In addition to cataloging some of our favorite shows and movies from years past, Netflix has become a home for amazing original content that rivals many of its other offerings. With the company expanding into more and more diverse media offerings, it should come as no surprise that they’ve worked with some interesting creatives over the years to produce unforgettable projects. One such project is Vivo, an animated film that premiered on Aug. 6, 2021. Let’s learn more about Vivo and its stars — including the young actress who got to play one of the main characters, Gabi, alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda.
What is Netflix’s ‘Vivo’ about?
Vivo is a new movie from Sony Pictures Animation, the same studio behind another Netflix-premiere this year, The Mitchells vs. the Machines. The film follows the titular Vivo , a kinkajou, and the human Andrés, a musical duo living in Havana. One day, a letter arrives from Andrés’ friend, Marta, who asks him to come see her in Florida before she retires from her own musical career. Before he can travel to see her and confess his long-hidden feelings for her, Andrés dies of old age.
Despite his own reluctance to leave Cuba, Vivo resolves to make the trip for his old friend in order to give Marta the song he’d written for her. He accomplishes this by stowing away with Andrés’ niece, Rosa, and her daughter Gabi as they return to Florida from Andrés’ funeral. Gabi ends up finding Vivo in her luggage and, after learning what he intends to do, runs away to help him track down Marta.
Who voices Gabi in ‘Vivo’?
There are plenty of great actors lending their voices to the characters of Vivo, but one of the most interesting stars of the film is the girl behind Gabi’s performance. Her name is Ynairaly Simo, and she’s a 13-year-old actor, singer, and model from New York. Simo brings a ton of life to Gabi, lending an authenticity to the character’s youth and exuberance. She also manages to balance some surprising depth during the heavier scenes, like a late revelation about Gabi’s relationship with her father.
On top of all that is her singing talent. It’s not easy to stand on the level of a Hamilton actor, much less the creator himself. However, Simo manages to hold her own alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda during some of the movie’s musical numbers. The two compliment each other quite well throughout the film, both in songs and in their dialogue exchanges.
All of this is even more impressive given that this is only Simo’s second major acting gig. Prior to landing such a big role in Vivo, she had only performed in a few 2014 episodes of the children’s show Creative Galaxy as herself. Knowing only that about her, it would be hard to predict she’d see such success in only a few years.
‘Vivo’ features a star-studded cast
Even without Simo’s starring role, Vivo‘s voice cast is filled with great actors. The IMDb credits list tons of talent, chief among them being Lin-Manuel Miranda as Vivo. As mentioned before, much of his screen time is shared with Simo’s Gabi, the two characters forming an unlikely duo who bond over their shared losses and the feelings left unsaid by that trauma.
There’s also Zoe Saldana as Rosa, delivering a strong and compassionate performance as Gabi’s mother. Juan de Marcos González as Andrés, whose unsung love song drives the film’s plot. Gloria Estefan is the other half of this as the musician Marta. Michael Rooker plays Lutador, an antagonistic anaconda who hates noise and tries to eat Vivo.
Additionally, one notable cameo is Leslie David Baker as a bus driver in Florida, potentially making a stealth reference to the ultimate fate of his character on The Office.
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