Dos Oruguitas Dos Oruguitas

Unusually for an animated film, Disney’s Encanto has been nominated three times at the Oscars: the musical fantasy is up for best animated feature, score, and song, competing in the last category with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Dos Oruguitas.”

Nobody is shocked to see Miranda among the nominees, vying with the likes of Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, and Van Morrison. His Broadway musical Hamilton has made him a star in his own right, he is much in demand in Hollywood, and we already know Academy voters like him: they nominated his Moana song “How Far I’ll Go” five years ago. Encanto is a popular film that could well win in the animated feature category.

Yet still the nomination is surprising, because of the choice of song. Miranda penned eight songs for Encanto, one of which has broken out as a once-in-a-decade crossover success. But it isn’t “Dos Oruguitas” — it’s “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.”

The complex ensemble number is a bona-fide hit. It became the first Disney song of the century to go to #1 in the U.S. and the official video is nearing 200 million views on Youtube. It’s a hit on Tiktok too — perhaps the best indicator of a cultural phenomenon today. Critics have praised it; musicologists have pored over its hybrid of Latin and other genres.

Ironic, then, that the film is represented at the Oscars by another track. “Dos Oruguitas” is striking in its own way: it is sung in Spanish (by Colombia-born Sebastián Yatra) — the first of Miranda’s songs to be written entirely in the language (the film also features an English version). If it won the award, it would be only the second song in the language to do so (after “Al Otro Lado Del Rio,” from 2004’s The Motorcycle Diaries), and only the fourth song not in the English language.

A sentimental ballad, “Dos Oruguitas” plays clearly to the Academy’s taste. And 34 million Youtube views ain’t bad. Also, as Variety notes, Disney had to choose which song to submit by November 1, before Encanto was released and “Bruno” took flight. According to the rules, they could have submitted both, but this would have risked splitting the pro-Miranda vote.

Their strategy has worked, insofar as Miranda is in with a serious chance of winning — and becoming an EGOT (someone who has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony) in the process.

The other four nominees for original song are “No Time to Die” (No Time to Die; Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell), “Be Alive” (King Richard; Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Dixson), “Down to Joy” (Belfast; Van Morrison), and “Somehow You Do” (Four Good Days; Diane Warren).

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