Disney’s Encanto still has a tight grip on popular culture


Courtesy of Disney Movies

Disney’s movie Encanto has a significant impact on pop culture today.

Even months after its release on November 24, 2021, Disney’s Encanto still has a large hold on popular culture. It’s been so well-recepted that “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”, one of the songs featured on the Encanto soundtrack, is continuing to top Billboard’s The Top 100 chart at number 1, taking down the previous record-holding “Let it Go” from Frozen along with it—and it’s been on the charts for six weeks. Users on sites such as Instagram and Twitter have taken a special liking to the film, and there is certainly enough commentary, fan-created content, and passionate users to be able to say there is a well-established fandom surrounding this movie. Arguably, Encanto has become one of Disney’s bigger movies.

Multiple factors may explain why Encanto has been so popular with audiences; for one part, Disney can attribute part of Encanto’s success to its soundtrack, which has a strong grasp on social media—most importantly, TikTok. As of January 23, 2022, TikTok videos tagged with the hashtag “#encanto” have garnered more than 11.5 billion views. As of February 17, 2022, the hashtag now has 20 billion views, almost twice the views it had barely a month earlier. It’s influence on popular culture within TikTok is enough to keep the Encanto wave going.

The soundtrack’s success itself is not too much of a surprise considering Lin Manuel Miranda’s heavy involvement and clear influence on the Encanto songs and the success of Hamilton in earlier years. “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is special for being sung by the entire Encanto ensemble, and this uniqueness may also back the song’s popularity. The song’s catchiness can be attributed to its upbeat tunes and ever-changing nature; it takes several turns with each character’s solo and keeps audiences engaged.

Furthermore, the movie’s meaning is extremely significant for understanding its influence on today’s culture. Its comments on toxic family roles and pressure among second-generation individuals with immigrant parents have a lasting effect on the many people that experience the same thing in their own families. Unlike many other Disney movies that entertain with fantastical concepts like adventure into unknown lands and fighting supervillains, Encanto digs deeper into very real personal experiences while applying a magical twist to the film in the form of “gifts”. Additionally, Encanto characters are noticeably more representative and diverse. As a result, many audience members can specially identify with the movie’s characters. Its success is not a surprise.