Think of Chico and Rita as a test, one that gauges whether your love of Cuban jazz can exceed your threshold for lousy animation -- a real "good tunes/bad toons" quandary.
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What are critics saying?
A shallow romanticization of Batista-era Cuba -- when the nation was a tropical paradise for the delectation of American jetsetters -- and what the revolution left in its wake.
You've never seen anything like Chico & Rita, simply because that jubilant palette and likeminded jazz soundtrack embraces its predictability with such vitality.
A delightful blend of hand-drawn animation and CG style that'll be soul food for hopeless romantics everywhere.
Boxoffice Magazine by Mark Keizer
The blistering tunes and unique animation compensate for the rather unconvincing central love story that works best as a Forrest Gump-ian device to highlight some legendary real-life musicians.
Movieline by Stephanie Zacharek
This is the kind of sophisticated storytelling you rarely get even in live-action movies any more, full of unexpected turns and unruly human complications.
The Hollywood Reporter by Stephen Farber
It's a pleasure to surrender to the movie's lush visuals, which are accompanied by wonderful jazz classics performed by Valdes, Estrella Morente, and Freddy Cole (Nat King Cole's brother), among many others.
The boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl-and-turns-heartbreak-into-great-art plot is as hoary as they come, but Mariscal's eye-popping artwork and the evocation of a bygone musical era (Charlie Parker at the Village Vanguard, Tito Puente at the Palladium) are delirious.
The A.V. Club by Tasha Robinson
The characters are simply rendered, but when it comes to capturing cities and scenes, the cinematography takes on the color and detail of a Mexican street mural.