Vivo is set in the contemporary Caribbean, with neon waves and pastel clothing, and Cuban sounds reverberating all the way to Miami over the Florida straits. Lin-Manuel Miranda voices Vivo, a kinkajou who works as the animal half of a street-performing duet, in the musical adventure (which will be available on Netflix on Friday). Miranda mixes his chatter-rap version of Broadway with a big serving of local musical flavor in the first performance, which takes place on the streets of Havana. Huge anti-government rallies have recently erupted in Havana’s sleepy streets. Your mileage may vary when it comes to a joyful cartoon in that environment, and even second graders will find the politics murky.
Vivo is a fast-paced escapade that jumps from one vivid location to the next. Andrés (Juan de Marcos), the owner of Vivo, receives a letter from his long-ago near-love, the now-famous singer Marta Sandoval (Gloria Estefan). Andrés and Marta’s glory days are relived in dreamy 2D, with romantically jazzy animation that is purposefully anti-realistic. It looks wonderful, but despite the luscious seaside settings, it makes the remainder of the picture feel a little flat. (It’s impolite to continually remark “Pixar looks better,” but, well.) The picture is directed by Kirk DeMicco, who also directed The Croods. Vivo sets out to find Andrés’ long-lost song and deliver it to Marta in time for the superstar’s performance. IMDB