image for Vivo

Short takes

Not suitable under 6; parental guidance to 8 (scary scenes and emotional themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Vivo
  • a review of Vivo completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 12 August 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not suitable due to some scary moments and emotional themes.
Children aged 6–8 Parental guidance recommended due to scary scenes.
Children over the age of 8 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Vivo
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes, scary scenes
Length: 139 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Andrés (voice of Buena Vista Social Club's, Juan de Marcos González), a retired band leader, and his loyal animal companion Vivo (voice of Lin-Manuel Miranda), a small golden kinkajou, are a talented musical duo who perform on the streets of Havana, Cuba. One day Andrés receives a letter from his long-lost sweetheart and former musical partner, Marta Sandoval (voice of Gloria Estefan), inviting Andrés to join her for her very last performance in Miami. Andrés dreams of making it to Miami and finally telling Marta how much he loves her but Vivo does NOT want to leave Cuba. The morning of their departure, Vivo wakes to find that Andrés has passed away quietly in his sleep – holding in his hand a beautiful song composed for Marta. Vivo decides he must make it to Miami and fulfil Andrés’ wish, to share the song with Marta before her last performance. When Andrés’ niece Rosa (voice of Zoe Saldana) and her quirky daughter Gabi (voice of Ynairaly Simo) come to Havana for their uncle’s funeral, Vivo decides to hitch a ride in their suitcase back to America so that he can get to Miami on time. Of course, things don’t go quite to plan and Gabi, with much delight, discovers the stowaway kinkajou and insists on helping him get to Miami. Together, the unlikely duo embark on an adventure through the streets of Florida, the wilderness of the Everglades national park and onto the glitzy boulevards of Miami, where they hope to make it in time for Marta’s last performance.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Music; Latin music and culture; Neurodiversity; Endangered animals; Adventure; Death and Death of a parent.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some mild slapstick violence in this movie, including:

  • Vivo throws things from a backpack at some girls riding scooters as Gabi and Vivo try and outrun them on a bike.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Vivo finds his best friend Andrés has died in the night. We see his hand has gone limp and lifeless. There are several scenes where Vivo is really missing his friend and feeling sad.
  • There are many scenes where the central characters of Vivo and Gabi are in danger or peril. For example, Gabi attempts to cross a bridge on her bike whilst it is opening to let a large ship through, and they fall through the gap and land on the ship below.
  • When Gabi and Vivo are going through the Everglades national park on a homemade raft, they become trapped in a ferocious storm. They become separated, lost and very scared. There is dramatic music.
  • In the Everglades, Vivo and Gabi are threatened by a very scary, giant snake with glowing red eyes and sharp teeth that chases them through the forest trying to capture and eat them.
  • A dog with sharp, snapping teeth chases Vivo through the streets, saying that Vivo looks “tasty”.
  • Security guards chase Vivo and Gabi through a building.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • A spoonbill bird in the Everglades talks about wanting to end his life (euphemistically saying he’s ready to take a “dirt nap”) because he can’t find a mate. It is meant in a joking way.
  • There is an emotional scene where Gabi cries and talks about how she misses her father (he is recently deceased) and wishes that she had told him that she loved him. Gabi’s mother Rosa comforts her and reassures her that her father always knew how much she loved him.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some romantic references in this movie, including:

  • Andrés loves Marta and there are flashbacks to their youth when they danced together.
  • Two spoonbill birds fall in love and sing romantic songs to each other.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Butt.

In a nutshell

Vivo is a fun and heart-warming musical adventure with an engaging plot and some very catchy songs. The animation is vibrant, there is great diversity in the characters, and Vivo the kinkajou is very cute. With some big-name Latin music artists involved, the film is a great way for young children to experience the joy and complexity of Cuban music. Best suited for families with children aged 6 and over, with parental guidance to 8.

The main message from this movie is that sometimes other people’s dreams are worth fighting for, even if it means we have to make a sacrifice. Another theme that runs throughout is the amazing power of music to create bridges between people.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Being brave enough to step outside your comfort zone.
  • Being comfortable in your own skin and not worrying about conforming.
  • Sacrificing your own desires for the good of others.
  • Learning to grieve and say goodbye.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Gabi is a real risk taker and often doesn’t think much about the consequences of her actions. Parents could talk to their children about how Gabi could have reached her goals without getting into so much trouble and danger.