Netflix's new animated feature Vivo shares some incredible views and sounds of Havana

Netflix's new animated feature Vivo shares some incredible views and sounds of Havana

Netflix's new animated feature Vivo shares some incredible views and sounds of Havana

 18 August 2021   Variety

Streaming giant Netflix has released a new animated feature called Vivo, which shows some amazingly realistic views of the Cuban capital Havana, all with a very Cuban soundtrack too.

A bit of Cuban soul on Netflix

Streaming giant Netflix's new animated feature entitled "Vivo" (Alive) is tipped to be this Summer's hit as it shows some amazingly realistic views of the historic city of Havana, with a very Cuban soundtrack too.

Production designer Carlos Zaragoza wanted to use the vibrant influences of reggae and mambo music as he created the stunning visuals, and Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins advised on lighting, helping to perfect the film's kaleidoscopic, photoreal look.

Vivo, which is set across Havana, Key West, the Everglades and Miami, needed a specific personality for each place, and the team behind Vivo didn't have to look too far to find Cuba's foot-tapping soul.

The story tells how a kinkajou, a mammal similar to a raccoon and native to the tropical rainforest, spends his days in Havana performing in the town square alongside his owner, Andres, Juan de Marcos of "Buena Vista Social Club", before going on a long journey in the name of love.

"I think the film captures the spirit of the country and the spirit of Havana very well - the architecture, the way people behave. Because this is something important" - Cuban-American musician and producer Juan de Marcos.

Global celebrities celebrating Cuba's beauty

Aside from the production dream team of Carlos Zaragoza and Roger Deakins, as well as the timeless Juan de Marcos of the Buena Vista Social Club, there are a whole host of celebrities involved.

American actor, singer, songwriter, rapper, producer, and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda voices the kinkajou and Gloria Estefan voices Marta Sandoval, a Cuban song diva who lives in South Florida.

"This Netflix film is really special and a beautiful musical collaboration in which I am happy to have participated. May the story of Marta serve as a little escape for you and your family. See how love always triumphs!" - Gloria Estefan.

The star-studded cast is completed by the second-highest-grossing film actress of all time Zoe Saldana who voices Rosa, American starlet Ynairaly Simo as Gabi, Tony Award nominee Brian Tyree Henry as Dancarino, esteemed American actor Michael Rooker as Lutador, and comedienne, actress, television host, podcaster, author and Primetime Emmy Award nominee Nicole Byer as Valentina.

Why is Vivo worth a watch?

Released on 6th August, Vivo is not just another children's cartoon story. Its characters take the viewer on a journey about love, and don't we all have a childlike desire within us to be told a good love story?

The trip begins in the vibrant Cuban capital of Havana and ends in Miami where the kinkajou must deliver a letter. But it's more than a geographical journey across the straits from Cuba to Florida. This love letter must first embark on an unforgettable musical adventure.

In fact, music becomes another character, maybe even the protagonist. Vivo embraces the best of Cuban culture and music, all with the wonderful backdrop of a firm commitment to love.

It's well worth tuning in to watch this animated feature if you want to celebrate a love story that will make you smile, some wonderful Cuban music that will get your foot tapping, and lastly, some stunning animated views of one of the world's most interesting cities.

Vivo means "alive", and that's certainly a good way to describe Havana!

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