Saw Chico y Rita last night. CLEARLY NOT FOR KIDS and featured some surprising cartoon sex.
A good, but typical love story movie. The animation was lower-budget than what we’re used to with Disney, Studio Ghibli, and Pixar. Character design was cool, but they didn’t blend well with their 3d environments and were constantly out of sync with the sound.
Of course the music was great. Bebo Valdes, a real-life Cuban pianist and arranger from the era provided the score (and inspired Chico’s physical appearance). The movie was definitely written by jazz fans who painstakingly dropped their characters into the bebop-era New York. I was not aware of all the Cuban musicians collaborating with legends like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Goes to show that we often overlook Latin artists’ contributions to the modern jazz sound as we know it.
I was surprised they glossed over the Cuban revolution. There was a short bit where a man with a gun told Chico his gig was canceled due to their “western” music. Then after that, cut to Chico shoe-shining a tourist 40 years later. That was about it. Maybe that’s how it felt for them. One minute they were the hippest musicians around, the next, it was all over.
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