Welcome to Cuba 1948, we meet Chico who is a piano player who has some big dreams and Rita is a singer who has this amazing voice. Watching this Oscar nominated animated film felt like watching a love letter to the place and the sounds of Cuba. Now, this is no kids cartoon, this film is very adult themed with this young couple who travel the map to chase their desires and dreams, all set to a soundtrack that is just captivating. This film is full of heartbreak, sadness and at times joy and promise. This film felt like a tribute more to the era, then trying to mimic it. This film is beautiful, yet so simplistic and utterly heartfelt that it felt like it was coming to life in front of your eyes and ears. This film felt like it was designed to be live action, but thank god it was not, the cartoon aspect which is not like Pixar but more like old school cartoon films really is so fascinating. This film has a great story to tell, and some may think the film moves a little too slow for their likings, but I did not mind this film for I was really into the characters and the music so much that I really loved the mood of this film enough to recommend it off that alone.
The film spans many years from the streets of Cuba to the clubs of New York City, to the sets of Hollywood films, to the dirt bag hotels of Vegas. Chico is an old man and a former master of the piano keys and one day he hears his song on the radio and it causes him to reflect on his life and the relationship he had with his one true love Rita. They seem destined from the get-go to meet as their paths were constantly brought together by some fate or moment. Truly they were in love, but never seem to connect with each other for a long period of time. They both had obstacles to deal with, but the hope of a fate together kept both of them strong and with promise. As romantic and sweet as this film sounds, there is underlining tragedy and a very cruel edge to this film.
I was impressed with how much this film made me feel like I was watching my own life in some odd way, this film was so personal and made me emotional and also at times made me smile and feel good at the same time. I thought some of the illustrations at time did come across as sort of badly done, but that is a small complaint because I really loved this film and it had me from start to finish with both its sound and characters. This is a must for anyone looking for a romantic film to warm up with that someone special and dig on.
8 out of 10