‘Vivo’: Sony’s Cuban Rhapsody Is Ready to Shine on Netflix
Netflix has revealed the Vivo release date and a new clip and it will be available globally on the streaming service on August 6, 2021. It’s directed by Oscar-nominated animation veteran Kirk DeMicco (The Croods). An animated musical adventure featuring all-new songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony, Grammy, and Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of Hamilton and In the Heights.
The movie follows a one-of-kind kinkajou (Miranda) who spends his days playing music to the crowds in a lively square with his beloved owner Andrés (Juan de Marcos). Though they may not speak the same language, Vivo and Andrés are the perfect duo through their common love of music.
DeMicco says he was immediately drawn to the project when he discovered that Miranda was involved. “Lin-Manuel’s optimistic, bright heart is at the center of our movie. We wanted to show an optimistic way of life. What Vivo goes through is painful, but he learns that friends, music and collaboration can help you move forward. I think the big message of the movie is that, with love in your heart, you can learn to move on and find new meaning in your life.”
Miranda first came up with the idea for the movie after watching street performers in a New York subway years ago. He recalls, “Vivo came into my life a long time ago, just after I had finished writing In the Heights. So I started writing the songs way back in 2009, and then obviously it got pushed. When we revisited the project with Sony Animation, and with Quiara attached as the screenwriter, we totally rediscovered this journey. The movie has taken so many turns, but at the heart of this story is this incredible friendship between Andrés and Vivo, and how it launches Vivo on an incredible journey from Cuba to Florida, where he does a lot of growing up.”
Co-director Jeffords adds, “One of the great things about Vivo is that it’s a musical that is about music and musicians. Usually musicals are about something else besides music. But one of our central themes is music. The other major theme is that even though you may lose someone that you have loved more than ever in your life, it’s possible to move on and love again. It’s a line we use in the movie, which is: if you get lost, you go and find your own rhythm again.”
DeMicco says he can’t wait until audiences all over the world get to meet Vivo and his unique world. “Summertime is the perfect time to enjoy this world,” he notes. “But beyond the great sounds and sights, Vivo is a movie that has depth. It’s a story of grief and moving on, and has the heart that Lin-Manuel brought to it from the beginning.”
He adds, “I remember how last year, we were all in lockdown and the movie felt like a life raft for many of us. I think it informed everyone’s work. People were working from home, getting up in the middle of the night and animating shots. Everyone was pouring their hearts into it. Just like Andrés, we were all longing for connection, and we were all like Vivo — adrift for a while. But then, little Vivo was the one who could make it happen!”
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