Lin-Manuel Miranda, Zoe Saldana

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Zoe Saldana

Netflix’s ‘Vivo’: Film Review

Netflix’s ‘Vivo’: Film Review

7/30/2021 2:01:00 AM

Netflix’s ‘Vivo’: Film Review

Lin Manuel-Miranda voices the title character and contributes original songs to this animated film set in locations including Havana, Key West and the Everglades.

The story begins in Havana, a city so charmingly picturesque and brightly colored that it already seems animated in real life. There we meet aged street singer Andrés (Juan de Marcos González, of the Buena Vista Social Club) and his kinkajou partner, Vivo, who spend their days playing music to appreciative audiences in a crowded urban square.

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Their lives are upended when Andrés receives a letter from his former musical collaborator, the now-famous singer Marta Sandoval (Gloria Estefan, another example of canny casting), who invites him to her upcoming farewell concert in Miami. The night before he’s supposed to depart, Andrés, who has been secretly in love with Marta, passes away. It’s thus up to the intrepid Vivo to deliver his owner’s farewell message, a love song, to the woman who never told Andrés that she loved him as well.

To make the journey, Vivo enlists the help of Gabi (Ynairaly Simo), the tween daughter of Andrés’ niece (Zoe Saldana), who smuggles him into the States in one of her bags. Arriving in Key West, Gabi advises Vivo to keep a low profile. “If anyone asks, you’re my emotional support animal,” she tells him. It’s but one of many amusing lines in the screenplay co-written by director Kirk DeMicco ( headtopics.com

The Croods) and Quiara Alegría Hudes (In the Heights). Another is Vivo’s bemused reaction to the state’s trademark flamingo lawn ornaments: “Plastic birds? Florida is weird!”From there, as with so many animated films,Vivobecomes more than a little frenetic. The duo attempt to make their way to Miami through the Everglades and get into numerous death-defying misadventures with a pair of helpful spoonbills (Brian Tyree Henry, Nicole Byer), a ravenous giant python (Michael Rooker, born to play villains even in animation) and a trio of rambunctious Girl Scouts (Katie Lowes, Olivia Trujillo, Lidya Jewett).

All that mayhem is certainly lively, but the film’s real pleasures stem from its touching storyline and Miranda’s terrific songs encompassing Latin rhythms, hip-hop, pop and Broadway-style ballads. Animation seems the perfect form for Miranda to deliver his rapid-fire rapping, much like it provided a hilarious visual correlative for Robin Williams’ stream-of-consciousness comedy routines in

Aladdin.The hyperactive Vivo bounces from one end of the screen to another, his frenzied physical movements happily keeping pace with the torrent of rhymes emanating from Miranda’s vocal cords. It doesn’t hurt that the pint-size animal character is so appealing, his furry little body topped with a straw hat perched jauntily on his head.

The film’s computer-animated visuals, vividly rendering such locales as Cuba, Key West and the Everglades, are consistently arresting. But it’s the joyous musical numbers and sentimental but never treacly tale at its center that make Read more: Hollywood Reporter »

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‘Vivo’ Trailer: First Look At Netflix & Sony’s Animated Musical Adventure Pic Starring Lin-Manuel MirandaNetflix and Sony Pictures Animation have unveiled the trailer for Vivo, the anticipated animated film starring Lin-Manuel Miranda , which premieres globally on August 6. The musical adventure pic—fe…

See the Official Trailer For Vivo, an Animated Musical Starring Lin-Manuel MirandaVivo hits Netflix on Aug. 6!

See the Official Trailer For Vivo, an Animated Musical Starring Lin-Manuel MirandaVivo hits Netflix on Aug. 6!

‘Vivo’ Trailer: First Look At Netflix & Sony’s Animated Musical Adventure Pic Starring Lin-Manuel MirandaNetflix and Sony Pictures Animation have unveiled the trailer for Vivo, the anticipated animated film starring Lin-Manuel Miranda , which premieres globally on August 6. The musical adventure pic—fe…

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