Encanto Co-Director Jared Bush Finally Gives The Answer To The Bruno 'Plot Hole'

Disney's "Encanto" is a magical family film about the heavy weight of generational trauma set to an incredible soundtrack by the ever-present Lin-Manuel Miranda. Starring Stephanie Beatriz as Mirabel Madrigal, a young girl and the only modern member of her family who was denied a special ability by the magic house the Madrigals all live in, "Encanto" sees the character set out to unpack the emotional baggage that comes with forced family traditions. In doing so, she undoes the circumstances which caused her uncle, Bruno Madrigal (John Leguizamo), to become an outcast. 

Except, Mirabel realizes that her missing uncle never really left ... he stayed close by so that he could feel connected to his high-strung family. Now, when we say "close by," what we really mean is "Bruno lived in the literal walls of his family home for 10 years with only rats for company." To pass the time, poor Bruno taught his little rat friends to perform stage play versions of telenovelas. Yes, it's heart-wrenching as it sounds. Except, hang on — "Encanto" is set in the 1900s, a time period notably devoid of telenovelas. While the film lays out a fairly clear trail of hints, it never explicitly states how Bruno knows what telenovelas are. 

That's where Jared Bush, co-writer and co-director of "Encanto," comes in. Seemingly, in the wake of "Encanto at the Hollywood Bowl" (which is adorable, by the way), Bush felt the spirit compel him to clear the air on anything fans wanted to know. 

Bruno continues a time-honored Disney tradition

On December 28th, 2022 (how is that last year already?), Jared Bush hosted a Twitter Q&A for "Encanto." Would this have been the perfect moment for Bush and Twitter to discuss why his family film ends with the message that Mirabel's burden, which is to heal her abusers' trauma so that they will finally be nice to her, is actually her gift? Sure, that might've been nice, but instead, one Twitter user asked, "How did Bruno know about telenovelas?" To which, Bush replied, "He can see the future!" And, uh, that's it. That's the "plot hole." 

It's interesting to see this question be considered important enough for an answer, not in the least because Bruno is clearly described as having the ability to see the future — the poor guy lived in a wall with rats, what else was he supposed to do with his power and his time? — but also because he isn't even the first Disney character to act out this exact bit. No, that time-honored Disney tradition harkens back to at least the 1990s with "Aladdin," where the Genie (Robin Williams) seemed to use his omniscient magical abilities to kill time in his lamp-shaped prison by watching movies and TV shows from the future and the past. Sound familiar? 

The Fates (Carole Shelley, Amanda Plummer, and Paddi Edwards) do it in Disney's "Hercules," the gargoyles (Charles Kimbrough, Jason Alexander, and Mary Wickes) sort of do it in Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," even Mushu (Eddie Murphy) kind of does it, albeit through physical bits with Cri-Kee. Bruno just happens to be one of the most recent characters to lend his situation to the running bit. At least this tradition doesn't get him blackballed from family gatherings.