With Lin-Manuel Miranda’s two Broadway musicals -- Hamilton and In The Heights -- widely available to audiences, it's time for the playwright to bring brand-new music into our ears, and that time is coming quickly. The talent will star in a Sony Pictures Animated project called Vivo, which drops on Netflix this August, and the first look is absolutely adorable.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is playing triple-threat once again for Vivo, a musical adventure that takes place in the Florida Everglades. The Hamilton creator co-penned the story, co-wrote the music and will star as the titular Vivo, a tropical mammal called the kinkajou. Check out Miranda’s latest character in action with one of the movie’s musical numbers:
Of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s voice is instantly recognizable, even if it's coming from a cute monkey-like creature in Vivo. The song titled “Keep The Beat'' introduces the movie with grace, as Vivo finds himself in an uncertain situation with new companion Gabi, voiced by newcomer Ynairaly Simo. At first, the kinkajou seems to be worried about the adventure at hand, but then Gabi joins in to the song.
But once they bang on some drumsticks together, the characters start to connect and team up for an epic duet. It’s a sweet sneak peek at Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Vivo ahead of the film's release on Netflix later this summer. The movie will also feature the vocal talents of Zoe Saldana, Michael Rooker, Brian Tyree Henry, Nicole Byer and Gloria Estefan.
Based on “Keep the Beat,” Vivo seems to be an older monkey who had a past relationship with another human named Andres, who looks to be the older man the song flashes back to. Gabi also playfully calls Vivo “grandpa” while they're creating music together. It’s a bit of a random character to see the Hamilton star take on but, considering Lin-Manuel Miranda’s track record, a lot of us will be pressing play on this one.
Lin-Manuel Miranda previously wrote the lyrics for Disney’s Moana with composer Mark Mancina. For Vivo, he is reteaming with his frequent collaborator Alex Lacamoire for the music. This will be one of two Miranda-centric animated projects in 2021, as he is also a part of Disney’s Encanto, coming this November. In the Disney project, Miranda is not expected to have a voice role, but the soundtrack is stacked with more of his original songs.
Additionally, we can look forward to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s additions to the live-action The Little Mermaid soundtrack, which he worked on with original composer Alan Menken. The playwright has also taken to directing with Tick, Tick… Boom, which is also coming to Netflix later this year. That movie will adapt a Broadway play about the playwright behind Rent.
Overall, there’s a lot to be excited about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s next steps, and Vivo is only the beginning. The animated film hits Netflix on August 6.