We’ve known for years that the idea behind Vivo — and its Lin-Manuel Miranda-created original soundtrack — laid dormant until Sony Pictures quietly picked up the project five years ago. Now, we’ve finally got a glimpse of it, and perhaps a cute Kinkajou was worth the wait.
Netflix has just released the first trailer for Vivo, directed by Kirk DeMicco and Brandon Jeffords, based on a script by DeMicco and In the Heights’ Quiara Alegría Hudes, and featuring a long-in-limbo original soundtrack by the ever-busy Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film follows the titular young Kinkajou Vivo — a tropical rainforest mammal also known as a honey bear, native to Central and South America — voiced by Miranda himself, when he befriends an elderly musician in Havana named Andrés (Juan de Marcos). After Vivo learns from Andrés about a wish to declare his love to his former singing partner Marta Sandoval (Gloria Estafan), Vivo goes on a quest to take him from Cuba all the way to Florida and deliver Andrés’ love song to Marta’s farewell concert — with a little help from an unruly young girl named Gabi (Ynairaly Simo) along the way.
Vivo’s had a strange path to its eventual release. Dreamworks animation originally hired Miranda to soundtrack the movie back in 2010, but for myriad reasons — including in part, Miranda’s ride into the musical stratosphere with the success of Hamilton, leading to the man seemingly never stopping for a second to breathe ever since — the project lay dormant for years, until Sony Pictures picked up the film in 2016 for a projected 2020 release. Last year was, well, last year, so Vivo got pushed more. Now, as part of a wider relationship Sony has had with the streamer recently — smash hit Mitchells vs the Machines, for example, was originally a Sony theatrical release before it debuted as one of Netflix’s most successful animated movies earlier this year — the movie will debut on the streamer early next month.
Vivo, also starring Zoe Saldaña, Brian Tyree Henry, Michael Rooker, and Nicole Byer, will hit Netflix on August 6.