Six reasons to watch Netflix’s VIVO

The lovely animated movie VIVO was released on Netflix a week ago, and I think you’re going to love it. VIVO was meant for theater release, but COVID changed its plans sending it straight to Netflix. Here are six reasons to watch it:

  1. The story is set in Havana, Cuba, and Miami, Florida. Therefore, the movie is full of the sounds that we love. 
  2. Vivo is a kinkajou voiced by Lin Manuel Miranda, who composed the songs in the movie. They sound just like you would expect from the creator of IN THE HEIGHTS and HAMILTON.
  3. Vivo is a companion to an old Cuban singer named Andres, voiced by none other than Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, who perhaps you saw, as I did, in Los Angeles in 2012 performing as part of the group Sierra Maestra at the Skirball Center.
  4. In his young days, Andres had fallen in love with Marta Sandoval (voiced by Gloria Estefan), a singer who left the island to start a career in Miami.
  5. Vivo ends up in Miami, where he needs the help of Gabi, voiced by newcomer 13-year old Ynairaly Simo. Simo was born in New York from Dominican parents, and she delivers what in my opinion is the best song of the entire movie – “My Own Drum.” I want every girl in the universe to listen to this song!
  6. If Marta Sandoval reminds you of Celia Cruz, and if Andres reminds you of Ibrahim Ferrer… get in line.

Fun and touching, VIVO is one of those very few movies with the perfect soundtrack for our musical taste. If you don’t have Netflix, remember you can always subscribe for one month (around $14), watch the movie, perhaps 300 more, and then walk away. Totally worth it!



  1. This is the only reference online to Andres and Ibrahim Ferrer! I’ve been searching for an official statement saying yeah its based on Celia and Ibrahim! Great post and thanks for writing it up!


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