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Vivo Blu-ray Review

‘Vivo’ doesn’t quite sing.

Lin-Manuel Miranda had a banner year in 2021 with 2 of the best films of the year with ‘In The Heights’ and ‘Tick, Tick…Boom!” along with this Netflix Sony animated feature in which he voiced the titular character and, of course, wrote the songs. 

The story begins in Havana, Cuba where an elderly musician (Andres) and his singing, dancing, and instrument playing kinkajou (Vivo) make a living as a street performance duo. Andres receives a letter from an old flame (a singer named Marta) who is performing one last show in Miami before she retires. Andres sees this as an opportunity to tell her how much he loved her via a song he wrote, but he passes away before he can do so. At Andres funeral, Vivo meets a relative (a unique young loner girl named Gabi) whom he stows away with to Key West, Florida. Upon arrival, Vivo sets out to travel to Miami and Gabby joins him in his arduous quest. Will they be able to reach Marta in time?

Directed by Kirk DeMicco (who co-wrote the script alongside Quiara Alegria Hudes), ‘Vivo’ starts strong with an emotional story set-up about a lost love and second chances, but soon devolves into a standard zany kid friendly animated feature with goofy antics, a random girl scouts subplot, and a weird sidequest through the Everglades complete with a giant snake voiced by Michael Rooker that really bogs the story down. It’s a shame the compelling cultural, musical, and Andres-Vivo dynamic from the beginning get thrown out the window essentially because those elements are the heart of the movie. Everything that follows is a loud, filler road trip adventure through Florida that quickly becomes a tiresome bore. Yes, there’s still story about friendship, loss, and love, but they are overshadowed by outlandish visual spectacles.

Song wise, the tunes don’t rank among Lin-Manuel Miranda’s best work but there are a couple highlights including ‘One of A Kind’ and ‘Presente’ (song by Gloria Estefan who voiced Marta).


Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? The colorful animation looks crystal clear in hi-def.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A lively 5.1 track that gets a big thumbs up: Note: French, Portuguese and Spanish 5.1 tracks are also included

* DVD copy
* Digital copy
* Sing Along Edition option
* A music video for the ‘My Own Drum’ remix.
* ‘Behind The Animation’ featurette.
* Sony trailers


August 16, 2022 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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