Released briefly in cinemas (in the UK) before streaming on Netflix, Vivo is a joyous animated musical featuring songs from Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda.
He’s also the voice of Vivo, a kinkajou who performs music on the streets of sunny Havana with elderly musician Andrés (Juan de Marcos González). However, when Andrés suddenly dies, Kiko decides it is his duty to deliver a love song Andrés wrote many years before to his old partner, singing star Marta Sandoval (Estefan), even though she is many miles away in Miami.
Tagging along on Vivo’s adventure is energetic Gabi (Simo), a purple-haired tween who wants to help the cuddly little mammal in his quest. They make a likeable and rather adorable team as they travel through the Everglades onto the big city, and their journey has them meeting some fun characters including a pair of star-crossed spoonbill birds (voiced by Brian Tyree Henry and Nicole Byer), a trio of Gabi’s fellow scout troopers, and a nasty python named Lutador (Michael Rooker).
The colourful movie is a treat, peppered with some terrific songs including ‘Keep the Beat’, plus laughs and sweet moments, and it has a nice message about courage, love and family, too.
Soft-hearted viewers (of all ages) should note that the loss of Andrés and a flashback to him and Vivo first meeting is almost as heartbreaking as the opening montage of Up. It’s worth sniffling through it, however, as ultimately Vivo is an uplifting, light-hearted and lovely animated movie that shouldn’t be missed.
Is Vivo suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Vivo and Gabi are occasionally in danger on their journey, but at no point is it very scary.
Parents should note that while the death of Andrés is subtly done (he dies in his sleep), it is a very sad moment in the film that may upset, well, everyone.
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