Sep 8, 2011

Rio Review

image from Amazon

Premise:
A rare blue Macaw is captured from the Brazilian rain forest and smuggled to Minnesota where he's expected to sell, but like any good cartoon, he falls off the truck and adopted by a sweet girl who raises him. Unfortunately since he's grown up in captivity, he doesn't know how to fly. Things get interesting when some ten or fifteen years later an ornithologist receives word of his location and convinces the girl who owns him to fly down to Brazil where he can mate with potentially the last female blue Macaw and repopulate the dying species.


Standouts:
I know I'm going to sound cliche, but animated musical numbers were much better in the 90's. Thankfully they kept this to a minimum, but the film still paled in comparison to just about any of Pixar's stuff. Blue Sky Studios produced this animated feature, and it's very evident when watching it. There's just something about the use of physical comedy and odd-use of sexuality that didn't feel like a Dreamworks or Pixar feature.

My Highlights:
Any scene with Tracy Morgan's character, anytime the male blue Macaw tries to put his moves on the female, the toucans, and the monkey tourist trap.


Overall Rating:
I thought everyone did a great job in this film, though at times I thought Jesse Eisenberg could have been a little more impactful in his delivery. Apparently he was voice-acting for this film whenever he wasn't live-action acting for The Social Network, so it's not surprising he might have been a little burned out or tired when doing this. The animation was another really huge upside to this film, because everything looked beautiful and could do a lot of good business for Brazil. Plot, inventiveness, and suitability-wise, I was a little disappointed in Rio. It felt like it was just missing it's potential by a little bit in so many scenes. I give this film a respectable 3 1/2 *'s out of 5, or 7 *'s out of 10.


When You Should See It:
If you / your kids really liked Ice Age or Horton Hears A Who, check it out. If you're not the type to go out and rent animated films unless they're getting amazing hype, you can skip this one with a clear conscience.

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