The animated musical adventure, Vivo, was released yesterday on Netflix after a limited theatrical release on 30th July. The film is already receiving great attention and incredible reviews from fans. Besides being a musical film, Sony’s Vivo incorporates comedy and drama, making your viewing experience better!
Sony Pictures Animation has been surprising fans recently with thrilling animated films. Not long ago, the studio presented Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and The Mitchells vs. The Machines, an animated family title that gathered 53 million household views in the first 28 days. So, while we don’t know what to expect from Vivo, it seems promising.
Vivo follows the story of Vivo, a singing kinkajou who plays music with his owner, Andrés Hernández, in Havana, Cuba. One day after their show, Andrés receives a letter from Marta Sandoval, his old friend who wants to retire from his music career. The letter offers an opportunity to reconnect in Miami, Florida, and for Andrés to express to Marta how he feels in a song he wrote for her (Mambo Cabana).
Vivo is reluctant to leave Cuba and help Andrés get the song to Marta. But, unfortunately, when he finally decides to leave, Andrés passes away that night while sleeping. As a result, Vivo embarks on a mission to search and deliver André’s song (One More Song) to Marta, but she meets Gabi amid the adventure.
When Gabi discovers the song, she becomes part of Vivo’s mission and does her best to get Marta. However, the duo has to overcome several challenges, such as the Sand Dollars (Becky, Eva, and Sarah) and the song getting destroyed. Finally, they get to Mambo Cabana, where Marta has refused to go on stage (Running Out of Time), but Vivo delivers the song, changing Marta’s mind who proceeds to perform.
The voice cast features Lin-Manuel Miranda as Vivo, Ynairaly Simo as Gabriela ‘Gabi’ Hernández (Andrés’ grand-niece), Zoe Saldana as Rosa Hernández (Gabi’s mother and Andrés’ niece-in-law), Juan de Marcos González as Andrés Hernández, Michael Rooker as Lutador, Brian Tyree Henry and Nicole Byer as Dancarino and Valentina.
The title also features Aneesa Folds as Valentina’s singing voice, Gloria Estefan as Marta Sandoval, Leslie David Baker as Florida’s bus driver, Katie Lowes, Olivia Trujillo, and Lidya Jewett as Becky, Eva, and Sarah respectively (Sand Dollars).
The screenplay was written by Quiara Alegría Hudes and Kirk DeMicco, who also served as the director, with Brandon Jeffords as the co-director. It was produced by Lisa Stewart, Michelle L.M. Wong, and Rich Moore.
Miranda’s input cannot go unnoticed since he pitched the idea to Dreamworks in 2010 after relishing the success of his song In The Heights. Besides voicing Vivo, he wrote eight original songs for the title and served as the executive producer.
The film addresses themes of love and friendship, and according to Miranda, Vivo revolves around how love and music are the same thing. The title also touches on loss and grief, which is timely since most people have lost loved ones due to the pandemic.
It shows how one can move on and remember those they’ve lost with love. So, if you’ve not had a share of Vivo yet, it’s time you grab some popcorn and enjoy the exhilarating viewing experience!