Starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ynairaly Simo, Zoe Saldana, Brian Tyree Henry, Gloria Estefan
Another day, another movie with Lin-Manuel Miranda in it. The celebrated composer, writer and actor has had a busy few years, with this new animation from Sony being one of his lesser known projects.
Based in Havana, the title character Vivo (Miranda) is an all singing, all dancing kinkajou who sets out on an adventure to deliver one final song to his old music partner’s friend, who is about to play a concert in Florida. Along the way, Vivo meets a whole host of quirky characters who help him on his journey.
The main draw here is the verve and energy that Sony animation is showing once more. The studio behind Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse and more recently The Mitchells vs. The Machines are once again on top form. The colours are vibrant, the style is original, and they are not afraid to use the whole animation medium to tell their story. Without their bold and confident touch, Vivo wouldn’t be half the movie that it is.
The story itself is fun but meanders its way from set-piece to set-piece. One moment we’re enjoying the vibrancy of Cuba and the next we’re in a rainforest meeting some birds and snakes for a while. Vivo definitely leans towards the child-friendly side of animation and so there may not be something for everyone here.
Musically there are also a few numbers which stand out, but My Own Drum is clearly vying to be the song to make it in every movie musical playlist for all eternity. Like the movie itself though, the music is enjoyable at the time, but is forgotten once the credits roll.
This movie is a bit of fun for a Sunday afternoon. Colourful and bright with good music, it will get you through that slump after a roast dinner. Although not an instant Lin Manuel Miranda classic, the animation musical is clearly something that is suited to him and the best is surely yet to come.
Vivo available now on Netflix