Vivo follows a one-of-kind kinkajou (aka a rainforest “honey bear”) who spends his days playing music to the crowds in a lively square with his beloved owner Andrés. Though they may not speak the same language, Vivo and Andrés are the perfect duo through their common love of music. But when tragedy strikes shortly after Andrés receives a letter from the famous Marta Sandoval, inviting her old partner to her farewell concert with the hope of reconnecting, it’s up to Vivo to deliver a message that Andrés never could: A love letter to Marta, written long ago, 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.
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Giana N. comments, “Vivo is an awesome film to watch. It showcases the love between animals and humans, as well as their love for music. There are great messages; the concept of the movie is entertaining; and every song is fun to listen to.” Zoe C. adds, “As its name suggests, Vivo is a vivid animated film full of life, color, music and emotion. Directed by Kirk DeMicco and Brandon Jeffords, Vivo is the first-ever musical for Sony with a Latino theme, and the story is certainly very relevant and aims to be significant for the Latino community.” Ethan P. wraps it up with, “The story reminds us to always express your love to the person you love, because it might become too late to do it. Always open your heart to the person you love; let them know your feelings before it is too late.” See their full reviews below.
By Giana N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10
Vivo is an awesome film to watch. It showcases the love between animals and humans, as well as their love for music. There are great messages; the concept of the movie is entertaining; and every song is fun to listen to. You will be tapping your feet to the beat as you follow this film’s adventures.
Vivo is about a kinkajou named Vivo (Lin-Manuel Miranda) who lives with his friend Andrés (Juan de Marcos González) in Cuba. Andrés and Vivo can’t directly talk to each other, because one is human and the other is an animal; but, when they sing together they connect. Vivo soon learns that when Andrés was younger, he had a love interest named Marta (Gloria Estefan). Unfortunately, when Andrés was going to tell her how he felt, she got an opportunity to follow her dream as a singer and he didn’t want to interfere with her decision. He wrote her a song and didn’t get to give it to her, so now Vivo is determined to give it to Marta before it’s too late.
The songs in Vivo are fun and made me want to listen to them over and over again. My favorite song is “My Own Drum” performed by Gabi (Ynairaly Simo) because it is upbeat and describes how Gabi feels. I like how the writers, Quiara Alegria Hudes and Kirk DeMicco portray Vivo’s character development. In the beginning of the film Vivo doesn’t want to go to Miami for Marta, but when he realizes how much it means to Andrés and remembers all the things Andrés has done for him, he has a change of heart. My favorite character is Vivo because he is loving and daring. Vivo looks out for Andrés and takes care of him and does anything he can to help him. He travels all the way from Cuba to Miami and overcomes many challenging obstacles along the way.
The message of Vivo is that, even when times are tough, you have to have hope and do what is best. This film is completely family-friendly.
I give Vivo 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 7 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Vivo on Netflix beginning August 6, 2021. Be sure to check it out!
By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
As its name suggests, Vivo is a vivid animated film full of life, color, music and emotion. Directed by Kirk DeMicco and Brandon Jeffords,Vivo is the first-ever musical for Sony with a Latino theme, and the story is certainly very relevant and aims to be significant for the Latino community. Vivo features all-new songs written and performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda which are powerful, emotive and contribute nicely to the storytelling.
Vivo is about the way we connect with others through music. In a very old-fashioned Cuba, a kinkajou named Vivo is voiced by Lin-Manuel Miranda. A kinkajou is a mammal that looks like a monkey but is a rainforest “honey bear.” Vivo and his owner Andrés enjoy making music and performing together. When Andrés receives an invitation from his friend, famous singer Marta Sandoval (Gloria Estefan), to attend her farewell show in Miami, Vivo is in charge to deliver the message to reconnect their friendship.
Vivo connects with our inner and pure childhood emotions and the characters in this story are lovable and relatable. For example, with the help of a young girl, Gabi, our protagonist Vivo is able to make the journey to Miami. Gabi, an aspiring musician, is a girl with talent and ambition, but rebellious and spontaneous. Gabi is a very special character representing the effervescent tween years where not everything fits in the molds of society. The animation in Vivo is gorgeous: the characters are colorful and vibrant. The attention to detail in the architecture and landscapes of Cuba is breathtaking. The presence of nature is also key to the story. As Vivo and Gaby navigate their way to Miami, they travel through the Everglades and encounter the wildlife at its fullest.
Vivo demonstrates a nice balance between traditions and everyday life and new adventures and discovering life out of our boundaries. Another great success is how the film resonates with a multigenerational audience, connecting youngsters and older members of the family effectively making it a perfect experience that unites the whole family. Vivo shows us the power of music in making connections between us and how music helps us to achieve goals.
I give Vivo 5 out of 5 stars and recommended it for all 8 to 18, plus adults. Vivo opens in theaters and Netflix on August 6, 2021.
Ethan P., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, Age 12
Vivo it is a heartwarming movie that has happy moments, funny moments and tragedy. I like the storyline, the graphics and the catchy songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Vivo is a computer animated film about a kinkajou monkey played by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who knows how to play instruments and performs at one of the Habana’s plazas (Cuba) with his master, Andres Hernandez, an old musician. Andres (Juan De Marcos) had a female singing partner once, Marta Sandoval (Gloria Estefan), who he was in love with, but she moved to Miami, Florida, to become a star. Marta is performing one last time, because she is retiring. So she invites Andres to perform with her for the last time as a duo. Marta doesn’t know Andres is in love with her and that Andres wrote her a song when she left Cuba. Tragedy happens and it is upon Vivo to deliver the news and the song to Marta.
This movie has beautiful computer animated scenes. The backgrounds simulate the city of Habana in Cuba, Key West and the Florida Everglades. The scenes are very colorful and bright. The songs are very catchy and appealing. Besides being the main character’s voice, Lin-Manuel Miranda also wrote 11 songs for this film. He offered Cuban legend Gloria Estefan a part in this movie and she had the opportunity to create her character, which is a mix of Celia Cruz, another Cuban legend, and Mrs. Estefan’s mother, who she describes as a diva. This film has a stellar cast including Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy) as Rosa, Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead) as the snake Lutador and Leslie David Baker (The Office).
The story reminds us to always express your love to the person you love, because it might become too late to do it. Always open your heart to the person you love; let them know your feelings before it is too late. My favorite part is when Vivo delivers the letter to Marta. It provided closure for his beloved partner, Andres.
I give Vivo 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. This film is also a great asset for the Cuban community, especially now during Cuba’s troubling times. Vivo is in theaters now and begins streaming on Netflix on August 6, 2021.
Keywords: movie reviews, by kids for kids, Kirk DeMicco, Brandon Jeffords, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ynairaly Simo, Zoe Saldana, Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, Michael Rooker, Brian Tyree Henry, Nicole Byer, Leslie David Baker, Katie Lowes, Eileen Galindo, Vivo, Netflix, vivo