Synopsis by Mark Deming
A love affair between two musicians spans six decades and numerous countries and political regimes in this animated romantic drama. In 1948, Chico (voice of Eman Xor Ona) is a hotshot jazz pianist living in Havana, where his reputation as a ladies' man nearly outshines his talent at the keyboard. One night, Chico sees Rita (voice of Limara Meneses) singing "Love for Sale" at a nightclub, and it's love at first sight, though Rita is put off by the fact Chico already has a steady girl. However, when Chico backs Rita during a talent competition held at a Havana radio station, she realizes they're musically simpatico, and her heart soon follows her creative instincts. But after a quarrel with Chico, Rita is approach by Ron, an American talent scout who says he can make her a star, and she takes him up on the offer, traveling with him to New York. Not wanting to lose Rita, Chico and his best friend Ramon head to New York City, but as Rita achieves fame and fortune in the United States, Chico finds the limelight is keeping them apart, and after returning to Cuba, the island's unstable political climate proves even better than Ron at keeping him away from Rita. Chico y Rita (aka Chico and Rita) was a collaboration between filmmaker and music producer Fernando Trueba, artist and designer Javier Mariscal, and animator and director Tono Errando, and features cartoon "cameo appearances" from a number of legendary jazz artists, including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Chano Pozo.
Cuba, fame, jazz, love-affair, musician, nightclub, pianist, talent-scouts, talent-show