probably part of the appeal of the song. That’s part of what I miss about not having young kids anymore – going to all of those animated Disney movies!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m not a huge Disney fan or a lover of cartoons but I did love the movie Moana and the catchy songs! My family did watch Encanto but to be fair, I was so tired and busy doing something else I didn’t pay much attention! Will need to give it another go because so many people have said it’s soooo good!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I saw the movie and thought all the magic powers were just code for what do you bring to your family? If you’re really strong, you can help do a lot of chores, fix things, move things to make their lives easier. If you have a lot of money, you can help them pay bills. If you’re a good cook, you can make them meals.

    Meanwhile, if you’re me, you write a blog only read by 3.5 readers while your family wishes they had just bought a puppy instead of having you. I guess I’m like Bruno, except everyone always talks about me, and not good things. I wish there was a song called We Don’t Talk About BQB because I’m tired of all the talking.

    BTW does the issue ever get resolved in the movie? Does the family ever tell Mirabel and Bruno they’re sorry for scapegoating them?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You just made the movie tolerable for me. I had to go and watch it because I actually left during the first viewing. 🙄 Mirabel realized the grandma was a bad-a for going through so much (as if having triplets wasn’t impressive enough) and the grandma hugs Mirabel and then Bruno and then they go back and the townspeople all help rebuild the casita and then it magically comes to life again with Mirabel and the Family all outlined on the front door … but she still doesn’t have powers.

      Just a weird conclusion.


  12. As with most things blog-related, I’m way behind in my appreciation of Disney movies, especially the animated ones. Maybe another reason I need to have grandkids, stat! Fortunately they would be the progeny of my oldest child who is contemplating motherhood but is a bigger than can be appreciated by her sister fan of animated films.

    As for my favorite Disney tune, let’s just say that among the LPs left behind with my ex you could find the soundtrack to The Happiest Millionaire and many of the tunes and lyrics from the original Mary Poppins as well as others composed by the Sherman brothers for Disney’s live films still rattling around in the recesses of my memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grandchildren will certainly bring more animated films into your life, for better or worse. Good luck with they’re appearing soon!

      I love the older, classical songs. Excellent choice.


Comments are closed.