If you’ve watched Encanto, you’ve probably had at least one of its soundtrack bangers stuck in your head. The film has generated numerous hits, largely focused on the powers (and intergenerational baggage) of each member of the family Madrigal. This includes the outcast of the Madrigal family — poor, poor Bruno — whose earworm “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” has spent 10 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100 list, much of it in the top five. This song has lived in my head rent-free since the movie came out. And the YouTube algorithm has helpfully caught on to my numerous rewatches of the official music video, so it’s been serving me some choice fan edits.
Here’s the kicker: They’re all about rats. Every single fan edit that has popped up on my homepage is related to the rats Bruno uses as pets, friends, and helpers. I don’t know how or why there are so many of them (rat-centric fan edits, not rats), but I do feel compelled to share them, as they are true objects of beauty.
In “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” the man’s supposed villainy is described through his “7-foot frame” and the “rats along his back.” It sounds like hyperbole, but here’s the thing about Bruno: The latter accusation is more or less true. These rats are his buddies. They live with him, and play among his things — like running along the vinyl on a record as it’s playing, or piling into a hanging pair of his pants. The man has made entire shadowboxes for his rat friends, which he refers to as his “entertainment.”
I can’t really judge him. (OK, maybe a bit.) But the rats genuinely seem like better friends than his actual family, who have chosen to drag his name through the mud, rather than attempt to understand the nature of his powers.
Here’s a version of the “7-foot rats” video that includes Photoshopping an image of a rat’s face over Bruno’s, every time he says “rats.”
And here’s a full-length version of the song with “rats” continually edited in.
I won’t deny stoking the fire of the algorithm. Every time I click on one of these, YouTube serves me several more — you could say they keep coming, much like rats.
Disney is no stranger to animated rodents. These little guys have made metropolitan appearances in movies like Zootopia. Some even aspire to become chefs, as in Ratatouille. Here’s a fan edit that actually incorporates Remy, Pixar’s little chef.
Honestly, in the Disney rat power ranking that lives in my head (don’t ask me about this), Bruno’s rats aren’t ranked that highly. There are so many of them, I don’t feel any sort of attachment to individual rat characters. But as a unit? Unstoppable.