Sexy, sweet and laced with a sadness at once specific to its place and time and accessible to anyone with a breakable heart, "Chico & Rita" is an animated valentine to Cuba and its music.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
A pure delight, a keenly affecting, visually ravishing tale.
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
When a soundtrack this fluidly elegant is married to trite dialogue, thin characterizations, and chockablock animation, it has to go down as a missed opportunity.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
A dazzling thing to behold.
Michelle Orange - Village Voice
The real romance here is between the filmmakers and the cultural moment they hope to document.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
It's entertaining to watch, and I enjoyed the way they slipped in such real-life figures as Dizzy Gillespie beside the fictional leads.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Presented in a wash of animated colors, this story of a hot-headed sexy Latina songstress and her jazz piano player takes on new life.
Tom Long - Detroit News
"Chico and Rita'' beguiles first and foremost as a bebop romance that evokes a bygone era as well as, or maybe even better than, "The Artist."
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
This sexy, pulpy, very grown-up film is not your usual best animated feature material.
Fiona Morrow - Globe and Mail
A dazzling and delightful work of modernist animation, a classic movie romance and a hip-swinging, finger-popping tale of musical revolution...
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
A visually hypnotic, musically electric film.
Stephen Farber - Hollywood Reporter
A buttery rich animated tale of love, jazz, showbiz, fame and politics in the late '40s and early '50s that is as catchy as its tunes.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
A vivid and musical illustration of the transportive powers of cinema.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
Brash and jazzy and -- to use a word not often associated with animated feature films -- sexy.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
When a place and its people are this stylish, we can't help but be drawn to them.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
It's hot and sweet and made with inspiration and cheek. And it is not your children's animated fare -- which, in this case, is a recommendation.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
The animation is inventive and eye-popping everywhere except where it most matters: the design of the characters.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
The images and the music -- and for that matter the story -- seem to belong together to create the vibrant whole of the film.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
The movie works better if you sink into its milieu, enjoying the jazzy color schemes, the fluid animation and, above all, a dynamite soundtrack.
Rob Thomas - Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Chico & Rita" is that rare thing, a cartoon for adults, with a bittersweet take on love and fate and a romantic's view of the night.
John Anderson - Newsday
A perfectly agreeable exercise in musical nostalgia...undermined by clumsiness of execution.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
The film's design and animation... are so sublimely appealling that the story gets to be an afterthought; or, at least, the story doesn't actively ruin your day.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
A gorgeous, joyous, disarmingly nostalgic musical confection.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
- Austin Chronicle
Unfortunately, an evocative setting--the evolution of Afro-Cuban jazz in Havana and New York--sets the stage for a rather slight romance.
Annlee Ellingson - Paste Magazine
This romance follows classic lines a la films like "Now Voyager" and, while the story is well known and oft told, it all feels fresh and new.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Remarkably sexy for its genre (it's not for kids at all), it's nostalgic about a time and place that rarely gets treated on film ("Godfather II" touched on it), and it has an emotional pull that may catch you by surprise.
John Hartl - Seattle Times
...not only a surprise Oscar nominee for best animated feature, it's a total game changer...dazzling.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Hopefully, it will remind filmmakers that animation can be used to tell all kinds of stories.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Sweet but mature animated love story is aimed at grown-ups.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
It's a gorgeous, fluid movie, filled with rich textures and a genuine sense of place, whether it's Havana, Paris, New York, or Hollywood.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
By virtue of its simple, stylized look - bold lines and color blocks - and effervescent Cuban jazz score, the Spanish animated feature "Chico & Rita" rises above its routine story of a troubled love affair between talented musicians.
Walter V. Addiego - San Francisco Chronicle
It works best as an evocative tribute of sorts to a specific musical time and place.
Todd Jorgenson - Cinemalogue.com
An animated delight for grown-up eyes and ears, besides being a sexy romance and a luscious tribute to a great musician [with] Bebo Valdes's authentic Latin jazz score.
Nora Lee Mandel - Film-Forward.com
There's an outline of an epic love story here, but the screenwriters never bother to fill it in all the way.
The film melds dazzling visuals and a wildly infectious score into a simple yet affecting love story.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
It's the grown-up choice to win this year's Oscar for animated feature.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
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.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
A heady wonder for fans of the music, the era, or visual creative art in general.
Tasha Robinson - AV Club
The hand-drawn, watercolor-style animation is a natural fit for the story, with its retro sensibility and timeless effect.
Robert Levin - amNewYork
It's so passionate about the Latin and big-band music of the '40s, '50s and '60s that it'll make anyone who grew up listening to those vibrant rhythms feel like a kid again.
Bob Mondello - NPR
A Spanish animated film for adults that is a real crowd-pleaser.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
An animated film that could actually open up audiences to the world, instead of giving them an escape from it.
Stephen Garrett - Time Out
Regurgitates the starry-eyed rags-to-riches story of Cuban musicians making it in the States immortalized in everything from I Love Lucy to Mambo Kings.
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine
Its failings aside, Chico & Rita is a work of warmth and affection, a colorful evocation of a time and a musical environment redolent of artistic sophistication and the prospects of post-war recovery.
Mark Keizer - Boxoffice Magazine
Animated musical romance strikes an off note.
Don Groves - sbs.com.au
A sensual animated love story set to seductive Latin rhythms.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
Follows a fairly standard music movie trajectory, but charmingly evokes the vibrancy of a bygone era, even as it smoothes away some of its complexity in the process.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
Jazz fans would be be well-advised to check it out, cos this film gives you some serious horn. As it will if you're a fan of sexy cartoon ladies. Ahem.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
Stunningly animated...Not to be missed by animation, music and history buffs, or anyone who appreciates a good love story.
Fr. Chris Carpenter - Movie Dearest
The drawing is magnificent, with ravishing, detailed cityscapes of Havana, New York and Las Vegas.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
This is a simple story but one that is told with a great deal of affection and spirit. The end result is a delightful one-off.
- Daily Express
An animation for jazz lovers that's every bit as good looking as it is tuneful.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
The great names of both Cuban and American jazz are invoked, and Chico and Rita's tragicomic love story meshes very pleasingly with this musical backdrop.
Look past the crude lines, vivid colours and dynamic score, and this is middle-of-the-road romance.
Adam Woodward - Little White Lies
The story and the animation are fairly simple, but the music, featuring Latin rhythms plus the likes of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, is fabulous.
Roz Laws - Birmingham Post
Overall, this is captivating as a riot of rhythm and colour, but somewhat disappointing in the story department.
Trevor Johnston - Radio Times
I liked the drawing. I liked the music. I liked the sassy dialogue: "I'd kiss the ground you walk on if you lived in a clean neighbourhood."
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
Visually and musically: smokin'. Dramatically: no cigar.
Elliott Noble - Sky Movies
All buzz, colour and sublime jazz, Chico & Rita is an instant design classic -- and cracking cinema too.
Ellen E Jones - Total Film
Beautifully animated, impressively directed and powerfully emotional romantic drama with superb performances, a strong script and a terrific soundtrack.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
A delightful blend of hand-drawn animation and CG style that'll be soul food for hopeless romantics everywhere.
Helen OHara - Empire Magazine
The animation is highly stylised, with more emphasis on shadow and light and the movement and rhythm of the characters than on intimate detailing. However, this impressionistic style suits the ever-present, free-wheeling jazz soundtrack.
Amber Wilkinson - Eye for Film