Some heroes are born to fly.… Rio Review

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Rio opened here last night and it was with a great deal of plea­sure and relief to watch after the awful­ness of Hop. Rio is a gen­uine ani­mated fea­ture unlike Hop, and it has one thing over the bunny disaster.…namely quality!!

I wouldn’t go as far to say that Rio is great because it doesn’t quite lift itself into that league. It is made by the same peo­ple who brought us the Ice Age tril­ogy. I’m not overly fond of Ice Age as the ani­ma­tion isn’t quite to my taste, but I do admire the skill involved in its mak­ing, and hence, they are still worth watch­ing. I found the ani­ma­tion in Rio a step ahead of Ice Age and is of a very high cal­iber. It isn’t Rango ter­ri­tory, or Pixar even, but it is well above that of the recent Gnomeo and Juliet.

Over­all though Rio offers noth­ing new ani­ma­tion or plot wise. But this doesn’t mean Rio is a fail­ure, because it isn’t. It is stan­dard fare and I have found over the years that an ani­mated fea­ture like this is still of a con­sis­tently high stan­dard. And unlike Hop Rio is a movie that all ages will enjoy. It is aimed at the younger gen­er­a­tions to be sure, but any adult will get enough out of it and not be hor­ri­fied to have to sit through 90 min­utes of awful­ness for the kid­dies sake. I think most adults will actu­ally like Rio but not rave about it. There is cer­tainly enough ‘grown up ‘humor to be involved in with ref­er­ences to other movies and the likes if you are atten­tive enough to catch them. In one scene a bunch of mon­keys is beaten up by a bunch of birds, with one bird say­ing, ’ yippy i a, mon­key fella’.… Die Hard anyone??!!!

The movie moves along very quickly and I think the young ones will be hard pressed to fid­get and squirm as there won’t be time! The ani­ma­tion as stated is good and I think the kid­dies will love it. Rio de Janiero is col­ored beau­ti­fully whether day or night, and the ‘car­ni­val’ atmos­phere adds a pal­pa­ble and col­or­ful back­drop. Rio as a movie based in South Amer­ica has cap­tured the sight and sounds won­der­fully even though every­one speaks Eng­lish. But hey, it is more for the kids so what does it matter?!

The char­ac­ters, espe­cially the two main pro­tag­o­nists, a pair of Blue Macaws are lik­able. Blu is well voiced by Jesse Eisen­berg who per­fectly cap­tures his doubts and shel­tered upbring­ing ( he is a bird who can’t fly and has to learn in order to save his friends at the end of the movie ). The nas­ties are nasty and get their just desserts in the end. There is not one dud or out of place char­ac­ter which helps the movie move along well. All stan­dard stuff from an ani­mated fea­ture and of course sub­lim­i­ley aimed at the young ones, which I don’t have a prob­lem with. Sur­pris­ingly there are two songs in Rio which I wasn’t expect­ing and very Dis­ney like. I’m not overly fond of singing in ani­ma­tion but in Rio they are fit­ting and still humor­ous enough to not stop the flow of the movie.

So in Rio it is all there. The humor, the plot of look­ing out for your fam­ily and friends, any num­ber of sight gags that all ages will love, and some very good ani­ma­tion. Rio is a very col­or­ful movie and I think the kids will be very engaged by that alone. It is a fast pace humor­ous color fest, with the usual array of good and bad char­ac­ters. Blu’s fel­low, and very female, Macaw, voiced by Anne Hath­away, reminded me a girl I knew years ago who had the most beau­ti­ful blue, and heart­break­ing, doe eyes. I really enjoyed her char­ac­ter as the mak­ers really made her very female to look at! Her eyes are lovely and she is a real charmer as a char­ac­ter, very inde­pen­dent and full of life. Blu’s owner too is the very typ­i­cal ani­mated female with a gor­geously cliqued, per­fect fig­ure!! But hey, again, it is ani­ma­tion and it is escapism, so why can’t there be an ani­mated babe!!

If I was to grade Rio I would give it 7/10. It is all there as I have stated and is a very com­pe­tent fea­ture. It is not in the great realm, but is well above aver­age and is for all ages to enjoy. I think the kid­dies won’t be engaged so much dia­logue wise as they will be color wise. It is quite some­thing and even the oldies will admire what the mak­ers have achieved. It may have a child like slant but any adult or par­ent who takes the kids to Rio will also enjoy it enough to make it a pleas­ant time out for all.

Another good qual­ity ani­mated fea­ture that is for all. While it isn’t in the great league it is cer­tainly among the plethora of very good above aver­age movies mak­ing the rounds. Rio can be watched over and over by the kids when released on DVD and not annoy the par­ents who will more than likely par­take! Above aver­age, enjoy­able, fun for all.

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About Brent Pearce

Brent joined BCDB because of his blog posts. Dave noticed this New Zealander's posts, and recruited him to also write for BCDB. Now Brent is our in-house movie reviewer, too. Want to say Hi? Send Brent a note here.

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