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encanto17 · a day ago
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💯💯💯
As a Latine and someone diagnosed with OCD, I want to talk about Bruno and how he is presented in the film.
A lot of Latinos, specifically Colombians, have argued that Bruno can’t have OCD because he performs standard superstitious rituals like knocking on wood, crossing his fingers, etc.
It is important to note that superstition is incredibly common in Latino communities. I have family and friends who partake in superstitious rituals in overt ways without being diagnosed with OCD. I believe the heightened spirituality and expression in Latino communities compared to gringo communities in the US is why so many Latinos are defending his rituals and are pushing back against Bruno being seen as OCD since he is performing standard rituals within the community. This post is not to argue that these rituals aren’t common superstitions, nor that it’s wrong to interpret him as not having OCD. This is more to discuss why people interpret him as having OCD and to clarify some misconceptions about the relationship of OCD and superstitious rituals.
Let’s discuss how OCD works and then why it might apply to Bruno Madrigal.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a subset of other anxiety disorders. People with said disorder frequently have intrusive thoughts or urges that force them to perform a certain action to ease this anxiety (compulsions). These compulsions can literally be anything. It can be repeating a certain phrase, walking a certain way, or even self destructive. These actions are designed as a preventative measure to ease anxiety, but ironically they have the opposite effect by producing more anxiety if the action is performed and only produce temporary relief.
These actions might be things that lots of neurotypical people do (ex. sorting books by color). What matters for the diagnosis is that the person in question feels like they have to perform the action and feel immense distress when they don’t.
So, how does that compare to superstitions? Superstitions are rituals that people perform also to prevent bad things from happening. The difference here is context. When people perform superstitious rituals, they do not experience immense distress at not performing the action correctly or at all. For example: “I’m hoping it doesn’t rain on my wedding day. Knock on wood.” The person in question is specifically performing this action to prevent rain from occurring on their wedding day. They do not feel like they have to perform the ritual and do not experience extreme distress as a consequence for not performing the action.
For someone with OCD, the ritual is far more specific, repetitive, and includes a deep sense of dread when not performed. For example: “I just thought that I might have rain on my wedding day, so I must knock exactly three times and if I don’t do the pattern exactly right, I will have to re-perform this action until it is. I will also have to do this ritual every single time I think of rain on my wedding day because then I jinxed it by thinking about it.” The repetition, sense of dread, and how long the ritual is present all indicate that this is a compulsion rather than just warding off bad luck.
OCD and superstitious rituals are often extremely difficult to distinguish from one another which is why it is difficult to divorce them when interpreting text. In fact, the two are often tied together because they follow the same, “If I don’t do X, then Y will happen, so I must do X,” logic.
Let’s look at Bruno now. He has a few ritualized activities. He knocks on wood while saying, “Knock, knock, knock on wood,” ending with knocking on his head.
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[GIf Description: Bruno Madrigal is walking down a hallway. He begins by holding his breath and crossing his fingers. He releases his breath and begins knocking on wooden planks as he passes them ending with him knocking himself on the head.There is text at the bottom of the gif that says, “knock knock knock knock knock! knock on wood!” /end ID]
He avoids stepping on cracks while singing, “Sana, sana, colita de rana. Si no sana hoy sanara mañana.”
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[Image Description: A screenshot of page 62 of the official Encanto script. The script says, “Tio Bruno: ‘Sugar.’ (he tosses sugar on her)/ And keeps walking past rows of Hanging Aloe Plants, then does a hop skip and a jump over a series of cracks on the ground. / Tio Bruno (continued): ‘Sana sana, colita de rana.’ “/end ID]
He throws salt and sugar over his shoulders.
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[Gif Description: Bruno Madrigal is sitting in a rainforest clearing. He is closing his eyes and holding a pile of salt in his right hand. He flings the salt over his left shoulder and lights a match. There is text that says, “swoosh,” as he performs the ritual. /end ID]
He holds his breath and crosses his fingers when walking through entrances/exits or sometimes down hallways.
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[Gif Description: Bruno Madrigal is crossing his fingers and holding his breath as he walks down a hallway. /end ID]
All of these are pretty standard rituals for superstition and bringing on good luck. I’ve certainly known people who openly knock on wood and throw sugar over their left shoulder, particularly in Latino communities. However, what matters is how it is presented and whether it is compulsory. So, let’s look at how it is presented in the film. 
He performs these rituals at very specific times in the story. His knocking on wood and holding his breath are the most common so we’ll look at those first. He knocks on wood in three separate instances. The first and second instance is when he first meets Mirabel just before and after he enters the area of the house with the cracks he has patched. The third time is when he is entering the secret entrance into the walls of the house. As for holding his breath and crossing his fingers, he first performs it when entering the hallway with all of the cracks. The second time is when he is entering the portrait into the walls.
In the first instance of both rituals, he stops the conversation he is having with Mirabel to perform these rituals and then resumes acting as if nothing happened. The final instance is at the end of a conversation with Mirabel. Superstitious behaviors don’t tend to be disruptive or distracting. Usually people knock on wood after ending a sentence whereas Bruno performs this ritual while Mirabel is speaking to him, disrupting the flow of conversation. It is also important to note that Bruno is unique for performing them, further othering his character.
OCD, is usually single-minded. Individuals can avoid performing the ritual, but doing so causes immense distress. The obtrusiveness of the action indicates that it is more likely OCD than superstition.
Looking at how it is presented in the text, it appears that these rituals are supposed to be strange and unique to Bruno. Nobody else performs them and Mirabel is confused by them.
Let’s look at what this might mean thematically.
In the film, Bruno is clearly presented as awkward and socially anxious. We can easily interpret this as a consequence of him living in the walls for a decade with Mirabel asking, “How long have you been down here?”  when Bruno introduces her to Hernando and Jorge. While she doesn’t necessarily react the same way to his various rituals, these superstitious actions can be seen as a consequence of his isolation. He is clearly supposed to be considered the weird uncle, so incorporating heightened superstition plays into that role and adds to his stigmatization as being “Bad Luck Bruno.” Having OCD would make sense as an interpretation merely to add to his othering in the film and clear instability after being isolated for so long. What’s more, Bruno can be interpreted as the “Identified Patient” in the family with how he was treated like there was something wrong with him. This constant blame and othering from his family would likely push him to want to prevent further isolation because of his bad luck. Furthermore, it feeds into a common experience in Latino households to diminish the neurodivergence/ other disabilities of members in the household. It is not that uncommon for Latino households to ignore neurodivergence because “everyone is like that.”
Personally as someone with OCD and a Latine, I read Bruno as having OCD because he performs rituals to, what appears to be, a compulsory level. He may have reasons for these compulsions and common superstition might be part of it, but this is true for my own compulsions as well. I also have to avoid stepping on cracks. I learned about the superstition of stepping on a crack and thus had to perform precise rituals in order to avoid stepping on them. I experienced and continue to experience major distress because of this superstitious ritual. Yes, it is a common superstition, but it became a compulsion for me because the bad luck became an anxiety trigger.
Looking at how Bruno is presented, it’s entirely possible that this is what happened to him based on what we know. He is related to Bad Luck and ostracized for it. He performs common rituals to ward off bad luck. He is further ostracized for said strange behavior.
Now, there is evidence online for him being OCD outside of the text by the writers.
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[Image Description: A screenshot of page 61 of the Encanto script. The script says, “Tio Bruno: (tapping a wall, OCD) Knock, knock, knock. Knock on wood.” /end ID]
Clearly, he was intended to have OCD by the writers. Now, most people are not going to pull up the script to see that he is intended to have OCD explicitly by the text, but there is still evidence in the film to support it as I laid out above.
A lot of Latinos don’t want to acknowledge the possibility of him having OCD because it feels like normal aspects of our culture are being erased. The fact Bruno has OCD does not negate his latin culture, nor does it negate how superstition is tied to Latinos. Just because I relate to Bruno and his OCD doesn’t mean he’s no longer Latino and it doesn’t suddenly mean you and/or  your family have OCD. We’re all part of the same community and we’re all going to relate to certain characters in different ways. This is more just to state that superstitious rituals can be OCD rituals as well.
TL;DR: Bruno Madrigal was intended to be OCD by the text, but many Latinos are hesitant to agree because they feel it erases common Latino superstition. It is not uncommon for superstitions to become OCD compulsions and it is often difficult to distinguish the two in general which is why people interpret Bruno in different ways.
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encanto17 · 5 days ago
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siblings looking like they could all be different ethnicity but they still look like siblings is just so Colombian
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I love this movie so much
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encanto17 · 6 days ago
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I have no clue how to get a poll on Tumblr so please take six seconds to answer if you think Bruno is ND coded. Please reblog! I will post results! ❤️
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encanto17 · 6 days ago
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Hi hello look more confirmation that Bruno is neurodivergent coded!
I’m obsessed with “he thinks differently, he sees things differently”. Such a beautiful representation!
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encanto17 · 7 days ago
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The Eyes Have It is officially finished!!!! Wooo!
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encanto17 · 7 days ago
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GUYS!!! IT IS CANON!!! OUR RAT KING IS NEURODIVERGENT!!! HE HAS OCD!!! WOOOO
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encanto17 · 9 days ago
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...How do you think the family reacted to finding out Bruno was living in the walls?
Antonio is 100% the one who let it slip lol
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encanto17 · 12 days ago
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ATTENTION FIC WRITERS CALLING ALL FIC WRITERS
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[ID: A tweet thread that reads:
@DumbBroom2134: @TheJaredBush Hi! If you're still answering Encanto questions, I have one. I've seen a lot of things saying Bruno's powers put him through physical pain to use and I was just wondering if that was true or not?
Jared Bush: I think his powers are very draining and take considerable effort, especially when trying to see something specific. We had versions where he'd pass out or get very very weak afterwards. End ID]
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encanto17 · 12 days ago
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I hope this is my legacy. I took We Don’t Talk About Bruno and put it through all of the languages featured on that video via Google Translate, then put it back into English. And I didn’t fix the weird spacing. I left it exactly how Google Translate gave it back to me, punctuation and all. Here’s what happened. Good luck following along.
[Chorus: Paper]
I don't mean Bruno.
We're not talking about Bruno. we are talking about him
[One. Poetry: Page and Philis]
it's my wedding day (Today is our wedding)
they were made
and no clouds in the sky (No clouds allowed in the sky)
Bruno (Toner) laughed happily.
Are you talking about that or are you talking about me? (Sorry, my life goes on)
“It's going to rain,” Bruno said. (Why do you say that?)
It filled my brain. (Grandma, buy an umbrella!)
Marriage Confusion (Fortunately, But Still)
[See: Page and Felix, Dolores]
I don't mean Bruno.
Don't talk to the brunettes (hello)...
[2. Poem: Dolores and Camilo]
He began to worry that Bruno would stumble.
I can still hear your moan
Compare the sound of falling sand (ch, ch, ch).
I work hard with such humble talent.
He is looking for his grandmother and his family.
dream interpretations
Do you understand?
A seven-legged skeleton with a rat on its back.
Everything goes black when I call your name.
Yeah, dream dreams and fall in love with your screams (hello)
[See: Page and Felix, Dolores]
I don't mean Bruno.
I don't mean Bruno. (I don't mean Bruno)
[Father. Parties: Seth, Citizen 1, TP2 and TP3]
He said the fish would die
The next day he died (no, no).
He said he would grow up
as he said (no)
I lost all my hair
Look at my head now (No, no)
When your prophecy is read Your destiny will be determined.
[Four. Poem: Isabella Papua Dolores]
He said this was my dream life.
You promise that one day you will be mine.
He said that my power will increase.
While the vines were growing in the vineyard (hello Mariano on the way)
He told me he was the man of her dreams.
I can't use it, he promised someone else.
How can I hear your voice? (Hello Hyun)
I don't want your voice (as I feel now)
i feel now
[Five. Text: Mirabel, Camilo, Abra, Isabella]
Hello Bruno
to bruno
Here's what I really need to know about Bruno:
Tell me the truth and all the truth, Bruno.
Isabella, this is your boyfriend.
nighttime
[6. City]
[Camiro] Skeleton Hexapod Rat
[Pepa] Today is my wedding.
[Felix] Today is our wedding.
[Isabella] She said life was my dream.
[Dolores] I'm alive because I'm afraid Bruno will trip.
[Camiro] When I say my name It's all dark
[Pepa] Yes, in the cloudless sky.
[Felix] In the Cloudless Sky
[Isabella] She promised to be mine someday.
[Dolores] I can still hear your moaning and laughter.
Reminds me of the sound of sand falling w-w-ch
[Camille] Yes, he has a dream.
[Pepa] Bruno laughs happily.
[Isabella] Increase physical strength.
[Dolores] Work hard for devotion
[CAMILLE] She likes you to cry.
[Felix] Dietary Supplement
[Pepa] Are you talking about me or are you talking about me?
[Felix] I'm sorry for my life. please keep going
[Isabella] The grapes planted in the vineyard are beautiful.
[Dores] He always challenges Grandma and family.
dream interpretations
Do you understand?
Hello, this is Mariano.
[Pepa] Bruno "It looks like it's going to rain"
[Felix] Why do you say that?
[Camiro] The skull has seven legs and the back is a rat.
[Isabella] I said my dream life was promised. and one day it will be mine
[Dolores] A dreamer will never come true.
[Pepa] My head is flooded.
[Felix] Grandma brought an umbrella!
[Camiro] When I say my name It's all dark
[Dolores] You're engaged to another guy, another guy.
[Pepa] I got married in a hurricane.
[Felix] Today is a good day.
[Dolores and Isabella] ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok Ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok Ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok Ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok Ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok Ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok Ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok Ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok oh K ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok K ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok K ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok K ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok ok k ok ok
[Everything here
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encanto17 · 13 days ago
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Bruno: Someone told me that they wished I was dead.
Mirabel: Who told you that? They should be the dead one in this situation!
Bruno: My plan worked.
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encanto17 · 16 days ago
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the rats told him everything 🐀🐀🐀
bonus:
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encanto17 · 16 days ago
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Félix: There is not one embarrassing photo of Pepa. Even her mugshots are cute!
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encanto17 · 16 days ago
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Camilo: What's a word that’s a mix between 'sad' and 'mad'?
Dolores: Disgruntled, miserable, desolated-
Antonio: Smad.
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encanto17 · 17 days ago
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Mirabel: Man, I only ever see you awake, do you ever shut down or stop running?
Bruno: Oh, I’m always running
Bruno: The question is from what
Bruno: *proceeds to shut down*
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encanto17 · 18 days ago
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Félix, reading the news: Some idiot tried to fight a goose at the park.
Agustín, covered in bite marks and feathers: Maybe the goose was being a dick.
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encanto17 · 18 days ago
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Bruno: If you hear weird noises in the night, simply make weirder noises to assert dominance.
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encanto17 · 18 days ago
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Dolores: Three words. Say them, and I’ll be yours.
Mariano: Them.
Dolores: . . .
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