[“Colombia, Mi Encanto,” from Encanto]
Maria & Natalia: Hello! Welcome to Guatever.
Maria: And Happy New Year.
Natalia: Welcome to 2022.
Maria: I’m Maria Caamaño.
Natalia: And I’m Natalia Camino.
Maria: And today we are talking about Disney’s Encanto.
Natalia: We know that we usually only talk about music. But overall, we think this movie is just really important for the Latino community. And we want to talk about it.
Maria: Also, the songs are really good.
Natalia: Yes, also, the songs are really good.
Maria: So first up, let’s discuss Encanto. For those of you who do not know, Encanto is a movie released by Disney. It takes place in Colombia. It’s one of the – possibly the third – Latino household [movie] with Kuzco from Emperor’s New Groove being the first and Coco being the second.
Natalia: Yes, even though like Coco for me, obviously, it was a very important movie because it was one of the first times I could actually see my culture or my traditions represented. And like, it all felt very familiar for me. Obviously, like…
Maria: That is not the complete, like…
Maria & Natalia: Latino experience.
Natalia: Yeah. And so I think it’s really cool that Disney is just expanding.
Maria: It’s also nice to see a movie that just represents another Latin American country, but also in a sense…
Natalia: …represents all Latinos.
Maria: Yeah, it’s like a win for all Latinos, because I feel like the styles of some of the songs are representative of also different styles of music that all Latinos enjoy like Salsa…
Natalia: And like Cumbia.
Maria: Yeah, and like Latin rock. But yes.
Natalia: Yeah, I think also because something – we’ll get more into this later – but something that Encanto does well is showcase…
Maria: The immigrant experience in Latin America.
Natalia: Yeah. Because there’s not just immigrants coming into the US. There’s also people, as Encanto showcases, that have to leave either their hometown and go into another area of that country for political reasons or any other type of reason.
Maria: Well, yeah, cause in Encanto they never really say. Yeah, we’re gonna try and not spoil for anyone, also. So, if you haven’t seen it, do not worry. But you will understand the main idea.
Natalia: But also go watch it!
Maria: It’s so good. It is so good. It’s such a good movie. I think that everyone should watch it. Like, just because I think that it does a really good job in representing not only like the immigrant experience, but – me and Nat talked about this – so it shows a lot of the fact that in Latin America, there’s not really a racial monolith.
Natalia: It’s a mixture of various races. And I think this is important because there’s usually just this one Latino stereotype or this one Latina stereotype.
Maria: I think that it does a good job because that’s the reality. There’s so much racial diversity in Latin America. So it does a really good job of also showcasing that I think, which is nice to see for once.
Natalia: And I think it’s important.
Maria: Yeah. Let's move on to the songs in the soundtrack. And we’re gonna start with “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.”
[“We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” from Encanto]
Maria: So this is my personal favorite of the film. I think it is so fun and it finally showcases Pepa’s side of the family – like Pepa and Félix’s side of the family.
Natalia: Because like throughout the movie, you don't really understand their dynamic.
Maria: Yeah, but also like you don’t really get to see like Camilo or Dolores really until that point. Their voices are amazing. Like Dolores’ part is so cool. And then Camilo’s part – the raspiness of this man’s voice. I would have loved to have them have their own songs because they killed it so much in this song. But this is also the song that went viral on TikTok. Like if you haven’t heard of this song, honestly, don’t know what to tell you.
Natalia: Go listen to it. Go listen to it.
Maria: Literally. It’s like, it went number one on the charts. I think it went number one on Spotify even so, like, everyone loves the song. It’s so good. I – Yeah, I’ll make the generalization. Yes. People…
Maria & Natalia: …love it.
Maria: But also what me and Nat find funny is that every Latino household has that like one relative…
Natalia: That you don’t talk about.
Maria: So it was really funny to see that kind of like…
Natalia: Like, it’s not really a trope, because no one talks about it. But yes. Do you have a relative you don’t talk about?
Maria: I think that my family doesn’t have one, really. Because we talk about everyone. We’ll like say everything in front of each other. So maybe that’s why? If not, maybe, I don’t know who it would be but… you know, maybe it’s me!
Natalia: What if it’s you?
Natalia: But yeah. I do have one relative we don’t talk about so... And I know other people also have relatives they don’t talk about.
Maria: No, I definitely know people who like, they don’t talk about maybe like an uncle or an aunt. Or like they get invited once in a while and it gets awkward when they’re invited. Like stuff like that.
Natalia: And it’s like for various reasons, obviously, usually it’s not because they… because they can like see the future.
Maria: Obviously. I mean, everyone’s family has their own business. Everyone has their own stuff. Yeah. So moving on to the next song.
Natalia: “What Else Can I Do?”
[“What Else Can I Do?” from Encanto]
Natalia: Which is a great song.
Maria: It is a great song. I think – when I was watching, I got really into this movie.
Maria: So I dove into Lin-Manuel’s interviews about the songs.
Natalia: Also, for context. We didn’t say this earlier, but Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote…
Maria: Oh, all!
Natalia: All of the songs.
Maria: He did the entire – I think he wrote all the songs.
Natalia: The majority. Yeah.
Maria: Except for maybe like… I think he didn’t – obviously – compose the songs that go in the background. But, like, I think he did most of the songs that characters sing. But yeah, so I was watching Lin-Manuel’s interviews, and he said that for “What Else Can I Do?” he really wanted to do a tribute to Latin rock. Like old time Latin rock from the ‘90s. And like…
Natalia: I thought that was really cool.
Maria: Yeah, I know. I knew you were gonna like that.
Natalia: Yeah, because I think the history of Latin rock in Latin America is just really cool. There’s a great documentary on Netflix that everyone should watch!
Maria: Oh, my God.
Natalia: But I think it’s really cool that he did this because Colombia, as a country, played a really big role in the upbringing of Latin rock, along with various other countries such as Mexico, Argentina, and Chile. So I think it’s really cool.
Maria: I also just think it’s a really cool song. Like, if you listen to it, you can definitely tell that it has those influences.
Maria: But it doesn’t feel out of place in the film.
Maria: ‘Cause sometimes when you play with genres, I feel like it feels really out of place. And especially in children’s movies, because you want everything to be something that can cater to children. But he did a really good job.
Natalia: I think it also just juxtaposes the character very well.
Maria: Oh, yeah, that’s so true. So let’s talk about Miss Isabela. She is supposed to be like the perfect one in the family. Or like, that’s what we think when you meet her.
Natalia: We won’t spoil it.
Maria: Exactly. So we’ll just leave it at that. She’s supposed to be very perfect. And so for them to have given her the song that’s like…
Natalia: Latin rock…
Maria: Was very interesting. But it makes sense, also with the storyline. Yeah, so once you like… if you haven’t seen it, it will make more sense.
Natalia: Everything will make more sense if you watch the movie.
Maria: Obviously. Then we’re moving on to – so this song, this next song for me was hilarious, because… So storytime: when I saw this movie, I didn’t see it with Natalia. I saw this movie on the plane on my way back to Evanston from home for Winter Break. And I was on the plane sobbing just watching this movie. But I remember hearing this song and I just thought, “Oh, no… Natalia.”
Natalia: Because then we did watch the movie together when Maria got back. When we were both back from break.
Maria: And I just warned her.
Natalia: And she just goes, “Natalia. Just be careful with this next song.” And I go, “What do you mean?”
Maria: So we’re talking about “Surface Pressure”. This song is about Luisa, who’s supposed to be like the strongest – not only like physically, but I guess…
Natalia: Also emotionally.
Maria: Also emotionally – in the family. And she’s kind of having a moment of vulnerability, telling her sister that all that pressure isn’t very good for her. And it kinda showcases that classic older child…
Natalia: It’s like… I think something this movie does very well, and that a lot of people picked up on, is showcasing the immigrant experience. And I think like, especially this song, showcases like the oldest sibling – I guess in this case, the oldest daughter. In my case, the oldest daughter. And so I think this song resonated with a lot of people.
Maria: It was funny, because we were watching it in our apartment, and I just looked at her.
Natalia: And I was like, “What do you mean?” And you’re like, “You don’t know how to relax. You don’t know how to not stop working.”
Maria: Which is true. If you know Natalia, you know that this is true.
Natalia: And maybe this song did speak to me.
Maria: Warning, if you are an older sibling, maybe… maybe just be careful when you watch.
Natalia: Don’t watch it with your family. Don’t watch it with your family, and you'll be fine.
Maria: Oh, my God.
[“Surface Pressure,” from Encanto]
Natalia: Kind of also with the trauma of the immigrant experience is that idea… I think, like why there’s so much pressure sometimes on like the oldest immigrant sibling is because it’s the idea that usually the parents or the grandparents sacrificed a lot or had a big sacrifice in order to migrate. And so they have to make it worth it. And so I think that’s like one reason why Luisa probably – or the entire family – feels so much pressure to appease Abuelita is because she’s sacrificed so much that they have to make it worth it. And so then with the song “Dos Oruguitas”...
Maria: So “Dos Oruguitas” is this song where it kind of like, after some stuff goes down, explains the background of Abuelita, who’s the matriarch of the family. And it kind of breaks down what she went through and being forced out of her home. As we said, we’re not trying to give spoilers, so that’s the only thing I’ll say. And it kind of like taps into what Nat was saying, like the trauma of being displaced from your home and having to like, I guess, like build everything from…
Natalia: Yeah. So I think like, overall the movie or – even I saw this on TikTok a lot – like it really spoke to a lot of immigrants and people who have gone through that immigrant experience. And like that it showcases the Latino immigrant experience in a way that like the family dynamics sometimes are not talked about because it’s so – they’re so accepted.
Maria: I think it’s just normalized.
Maria: Like the expectations for everyone in a family. But also just talking about “Dos Oruguitas” in general, this is one of the only songs other than like “Colombia, Mi Encanto” that’s in Spanish. And it is…
Natalia: It is a…
Maria: It is…
Natalia: A sentimental song.
Maria: It is tragic. It is so sad. I – Natalia does not cry. And I heard her going *sniffle sniffle* the entirety of “Dos Oruguitas.” And then I just look at her and I just go, “Are you crying?” And she just goes, “Yes.”
Natalia: Okay, I don’t show emotions, but that doesn’t mean I’m heartless.
Maria: It’s such a sad song. I feel like no one can get through that one and not cry.
Natalia: For people who don’t know, “Dos Oruguitas” means two caterpillars.
Natalia: And so the song slowly transforms, and at the end like it’s supposed to show growth.
Maria: Yeah. So like they turn into butterflies.
Natalia: Yes, like a metaphor.
[“Dos Oruguitas,” from Encanto]
Maria: If you should take anything away from this episode, it’s that you should go watch Encanto. If you haven’t, it’s such a good movie.
Natalia: It has an amazing soundtrack. It talks about the Latino experience, it showcases Latinos in an…
Maria: It has amazing [voice] actors!
Natalia: Amazing actors. It showcases Latinos in a non-stereotypical way.
Maria: So true, man.
Natalia: And overall, you should just go watch it.
Maria: Yes. You know what, honestly, one of the things that I just realized is that there’s not any like stereotypical Latino character in this movie.
Natalia: Because you think – Wait, we didn’t talk about this. But, the love interest of Isabela throughout the movie is voiced by…
Maria & Natalia: Maluma.
Natalia: But Maluma does not sing. He literally has like three lines.
Maria: First of all, why would they not give Maluma…? He’s literally a singer. And they did not give him a singing part. But it’s okay. Because it makes sense. I wouldn’t want his character to sing.
Maria: He’s terrible. He’s like the Latino lover, I guess.
Natalia: Yeah, he’s the Latino like stereotype. But then he ends up like…
Natalia: And like you think that Isabela is also going to kind of feed into that stereotype.
Maria: They don’t embody any of those stereotypes. And like, none of the characters are what they seem. They have so much more depth to them.
Natalia: Because usually with Latino characters, when they play like a supportive role, they’re very flat characters whose entire personality’s either 1) they’re Latino, 2) they can cook or 3) they’re attractive. So like for this one, there’s so much like – there’s so much more to them and their relationships are so much deeper.
Natalia: It was just very refreshing. We’ll end with this.
Maria: Who’s your favorite character?
Natalia: I think Bruno’s the funniest, and I like that. He’s funny.
Maria: My favorite other than Bruno is Camilo. That moment when he’s looking for Mirabel, and he accidentally turns into a baby is hilarious to me. He’s just funny.
Natalia: But yes, I just think the fact that he says, “Sana, sana colita de rana” is funny. It reminds me of my dad.
Maria: So, thank you so much for tuning into this episode.
Natalia: We know it's a little bit different from what we usually do.
Maria: But we wanted to… we wanted to come into the new year with something new! 2022! Our podcast is about to turn two years old this year, which is…
Maria & Natalia: Crazy.
Maria: Um, but yes! Thank you so much for tuning in. We hope you like this episode, and we will be bringing you much more content in the year of 2022.
Natalia: Please let us know your thoughts and if you have anything you’d like us to talk about.
Maria: Yes, just message us. We always say this but just find us on social media.
Natalia: Also because we are running out of ideas.
Maria: This has been Maria Caamaño.
Natalia: And Natalia Camino.
Maria: For NBN Audio.
[“Colombia, Mi Encanto,” from Encanto]