Chico & Rita
Sultry, Latin-flavored cartoon is a treat for eyes and ears
One of the more obscure films to pop into this year’s Best Animated Feature category at the Academy Awards was the Cuban-born cartoon Chico & Rita. (It lost out to the American-made Rango.) The roots of the film’s existence can be traced back to director Fernando Trueba (one of three directors credited on Chico & Rita). Trueba produced and directed the Latin jazz documentary Calle 54. It was on that watershed 2000 film that Trueba met legendary Cuban pianist/bandleader Bebo Valdés. Valdés provides the music as well as the loose biographical inspiration for Chico & Rita.