Chico and Rita (DVD),
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This review is from: Chico And Rita [DVD] (DVD)
A great deal of the charm of this animated film is due to beautiful singer Idania Valdes, who recreates sweet and soft romantic versions of Latin standards such as Beseme Mucho. As the singing voice of Rita, she hints at the Bossa Nova styling of Astrud Gilberto.
Vetran Cuban pianist Bebo Valdes provides the music for Chico, a virtuoso young pianist, who falls in love with Rita, and adopts the new Bebop music from New York.
Freddie Cole, Nat King Cole's younger brother recreates a hit song sung by his brother, and amongst the musicians, Trumpeter Michael Mossman blows up a storm in the manner of Dizzy Gillespie.
Estrella Morente, sings the part for her own character, when she revives Chico's former hits, and makes an award winning album with him, now an old man.
Director Fernando Trueba chose to recreate the music from the 1940's, 50's and 60's, rather than just include recordings of Thelonius Monk, Charlie Parker, Tito Pepe, and most of the American and Cuban 'jazz greats' and there is a tremendous Latin tribute song to Cano Pozo, a ledgendary drummer, during his Funeral Service.
The Animation designed by a team headed by Spanish Artist Javier Mariscal, is realistic as well as cartoon like, and there is an animated sequence within the animaton, like films of the 1950's might include, as Chico follows Rita to New York to try his fortunes. Because the film is aminated, based upon drawings of live actors, it allows the underlying problem of ethnic segregation to be examined in a detached manner. Just before the days of Civil Rights, Rita now an International Celebrity, states her case in Las Vegas - "I am allowed to perform in this beautiful Hotel, but I am not allowed to stay here."
The music is wonderful, and the pleasent colourful Animation portrays deep soul searching emotions of love, hate, jealousy, violence, and deception.
Certainly a film to add to a collection, with a fascinating special features section showing the making of it, with interviews, and an optional commentary.