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Sony's Animated Musical Vivo Release Moves To Netflix

 


Yet another of 2021's major animation releases has had its theatrical release scrapped in favour of a debut via streaming. Animated musical Vivo, Sony Pictures Animation's last movie standing will follow this month's Mitchells Vs The Machines and will now debut on Netflix at a later date instead. The streamer has picked up first-run rights for the movie globally (excluding China, where Netflix doesn't operate), The original cinema release was set for June 8, but there has been no announcement of when it will hit Netflix.

This move is not hugely surprising considering the relationship Sony has had had with Netflix recently. They have already sold The Mitchells and China co-production Wish Dragon's worldwide rights to them, so it would make sense for Vivo to follow. Separately,  Netflix have acquired the streaming rights to all of Sony Pictures live-action and animated releases from 2022, which will include the Spider-Verse sequel. However, this deal only covers the US market.

Vivo is SPA's first musical feature and will include original songs from Hamilton and Moana's Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda will also voice the titular character (a South-American Kikajou aka a Honey Bear), alongside co-stars Brian Tyree Henry,  Nicole Byer, Zoe Saldana and Gloria Estefan.

Miranda is also credited with the original story, alongside Peter Barsocchini, with Quiara Alegria Hudes responsible for the screenplay. The film is directed by Kirk DeMicco (The Croods), with Brandon Jeffords as co-director. DeMicco also has a writing credit.

It's been a fairly rocky road to the screen, starting off as a DreamWorks Animation production before moving to Sony in 2016. It's very unusual that we are less than two months away from the originally planned release and we have yet to have a proper teaser, let alone a full trailer. We haven't even really had any images released from the film- we'd only seen the logo.

You would think that if Sony was really proud of the film they would have been promoting it more heavily by now. Could they be concerned they have a stinker on their hands? Or maybe something that would be hard to market. The move to release via streaming doesn't necessarily mean anything other than the studio is dealing with the challenges of releasing during the pandemic. But the complete lack of any hype around this is more of a cause of concern. 

There is also one other big factor. This Thanksgiving, Walt Disney Animation Studio's next feature Latin-America set fantasy Encanto is due to hit cinemas. Disney's film is co-written by and also features original songs from one Lin-Manuel Miranda, so it's possible that Sony are just trying to avoid possibly being confused with and most likely overshadowed by the Mouse House's latest blockbuster.

Netflix have now released the first (very brief) teaser trailer for the film, which you can check out below!



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