Vivo, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘cuddly’ animation about a musical monkey: more than just songs

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Slick: Animated Story sees kinkajou Vivo sneaking into Gabi’s luggage. (Image: Sony Pictures animation)

In an opening scene, the cuddly kinkajou Vivo raps his backstory as he plays with his elderly human partner Andres (Juan de Marcos Gonzalez) in a Cuban square.

It’s a decent number, although after going through a series of very similar numbers in Miranda’s recent In The Heights, I wish he’d played a little with his winning formula.

But luckily it’s not just about the songs.

Soon, the bond between the furry musician and the elderly guitarist is cruelly severed, and Vivo is on a mission to deliver a love song to Miami superstar singer Marta Sandoval (Gloria Estefan), the love of Andres’ life.

The cheeky monkey sneaks into the luggage of unruly tween Gabi (Ynairaly Simo) who is visiting Cuba for her great-uncle’s funeral.

The pair form a sparkling double act when they get lost in the Florida Everglades, where they encounter a mean python (Michael Rooker) and a pair of lovelorn spoonbills Dancarino (Brian Tyree Henry) and Valentina (Nicole Byer).

Now in theaters, Netflix on August 6

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