Vivo Netflix animation adventure has a strange origin story. Lin-Manuel Miranda originally founded a film to DreamWorks in 2010, before Hamilton Days.
The project ended at Sony Animation, where it was traced quickly and set with the author of Peter Barsocchini Middle School Scenarium. Scheduled for the 2020 theatre release, Vivo finally shifted to 2021, then sold to Netflix, where it was finally available for streaming.
Vivo comes from the Director of Kirk Demicco (The Covers):
With Miranda and Collaborator Longtime Alex Lacamorien (Hamilton and at height). And when the film leans on music and love stories, in essence, it shines, arouses painful emotions. But when the filmmaker tries to smoosh in the Hijinks of wildlife, it falls into a trap that is too familiar with the most cliched animated films.
The film followed Kinkajou named Vivo (voiced by Lin-Manuel Miranda). Who played with André’s musicians (Juan de Marcos González) every day at the Plaza in Cuba.
When Andres lost love, Marta (Gloria Estefan) left Cuba many years ago to become a famous musician. I sent him a letter asking him to come to his last concert. He was determined to give him the song he wrote many years ago departure.
But there is a reasonable plot reason Andrés cannot travel alone, or call or send an email to explain it. So Vivo had to travel to Miami with that song. Even if it meant partnered with Andrés’ Great-Night, Quirky Gabi (Ynairaly Simo). Whose many desperate people were desperate, were musicians who were lovely music.
The most significant selling point of the film is Lin-Manuel Miranda:
Both as a songwriter and as a vocal presence. But it creates a strange experience where Vivo Raps. About hunger and fighting on the streets. And it feels like the animated version of Live Hamilton.
While the music is beautiful and one of the film highlights. Hearing Miranda’s nose out of the adorable Kinkajou is booming. (It doesn’t help Miranda has become a meme in Tiktok, and for the one attached, it is associated with a certain stigma because many memes make fun of it.)
Miranda songwriting skills are still a star, but the best part of Vivo occurs when music and animation work together to lift stories, play with a visual style to highlight music, so all meshes together in a beautiful symphony.
Andrés sang about his memory with Marta, and the film shifted into a retro concert style, with bright colour blocks and soft edges.
When Gabi sang a national anthem not to regret strange, it became a neon techscape. These moments are transcendent, evidence for the strength of the music and creativity of animated production design.
But while the sequences glowed at the beginning:
The centre of the film turned into a romp through Everglades, with the Shoehorned-in subplot in Gabi who tried to avoid girl seekers in the universe because he thought they were followers of paralyzed rules. (Also, they threatened to report Vivo to animal control.) There are many hijinks-animals, like Vivo and gabi winding through wetlands.
They separated him early in their adventure. Which only increased the disconnection of this escapade. From the whole story about the music and lover of the missing candidates. The middle part of the film feels like two completely separate plotlines. One about the missing Kinkajou who encountered wild animals.
And others about a strange little girl who did not want to fit others. Some emotional threads indeed improve the overall story. Like Gabi and his mother struggled to understand each other after the death of Gabi’s father.
But a random love story between two birds, for example, did not add a lot.
Fortunately, when the film ended, the story shifted back to Marta and Andrés and pointed to the sequence of final music.
If more than the story that focuses on the romance and the strength of the music, Vivo will be an unforgettable experience, similar to the emotional power of Coco Pixar.
Which also focuses on music, missing old lovers, and the next generation who continues the torch. Even with the beautiful order of animation and extraordinary music.
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The film juggled too many Shenanigans, reducing a more robust story in hand. However, what ended the Harkens returned. To what made the film shine in the first place. Bind everything together in a beautiful finale.