Rango wins over Afro-Cuban love story Chico & Rita
Rango just won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature and although I'm sure it was really good, I was so disappointed that it wasn't Chico & Rita--the beautiful Afro-Cuban love story that celebrated Cuban music and jazz.
I, of course, I'm not surprised because it seemed like a miracle that it was even nominated. In fact, this was the first time that an animated feature film from Spain gets this nomination. Chico & Rita has recently won that country's prestigious Goya Award and a series of accolades at independent film festivals.
The animated bilingual film begins in Cuba in 1948, where Chico is a young piano player and Rita is a beautiful singer with an amazing voice. They fall for each other and are united by their love for music, but their story is full of heartbreak and torment. A beautiful love story that takes us from Havana to New York, Paris, Hollywood and Las Vegas!
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The film had an amazing group of talented people behind it including Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba (of Belle Epoque fame), Spain's most famous designer/illustrator Javier Mariscal and legendary Cuban composer and arranger Bebo Valdés.
A winner in every sense!
But I guess the Academy preferred the Johnny Depp-voiced story of a chameleon named Rango who lives a sheltered life until he finds himself stuck in a desert town called Dirt. My daughter liked the movie a lot and I'm a huge Johnny Depp fun, but I was so hoping the Latin jazz love story would take the statue!
Chico & Rita was also up against Puss in Boots, which I absolutely loved, but I guess it just wasn't the night for Latinos in animated feature films.
Images via Paramount, Luma Films