Vivo: Movie Review

The biggest asset for "Vivo" as anticipated was its music. The songs and performances hit the right notes to make this film quite charming at its core. Unfortunately, the film's predictable nature meant that outside its soundtrack, the film lacks that punch to really stand out from a very crowded animated field.
Vivo (Lin-Manuel Miranda) is a rainforest honey bear who spends his days playing music with his beloved owner Andrés (Juan de Marcos González) in Cuba. Their happy partnership suddenly ends when tragedy strikes after Andrés receives a letter from the famous Marta Sandoval (Gloria Estefan).  The love of his life, Andrés has never been able to tell her his true feelings. With Andrés' sudden death, it is up to Vivo to deliver a message that Andrés never could: A love letter to Marta in the form of a song. But  this is easier said than done as Marta lives in Miami.
We just can't help but compare "Vivo" to the much more superior "Coco". While not really a copy-paste of the 2017 film, both films still feature a South American theme, revolving around a lost love, and death. Wherein "Coco" was just outstanding in its narrative, surprises, drama, animation, and songs, "Vivo" seemed to rush through most aspects to get to the end of its story. The perfect example of this would be the scenes where Vivo finds himself trapped in a swamp. The characters he encounters in this segment felt like they needed to be important but they came out half-baked. And this is what we felt mostly towards the film. We knew what it was gunning for, we knew what kind of drama it wanted to give its viewers, but ultimately it just felt flat overall. The dramatic scenes didn't really impact us and the story was quite predictable from first scene to last. At least the animation and songs made this film quite charming, upbeat, and colorful. At the end of the day, "Vivo" isn't a waste of time and you'll find yourself enjoying this quick ride through Cuba and Miami and anything in between.        
Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- the songs and animation were colorful and the life of the film

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the narrative and dramatic impact just felt flat and generic
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