Lin-Manuel Miranda breaks down the songs of ‘Encanto’

Jan 20, 2022, 11:37 PM | Updated: Jan 21, 2022, 1:46 pm
This image released by Disney shows Mirabel, voiced by Stephanie Beatriz, in a scene from the anima...

This image released by Disney shows Mirabel, voiced by Stephanie Beatriz, in a scene from the animated film "Encanto." (Disney via AP)

(Disney via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Lin-Manuel Miranda went song by song through some of the hits of “Encanto” in a recent interview, from the breakout smash “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” to his self-described “’90s Rock en Español throwback” “What Else Can I Do?”


“We Don’t Talk About Bruno”

What I was trying to do — it’s much more commonplace in musical theater than it is in musical films. You have those great moments where everyone gets a little showpiece and then you smash them altogether. I think of “One Day More” from “Les Miserables” or “Non-Stop” in “Hamilton.” It’s always such a delightful moment when you get to crash all the themes into each other.

“Dos Oruguitas”

I wanted it to feel like an old folk song that had always existed, complete with a nature metaphor that hopefully tells us a little something about ourselves. It’s one of the only songs where a character is not singing it. You’re not seeing a character sing it, and I think it’s all the more powerful because of it.

“Surface Pressure”

I took my sister (who inspired the song) and her kids, my nephews, to the New York premiere. I sat next to her and I sort of watched her during the whole movie. She’s an easy crier. It’s really fun to make your older sister cry for a good reason. This is my favorite thing about the movie. I turned to my nephews and was like, ‘You know, I thought of your mom as Luisa, the older sister who has a lot of responsibilities.’ Without missing a beat they were like, ‘No way. She’s Abuela. She runs our lives.’ That’s really one of the best outcomes of a family film. It gives you a vocabulary to talk about things in a different way. I remember seeing “Inside Out” with my kids and suddenly we could talk about joy and when anger was at the controls or when sadness was at the controls. It became an easy way to talk about these complex things. It’s been exciting to see that ‘Surface Pressure’ has allowed people to really talk about sibling burdens.

“What Else Can I Do?”

“What Else Can I Do?” was one of my favorite songs to write. The whole time, you’re trying to show off the diversity of Latin American music and Colombia music, specifically. A lot of my favorite rock songs in the ’90s were Spanish rock songs. I was thinking of Shakira and Robby Rosa. It’s weirdly a ’90s throwback for me, kind of the way that “Lost in the Woods” is like a great Peter Sitara throwback for (“Frozen 2″ composer Jonathan) Groff. That was my ’90s Rock en Español throwback, it just happens to be in English.”

“All of You”

“All of You” was me talking a big game throughout the production process and then having to back it up. We were all so excited by the notion of telling a story with a lot of characters within a family and holding all the complexity of that. Then I said, ‘At the end, if we’ve established enough themes with the different characters, I can kind of smash them together at the ending in interesting and surprising ways.’ They were like, ‘Alright, Lin. Here you go.’ Then I actually had to do it, which is a much taller order. You hear a bit of Luisa’s song, a bit of Isabela’s song, you hear a bit of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” It contains all the songs in it while still propelling the story forward. The original draft of that was like seven minutes long. They were like: ‘We’re just out of time. You have to cut this.’

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks on a screen inside a so-called Russian War Crimes Ho...
Associated Press

Climate to conflict, Davos’ post-COVID return has full plate

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Davos — the hub of an elite annual gathering in the Swiss Alps — is back, more than two years after the coronavirus pandemic kept its business gurus, political leaders and high-minded activists away. There’s no shortage of urgent issues for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting to tackle. With their […]
1 day ago
Chicago police work the scene at the scene of a shooting near East Chicago Avenue and North State S...
Associated Press

Two men charged in fatal Chicago shopping district shooting

CHICAGO (AP) — Two men have been charged in a shooting that left two people dead and seven injured outside a fast food restaurant just blocks from Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile shopping district. Jaylun Sanders, 21, of Chicago, faces two counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of first-degree attempted murder and other charges, Chicago police […]
1 day ago
Dan Gabel, right, and fellow musicians perform in downtown Boston, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Gabel has...
Associated Press

Consumers defy inflation to support economy. For how long?

WASHINGTON (AP) — With prices across the economy — from food, gas and rent to cars, airfares and hotel rooms — soaring at their fastest pace in decades, you might think Americans would tap the brakes on spending. Not so far. Consumers as a whole are showing surprising resilience, not only sustaining their spending but […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Pakistan police arrest 6 men over ‘honor killing’ of sisters

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani police arrested six men from the same family on Sunday, accused of murdering two sisters who were from the same village but also had Spanish citizenship. Police said that Urooj Abbas, 21, and Anisa Abbas, 23, were allegedly killed for refusing to bring their husbands — cousins from forced marriages […]
1 day ago
Actor Johnny Depp waves as he leaves the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fair...
Associated Press

Heard’s lawyers try to poke holes in Depp’s libel lawsuit

Attorneys for actor Amber Heard spent much of last week trying to portray her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, as a jealous and drunken abuser who can only blame himself for his nose-diving Hollywood career. Since Heard concluded her testimony in a Virginia courtroom Tuesday, her lawyers have presented witness testimony from people who were once close […]
1 day ago
A view of Davos and its congress center prior to the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, Sw...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: What are the key climate themes at Davos?

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — While the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine will be focuses of the World Economic Forum’s gathering of business and government leaders, so too will climate change. It’s captured the world’s attention in unignorable and devastating ways. The acceleration of rising temperatures, the ferocity and costliness of major weather events, […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Lin-Manuel Miranda breaks down the songs of ‘Encanto’