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review by Bobby Blakey


Back in 2010 Lin-Manuel Miranda was planning a new animated feature with Dreamworks, but sadly got lost in the restructuring in 2015. Years later the animated project was acquired by Sony and Vivo was born featuring the voices of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ynairaly Simo, Zoë Saldaña, Juan de Marcos, Brian Tyree Henry, and Gloria Estefan. The film was due to hit theaters, but like most suffered numerous delays due to the pandemic in 2020. The film finally got a release to Netflix in 2021 to high praise and now it is finally coming home.  


Vivo follows a one-of-a kind kinkajou who spends his days playing music with his beloved owner Andrés. But when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Vivo to deliver a message that Andrés never could: A love letter to his old partner, the famous Marta Sandoval, in the form of a song. Yet in order to get to Marta, who lives a world apart, Vivo will need the help of Gabi – an energetic tween who bounces to the beat of her own offbeat drum – to fulfill his owner’s wishes.


This is one of those films that despite getting the straight to streaming and now blu-ray/DVD release it fully deserved a theatrical release. It is a fun little flick that offers up everything you want in these kind of animated features. It comes as no surprise that a lot of the music has Hamilton vibes since Miranda was involved. I am not a fan of Hamilton on any level, but thought the music here is fun and catchy despite one song being a bit much after a while.


The story is simple and sweet that sets up a great heart filled direction before side tracking and slapping you in the feels. From there is kicks into some fun

and laughs complete with a trip through the rain forest, crazed girl scouts and so much more. The visuals are bright and vibrant feast for the senses to coincide with the music to your ears. The character designs are great and really bring the Cuban culture and modern looks to the forefront.


I had a ton of fun with this flick and hope it finds the bigger audience that it deserves. In addition to the standard film this release offers up a sing along edition of the film. Grab your copy of Vivo available now on digital, Blu-ray and DVD from Sony Home Entertainment.

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