I think that Vivo might be the most heartwarming and adorable movie that Sony Pictures Animation has produced. I loved this movie; it is one of the best family movies of 2021 and it is also a Netflix movie so you can stream it right now. I was also kind of surprised to hear that this was the first time Sony Pictures Animation had made a musical animated movie.
How to Watch, Stream or Download Vivo
You can stream it or you can download Vivo from Netflix, using the Netflix App. Click on the Download button at the end of the review. Check out also another animated film by Sony Pictures Animation that was released also in 2021 – Wish Dragon.
The Movie Review
What I think really makes this such a great movie is the plot and also the characters. We have an old musician called Andres who lives in Cuba and plays music on the street with his kinkajou Vivo. Andres gets a letter one day from the love of his life, a successful musician called Marta. Marta is retiring, but she wants to sing with Anders one last time.
Andres sees this as his chance to tell her how he feels, but the way he will do this is through song. Andres was never able to tell her that he loved her so he wrote her a song that expressed this. He asks Vivo to leave Cuba and go to the USA, but Vivo is not keen on the idea, sadly Andres passes away in his sleep before he can see her again! Vivo vows to deliver his song to Marta, but how the heck does a Kinkajou get to the USA?
That is where the comedy comes in, Kinkajou ends up befriending a kid called Gabi who is the niece (or some weird relation) of Andres, and Gabi and Vivo end up on a wild adventure to try and get the song to Marta. You may think that this is a cheesy and predictable kid’s movie, but Vivo has a ton of heart, perhaps more heart than any other animated movie released in the last couple of years.
There is certainly a lot of humor in this movie and I am sure little kids (and even adults) will just fall in love with Vivo as he is freaking adorable. However, while little kids may be getting a chuckle over the hijinks Gabi and Vivo get up to on their quest. Adults and older children can get invested in their heartfelt journey to deliver on the wishes of a sweet man that passed away before he could.
In many ways, the movie really does tug on the old heartstrings. Even though this is a kid’s movie and you know it will all turn out ok in the end. I will admit there was a moment when it even got me! I was sitting there thinking “oh no, Marta is never going to hear the song or know-how Andres really felt” which to me says a lot about the movie in regards to how well written it is.
The music in the movie from what I have read was handled by Lin-Manuel Miranda who also voices Vivo. The music really is special and I have to admit, I would not mind having the soundtrack to this in my collection one bit. In typical Sony fashion, the movie also looks amazing too, especially Vivo who is in contention for the cutest character in a Sony movie.
I know that we are living in a golden age of animated movies these days and it is hard to keep up. Vivo though really is something that extra bit special and a movie I cannot recommend highly enough. It is such a shame it came out in a 12 month period with some heavy hitters from Disney and DreamWorks as it has not gotten the attention it deserved. This is put out by Netflix for Sony so be sure to go and stream it.