The Stream: He’s constantly doing that Lin-Manuel thing that gets a little annoying at times, played out animation and story arc
The Big Screen: Too many very good things to mention but “One song can change everything”, and Gabi is so much fun
The Final Bill: Typical animation adventure story but full of life, great animation, culture and love.– S2S: Movie Review
Director: Kirk DeMicco, Brandon Jeffords
Writers: Kirk DeMicco(screenplay by), Quiara Alegría Hudes(screenplay by), Peter Barsocchini(story by)
Stars: Lin-Manuel Miranda (voice), Ynairaly Simo (voice), Zoe Saldana (voice), Brian Tyree Henry (voice)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Runtime: 1 hour 26 minutes
Platform: Netflix (Released Aug. 6, 2021)
You know, sometimes Netflix just knows how to surprise you. This week they did that again with, Vivo. This week Vivo was released by Netflix and Sony Picture Animation with some striking and captivating animation. Vivo is an animated musical adventure featuring all-new songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda. The movie follows a kinkajou, Vivo, (aka a rainforest “honey bear,” voiced by Miranda), who spends his days playing music with his friend, Andres (Buena Vista Social Club’s Juan de Marcos), in Cuba. Andres is invited to world famous Marta Sandoval’s last concert because they were former partners. Vivo and crew set out to meet Marta and provide her with a new song that will bring back the magic of her past with Andres. Let’s see how this movie comes together.
Vivo is such a fun film for kids and families. It has great themes: how to find yourself; being true to yourself; fighting for love; you don’t have to do it on your own; there’s not just one way to be great; among other great ideas. That’s a lot to pack into a little movie. Vivo gives all the feels of Up, Rio, and Coco. If you touch the realms of those animated classics, you’ve done well. I wouldn’t say Vivo is better than those but at least it’s in good company. Speaking of good company, being led by Lin-Manuel Miranda is always good company. Along with the cast and songs, Vivo is so vibrant, even though it’s a bit too stereotypical Lin rapping. At times, I wish he would just mix it up a bit and not do the same exact thing as Hamilton and In the Heights but in animation. While it is still good, it’s just not as impressive when you already know what you’re going to get. Since we already know we are getting quality music, we also got quality voice acting by the rest of the cast. I fell in love with my girl, Gabi. Vivo is a diverse and culture-filled animation that makes you feel at home or a part of the family. The production, direction, and animation is just stellar. I just couldn’t take my eyes away from scenes in this movie. Pixar and Disney missed out on making this film, but Sony Animation is starting to catch up in the animation creativity realm with their films like Spiderverse and The Mitchells vs. the Machines.
Long story short, Vivo is a really nice and well done animation movie. In fact, it’s so well done that I’m glad that it is available for everyone to see on streaming services but I’d love to see this on the big screen in the theaters. While this doesn’t match the levels of Coco but it’s pretty close with the pulling on the heartstrings. Lin-Manuel Miranda and crew feed you a big box of fresh popcorn. Make sure you check out Vivo on Netflix.