Oscars 2022: Would ‘Encanto’s ‘Dos Oruguitas’ be the First Spanish-Language Best Original Song?

Encanto is one of Disney’s best shots at the 2022 Oscars. The animated movie took the world by storm, thanks largely to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s original score. It seems that everything Miranda touches turns into a hit, especially when it comes to the House of Mouse. Encanto is no exception.

With “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” topping the Billboard chart and “Dos Oruguitas” up for an Academy Award, the movie exemplifies Disney magic. But despite breaking barriers, if the song wins, it won’t be the first time a tune sung in Spanish earned the statuette.

‘Dos Oruguitas’ could break barriers at the Academy Awards 

Unlike the other songs in Encanto“Dos Oruguitas,” or “Two Caterpillars” in English, isn’t sung by one of the characters. The tune plays over one of the most heartbreaking parts of the movie. It is an emotional gut-punch of epic proportions. The song is heartfelt, personal, and sweet. Music from an acoustic guitar provides the perfect backdrop for Colombian singer Sebastián Yatra’s sorrowful singing. 

According to Remezcla, “Dos Oruguitas” already has serious popular appeal. In January 2022, it was the only Spanish-language song on the Spotify charts. But only four non-English songs have ever won in the Best Original Song category, notes Variety

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences first awarded Best Original Song in 1934. Yet since then, only three of the awards have gone to a non-English song. Only one Oscar has gone to a Spanish-language song, despite the language’s popularity in American cinema. In 2004, The Motorcycle Diaries’ “Al Otro Lado Del Rio” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

What are the other two Oscar-winning songs not sung in English? In 1960, a Greek song named “Never on a Sunday” took home the award. “Jai Ho,” from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack, rightfully won in 2008.

‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ was snubbed

“Dos Oruguitas” is popular. But based on chart data, it doesn’t seem to have the mass appeal that “We Don’t Talk about Bruno” earned. It was at the top of the Billboard Global 200 chart in February, up from the second position. 

If “We Don’t Talk about Bruno” is a bellwether for Encanto’s success at the Oscars, things should go quite well. The artists who sing “We Don’t Talk about Bruno” are the first Colombian musicians to achieve the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Global charts. Could “Dos Oruguitas” be another first?

How many Oscar nominations does ‘Encanto’ have?

encanto best original song
An “Encanto” step-and-repeat at the opening night fan event for Disney’s “Encanto” at El Capitan Theatre on November 23, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. | Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

If “Dos Oruguitas” doesn’t win Best Original Song, there’s still a chance that Encanto, and Miranda himself, may take home an award. In addition to Best Original Song, Encanto received two other Academy Award nominations

The latest Disney hit is up for Best Original Score and Best Animated Feature. The Best Animated Feature category comes with heavy competition, including another Disney movie, Raya and the Last DragonNetflix’s Mitchells vs. the Machines is a masterpiece in its own right and could take home the golden statue. Danish animated documentary Flee is a favorite to win since the Academy seems excited about this obscure animated movie, based on other nominations. 

Best Original Score seems like a given. Although Dune and The Power of the Dog are the frontrunners, according to those in the know, Encanto’s massive popular appeal has to count for something. Because the Academy didn’t nominate “We Don’t Talk about Bruno” for Best Original Song, it may decide to honor it as part of Encanto’s entire soundtrack by giving Miranda the Best Original Score award. 

RELATED: ‘Encanto’ Fan Theory Reveals [SPOILER] Is Actually Powering the Magical Madrigal House