Vivo – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Vivo.


The beginning was a little predictable in its “Pixar” style twist. The rest was a usual road trip buddy story. It was a fun story.

Score: 0.5


We don’t see a lot of Cuban or Cuban-American culture in animation. It was nice to see the art, music, and accents take centre stage. The characters were all motivated by relatable emotions.

The character of Vivo is sassy, funny, and filled with heart.

Score: 1


The running commentary by Vivo is both adorable and refreshingly funny. I appreciated the music, situational, word, and absurd humour.

I liked that they treated parts of the dialogue like motifs in music. They repeated or altered certain phrases to create more of an emotional impact and to pull the various parts of the movie together.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The movie was absolutely beautiful. It might not have been up to Pixar or Disney quality but they captured the Cuban art and colour style fantastically. There are a few times that the face and perspective in that art style didn’t translate well to a 3D animation, but over all, it was great.

The music was Broadway with the Lin-Manuel Miranda twist and a large dollop of Cuban influence. It’s a little reminiscent of his other work, but that doesn’t detract from how good it was.

Score: 1


The movie was colourful, never wallowed too much, and had multiple levels of humour. It was poignant and had a pretty good message, plus both kids loved it.

Score: 1


It takes a lot of elements that we’re familiar with in animated and musical movies and mixes them together with a Cuban-American influence making it feel fresh and vibrant. The visuals, music, comedy, and heart warming story make for a wonderful film.

Final Score: 4.5 stars out of 5

Blush: Respect

Last week, I received this anonymous question in Blush’s inbox:

Screen grab from Blush's email account
Screen grab from Blush’s email account

While this could have been funny if it was from a friend, the fact that it remains anonymous sets off a seriously creepy vibe. I also feel disrespected and upset.
One of the reasons I created the game Blush is to open the conversation about sex. Make it less taboo to talk about, and to normalize conversations about topics that may seem, to some people, awkward and uncomfortable. Topics like LGBT and transgender issues will be less mysterious.

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”
H.P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature

Sex, gender, and all the other topics that are covered in Blush should not be unknown! Maybe I’m extrapolating, but I feel like if people understood and respected one another a little bit better, we won’t have to live through another massacre like that in Orlando on June 12, 2016.

“[…]We lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger;
We rise and fall and light from dying embers
Remembrances that hope and love last longer
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside. […]”
Lin-Manuel Miranda at the 2016 Tony Awards

June 12 was our anniversary (seven years this year!), and I spent a lot of time on that day thinking about how privileged we are; to live in Canada, to be in a “socially accepted relationship”, to be alive, to be allowed to love. And yet, I receive messages like the one above. Granted, that message is TAME. I feel fortunate that whoever it was only went that far. But would they have said that over the phone? If I knew who they were? The internet allows a certain level of anonymity that makes people feel as though they can say whatever they want with no repercussions. Sure, this person won’t know how uncomfortable they made me feel (unless they read this), but that doesn’t mean that someone didn’t get hurt.

I hope that people treat each other with more respect soon. I hope that I’m bringing our daughter into a world that respects and loves and cares about all human life, no matter who they love, what they look like, or where they come from.

As for what I’m wearing right now? Clothing.

P.S. If one of my friends did send me that message as a joke, please let me know so that I can stop worrying about it! I won’t be mad at you.