Where does Vivo take place? Settings of new Netflix animated movie explored

Bruno Cooke August 9, 2021
Where does Vivo take place? Settings of new Netflix animated movie explored


Directed by Kirk DeMicco (The Croods) and featuring a cast including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Zoe Saldana and Cuban bandleader Juan de Marcos, Vivo premiered late last month. Following its arrival on Netflix on 6 August, audiences are wondering, where does Vivo (2021) take place? Plus, who plays Vivo, Gabi, Andrés and Rosa?

Where does Vivo take place?

The action of Vivo begins in Havana, the capital of Cuba. 

At the beginning of the film, Andrés Hernández and his kinkajou Vivo – a tropical rainforest-dwelling mammal related to the raccoon – are seen playing music together in the plaza. 

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Source: YouTube [Netflix]

However, when he receives a letter from an old friend, Marta, in Miami, things get complicated. Determined to get Marta to hear Andrés’ song, Vivo stows away to Key West, Florida.

Soon afterwards, Vivo and Gabi, Andrés’ grand-niece, find themselves lost in the Everglades, a natural region of tropical wetlands in southern Florida. The latter part of the film takes place in the city of Miami.

Vivo | Official Trailer | Netflix

Vivo | Official Trailer | Netflix

Who plays Vivo and Andrés?

Vivo the kinkajou – not a monkey, despite what one might think – is voiced by American actor, singer, songwriter, producer and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda

Best known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals In The Heights and Hamilton, Miranda’s many awards include Pulitzers, Laurence Olivier Awards, three Tonys, three Grammys and an Emmy.

Juan de Marcos González, of the Buena Vista Social Club, plays Andrés, Vivo’s Cuban owner. 

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Photo by Michael Williamson/The The Washington Post via Getty Images

Besides being an award-winning multi-instrumentalist and prolific producer in Cuba, González speaks Russian and English, and has some knowledge of Lucumi and Abakua.

What about Rosa and Gabi?

Vivo’s cast features Ynairaly Simo as Gabi, Andrés’ grand-niece. Simo, age 13, is a New Yorker. Her parents migrated to the US from the Dominican Republic.

She previously featured in the Self TV series Creative Galaxy, when she was just six years old.

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Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage

Zoe Saldana, of Avatar and Guardians Of The Galaxy fame, voices Rosa, Gabi’s mother and Andrés’ niece. 

New computer-animated musical Vivo received a limited theatrical release on 30 July. A digital release followed a week later, via Netflix.

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Bruno Cooke has been a freelance journalist since 2019, primarily with GRV Media. He was an early contributor to The Focus, and has written for HITC, Groundviews and the Sheffield University newspaper – he earned his MA in Global Journalism there in 2021. He’s the Spoken Word Poetry Editor for The Friday Poem, and self-published his debut novel Reveries in 2019, which his mum called both a “fine read” and “excellent Christmas present”. Bruno has lived in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and likes, among other things: bicycle touring, black and white Japanese films, pub quizzes, fermentation and baklava. In 2023, Bruno will set off with his partner on a round-the-world cycle.