April 15, 2011
20th Century Fox,
Blue Sky Animation
1 hour 36 minutes
Rio comes to us with perfect timing. Fast Five may be advertised as "the beginning of summer," but Rio really is that summer starter. Well, for families at least. The movie delivers everything it promises: color drooling animation, eye popping 3D, and likable characters played by singers, rappers, and raunchy actors. While I did enjoy all of that, I expected much more out of the final product. The movie is very predictable, even before the movie even starts. And I expected a little more heart in it, rather than funny but forgettable one liners. But still, the animation is superb, the casting was spot on, and the music is outstanding. All of that makes Rio something to really check out.
Blu is the last male bird of his species. In order to save the species, he must mate with the only other remaining female bird of his species. There's only one catch to this: the female bird is in Rio de Janero, Brazil. So Blu and his lovable but scared owner, Linda travel to Rio in order for Blu to meet his mate. But an unexpected turn has Blu and Jewel, the female endangered bird traveling throughout the city of Rio, meeting friendly and unfriendly animals in the process, and exploring the popular city in a musical fashion.
This is the typical animated movie that comes with belly laughs and adult humor. While I usually enjoy those kinds of animated movies, this one could've had much more in it. I mean, the Ice Age movies worked because they had heart, Robots worked because it was cool, and Horton worked because, well, who doesn't love an animated Dr. Seuss movie? While I did laugh in this movie, Rio lacked the heart that most Blue Sky Animation movies had. It was incredibly predictable, like most movies are. But this movie still should've had a little more originality. I did admire the characters being talking exotic birds, and the setting being in Brazil, but so much more could've been done to make this animated movie on the leagues of any PIXAR movie out there. But still, the story is what it is, and I lived with it, having myself a nice time.
Like most 3D animated movies, Rio has spectacular animation. It doesn't need the extra dimension, (other than one particular part) but the colors still pop off the screen, even with the darkened glasses on. The colors give the audience a very exotic feel into the movie, especially during the final 20 minutes and all of the jungle scenes. It's not the best animation I've ever seen, but it certainly appetizes the eye balls and gives the audience something to check out. Although like I said before, this isn't really something to see in 3D. If you see it in 2D, the colors are actually more exhilarating and brighter than they would be with the giant "goggles" on your head.
The biggest praise I have to give this movie is for the soundtrack. This movie works because of its great soundtrack. The music is catchy, popping, and just makes you want to dance in the isles of the movie theater. The music adds the extra "pop" to the movie, along with the glittering animation. The music in this movie introduces kids from all over the world to Latino music, and helps give kids a sense of culture, helping them in school later on in their lives. I'm probably over exaggerating when it comes to school, but it gives the kids something to constantly sing and annoy the parents until they see another animated musical in the near future.
The casting in this movie is the same as every other animated movie these days. We have raunchy actors, Academy Award winners/nominees, and very few recognizable kid stars. That's not a problem for me, since I know all of the actors in this movie. However, I feel bad for the kids watching this movie, and have no idea who Jamie Foxx or Jesse Eisenberg is. I mean, I don't know any 5 year old kids who have seen movies like Dinner For Schmucks or The Social Network and be able to understand those movies and actually recognize the voices of te animated characters in this movie. I wish that studios would cast actors and actresses that younger kids would be able to recognize. It's not important to a kid that they don't know the voices of the characters, but studios should at least take the thought of casting recognizable actors in kids movies that make kid friendly jokes instead of adult jokes that fly over the kids' heads. But other than that, the voices are used well and bring a nice comedy flare into the movie.
Rio is far from a masterpiece, but it certainly is enjoyable. Forgettable, but still enjoyable. Let me put it this way: it's the 'Despicable Me' of 2011. It's good the first couple of times, but gets annoying soon after. people will disagree with me on Despicable Me, but that's how I see this movie. I probably will never buy this movie, but I may catch it on HBO in about a year or so. I wouldn't rush out to see this, but I would rather see people catch this movie during Easter rather than catching a movie about a talking bunny. It's not the best movie out there, but it is an enjoyable one. I would recommend seeing this if there isn't anything else left to see. People will still see this movie immediately, but I believe that waiting a couple of weeks will provide an enjoyable experience. So would I fly to Rio? Only if the colors are as beautiful as they are in this movie.
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