The Oscar-nominated animated feature Encanto has been breaking records left and right, particularly when it comes to the hit song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” (which has actually surpassed the popularity of both “Let It Go” and “A Whole New World”), and Walt Disney Animation Studios animators have just shared some insight into how they designed the song’s namesake!
Disney animators from the Golden Globe award-winning movie Encanto spoke to the Hollywood Reporter about the animation choices that led to Bruno’s appearance in the film. Apparently, Bruno (who is voiced by John Leguizamo) was always meant to be the mysterious black sheep of the Madrigal family due to his magical ability to see the future, but the animators also wanted Bruno himself to provide a stark contrast to the perception of him that was created in the song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”.
According to the head of animation Kira Lehtomaki, “there was this myth created about him — 7-foot frame, scary mythology being built up around him — [that was] contrasted with the real Bruno when we meet him behind the walls. He became shorter, skinnier, and a really sweet and not-intimidating kind of person.”
The same contrast is shown when it comes to the color scheme surrounding Bruno and his scenes. In the ominous song about him, colors are vibrant and the scenes use lots of lime green (which is a color synonymous with Disney villains) to showcase his threatening nature. But in reality, when Mirabel Madrigal finally meets her uncle hiding in the walls of the Casita, the colors become “much more muted and dark, and even his skin color has a little bit of a gray tone to it just because he’s been forgotten and he’s sort of faded away,” Kira Lehtomaki explained.
The animators also made some conscious choices when it came to Bruno’s clothing. Obviously, Bruno didn’t have much in the way of apparel since he was hiding from his family, but his poncho is his most recognizable article of clothing. “We love his poncho because it gave not only the myth but it gave a lot [of] just fun animation when [shape-shifting cousin] Camilo transforms into him because they both have a similar draping to their fabric. There’s a ghostlike manner to that draping,” Kira Lehtomaki told the Hollywood Reporter.
There are a lot of family members in the Madrigal family from Encanto, but Bruno has become a fan favorite with the help of his notoriously-catchy song. Which member of the Madrigal family is your favorite?