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Existential Binge-Watching: We need a live stage adaption of 'Encanto'

We’re not supposed to, but everyone seems to be talking about Bruno lately.

In what feels like the blink of an eye, Encanto hit our screens and instantly became a global phenomenon. Disney doesn’t often fail to meet expectations when it comes to their animated releases, but this one in particular really took hold of the world - especially on social media - and for good reason.

Between the stellar cast, the gorgeous visuals and a uniquely heartfelt story, Encanto has all the markings of a true classic. However, the main reason it looks like it’ll be sticking around long after its debut for not only Disney fanatics everywhere, but also those who just casually sat down to watch it once, is the soundtrack.

Songs are also something Disney isn’t exactly known to drop the ball on, but the soundtrack to Encanto has something special to it. From the very first note of music, it’s clear that these tunes aren’t your usual princess movie fare. There’s a charm to the music that’s paired with intricate storytelling woven into the lyrics and enough catchiness to keep them in your head for weeks after you’ve heard them - regardless of if you keep encountering them every five seconds you’re simply on your phone.

There’s a special quality to them that truly begs for more in the form of a live stage production, even more so than previous Disney adaptations. And there’s only one person that could do the job, the man who wrote the songs stuck in everybody’s heads: Lin-Manuel Miranda.

From Hamilton to last year’s In the Heights and Tick, Tick…Boom!, Miranda has been an absolute phenomenon in the realm of musical theater, establishing himself as a powerhouse in the industry. And whether it’s “The Family Madrigal” or “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” his lyrical style and excellence in songwriting is clear in every single track of Encanto. Even if you weren’t aware he was involved with the film, if you’ve heard any of his previous work, you’d know from the first lyric sung that Encanto was blessed with magic of Miranda.

And the biggest thing it does, is leave you wanting more.

Encanto’s core soundtrack is tiny in comparison to something like Hamilton, but that’s simply all the more reason to beef it up with more songs. The story itself leaves a lot for Miranda to potentially work with and already existing songs like “All Of You” really show that the film could move on from the usual Disney set up to a full on musical produced in the perfectly identifiable style of Miranda.

Aside from simply being a master at writing musical numbers, he elevates everything he touches with his expositional story beats that are so intricately and emotionally woven into outstanding music along with constant callbacks and references. The Madrigal family clearly has more history and character traits to delve into, so give Miranda the reins and more than a Disney runtime to give us a Hamilton-esque cut of Encanto.

Not to mention the setting, the culture and the gifts of each family member would be so much fun to play around with in a live stage adaptation. With the right cast and production team led by Miranda, it could have the potential to surpass the musical greats and even the ones we’ve gotten in the past few years.

So maybe stop talking about how we’re not supposed to talk about Bruno for a second and instead talk about how if Disney and the world knew what was good for them, Miranda would get the green light to do a longer live stage production of Encanto. And then let that beautiful masterpiece live on Broadway for as long as it wants and on Disney+ forever.

Jackson Horvat is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Jackson by tweeting him at @horvatjackson.

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