'Vivo' review: Ordinary storyline with beautiful visuals, gets 3/5
Sony Pictures Animation recently dropped its first musical film, Vivo, on Netflix. Lin-Manuel Miranda, known for In the Heights and Hamilton, takes over the voice of the titular character, Vivo which is a kinkajou (a tropical animal that resembles a monkey and raccoon). This flick comes with an ordinary storyline, but wins hearts with its fantastic visuals and of course, music. Here's our review.
Andrés-Vivo play music on Havana streets. Their perfect spell gets broken when Andrés's ex-flame Marta invites him to Miami. Now, an excited Andrés plans to give her the love-song he wrote years ago. But, Vivo isn't aboard with this decision. After some thinking, he realizes how one song can change things between Andrés and Marta, as it did with him, when Andrés rescued him.
As Vivo is all packed to accompany Andrés to Miami, a tragedy hits. A heartbroken Vivo decides to leave Havana alone. But he soon befriends Andrés' grand-niece Gabi, who helps him on this adventurous mission. From mean girls to anaconda in a forest, Gabi-Vivo face multiple obstacles to reach Marta. Will they be able to fulfill Andrés's wish? Watch the movie to know.
The animation of this flick is top-notch. It definitely matched the high standards set by animation giants Disney and Pixar. And the minute details are praiseworthy. For instance, Vivo didn't wear a hat when he was rescued. So adding that prop delivered the message that he's not a wild animal anymore, but an adorable companion. Moreover, Gabi's look indicates her love for pop culture.
Vivo has a lot of resemblance with its animated successors, Coco and Finding Nemo. While music draws reference to Coco, the lead actors going on a mission to find someone reminded me of Finding Nemo. And the faces seem to be inspired from Inside Out.
Apart from Miranda, other actors are Juan de Marcos (Andrés), Gloria Estefan (Marta), Ynairaly Simo (Gabi), and Zoe Saldana (Rosa, Gabi's mother). All these characters were given accurate screen-timing, except for Andrés, who should've stayed for a bit long. Also, the storyline was pretty simple. There was a scope for much more. Biggest plus point? The combination of music and animation. Verdict: 3 stars.