Hollywood Has Been Sitting on a Lin-Manuel Miranda Animated Musical for Six Years

Lin-Manuel Miranda (right) sings with Dwayne Johnson at the premiere of Moana. Image: Disney
Lin-Manuel Miranda (right) sings with Dwayne Johnson at the premiere of Moana. Image: Disney

This story is almost too crazy to be true. We all know Lin-Manuel Miranda. He’s multiple award-winning genius behind Hamilton who helped write songs for Moana and now has several projects in the works with Disney. Well, it turns out he already worked on an animated musical called Vivo, but Hollywood just didn’t make it.


Vivo is about “a capuchin monkey with a thirst for adventure—and a passion for music—that makes a treacherous passage from Havana to Miami to fulfill his destiny,” according to Deadline. After the Tony-award winning success of his first musical, In the Heights, DreamWorks Animation hired Miranda to write 11 songs for the film but it just never came together. Then Hamilton happened. Moana happened. Miranda became one of the most sought-after creatives in the world, and Vivo, a film with 11 completed Miranda songs just sitting there, quietly made the move to Sony Animation.

So guess what’s happening now? Sony has set a release date of December 18, 2020 for the film. Quiara Alegría Hudes, who worked with Miranda on In The Heights, is writing the script and Kirk De Micco, director of The Croods, will direct.

There’s a lesson here. It’s “Make one of the most popular Broadway shows of all-time.” All kinds of doors open up.


Entertainment Reporter. NYU Cinema Studies Alum. Formerly Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and /Film. AP Award-Winning Film Critic & CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.


Michael Crider

I listened to the Hamilton soundtrack and didn’t like it (and I freakin’ love musicals AND period pieces). It sounded like someone was trying to make the edgiest episode of Schoolhouse Rock.