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.