I grew up loving ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ and I must say that I was and am still addicted to that movie, that was my first entrance to the world of animated movies. Vivo is not just an animated movie, it’s a musical that stands out from the other animated musicals the likes Moana, Small Foot, Wreck-It-Ralph, Ralph Breaks the Internet, e.t.c.
Vivo is a story, set in Miami and Cuba, about a domesticated kinkajou that has to leave its comfort zone to carry out its master’s last wish. It is faced with predators, a conglomerate of emotions, and the pangs of growth. We’ll start off with the factors that make Vivo different from the others;
- The Ardent Communication of Emotions
To communicate a fact is one thing, to communicate a feeling takes work, creativity, and sensitivity. That’s exactly what Vivo brings to the table, the lyrics of each song draw the audience in much more than the dialogues.
From the sounds and the kind of musical instruments that Vivo played we get to know that it’s not the kind to take risks, the same applies to Andres. But for Gabi, the drums, the rap, and the energy brought out different sides to her personality. Words, most times fail at communicating our emotions effectively, that’s when sound, pitch, and tone fill in the gaps of communication.
- Music and the Movement of the Plot
This is one thing about musicals that I love, while people want to just skip the performance and move on to the dialogue, the performance, the music, and the lyrics of each song jump-start the plot to the next level. In Vivo, it’s exceptionally brilliant, almost to the point that it traps the audience in the performance.
- Proper Utilization of Sounds
In Vivo, not only did the music capture us but the sounds too, they had the right sounds for the right atmospheres. In fact, before the movie starts off, the sounds of the bongo drums sped up my heartbeat in expectation.
It felt like the writer understood the playful seductiveness of drums as compared to the melancholy of keynotes. Even though all the sounds were mixed in to create outstanding melodies, these melodies were properly utilized in accurate proportions. And the way they made the sounds blow cold on the tragedy to provide salient but effective comic relief is commendable.
Now to the characters that I related to the most,
Vivo’s character was voiced by Lin-Manuel Miranda, an American actor, singer, songwriter, rapper, producer, and playwright. Now to our dearest Vivo, Vivo wants to be in control of everything that happens and the results, its perfectionist nature chases it away from playing around with risky situations.
The kind that relies on its own 5P principle, ‘Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance’. I loved the fact that Vivo had to grow out of it, stare at its fears and uncertainties, and go ahead with its goal anyways no matter the twists and turns. ‘Cause most times, life never gives you heads up before it starts to go in the opposite direction of your plans.
Gabi was voiced by Ynairaly Simo, a fourteen-year-old Newyorker of Latin origin who is a singer, actor, and model. Now to our character, Gabi is the foil of Vivo, never even plans or thinks at all before throwing herself into risky situations. She’s the one with a mini studio in her room, didn’t think before putting her Sand Dollar uniform in the microwave and all of that stuff.
She barely takes anything seriously, however, greatness can only be pruned by paying attention to details and planning. This is what Vivo brings into her life, coherence and the ability to look before leaping. Vivo also learns to lean into the curve when plans go awry and to hold opportunity by the gut when it comes.
All in all, their friendship shows how mutual a relationship should be. You’re never the same person you are when you’re in a new friendship neither will you be the same when you part ways just as Andres and Vivo on one hand and Gabi and her father on the other. It’s an 85% for me.
Vivo is still streaming on Netflix and I promise you that it’s worth your time. If you still need convincing then you can see the trailer below and tell me what you think in the comment section.
Yeah, it’s a wrap for me, see you guys soon enough…..
The Nostalgic Pen.