Nonstop Flight of Fun, Friendship in Rio
- Friday, April 15, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 2, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: April 15, 2011
Genre: Family, Animation
Run Time: 96 min.
Director: Carlos Saldanha
Voices by: Jesse Eisenberg, Wanda Sykes, Jane Lynch, Leslie Mann, Kelly Keaton, Rodrigo Santoro, Tracy Morgan, Jamie Foxx, Will I Am, Anne Hathaway, Jemaine Clement, George Lopez
A movie that’s about as A-D-D as its target audience, Rio is certainly one frenetic flight of fancy.
Now while that probably sounds like criticism, it’s actually a compliment in this case, given the clever (and yes, fast-paced) storytelling, bouncy Brazilian soundtrack and vibrant swirl of tropical colors that provide that crucial visual “pop.”
A wealth of standout vocal talent, especially from the two leads Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Adventureland) and Anne Hathaway (Alice in Wonderland, Love & Other Drugs) definitely helps Rio’s cause, too. Instead of merely reading their lines, Eisenberg and Hathaway’s wide range of inflections really help with feeling connected with these lovable protagonists, namely the droll but phobia-prone Blu, a domesticated macaw and his much feistier gal pal Jewel.
Long before Blu and Jewel meet and become inseparable, Blu began his life in a far less balmy locale—Minnesota. Exported to the land of 10,000 lakes as an exotic pet because he couldn’t fly, a must for life in the wild, Blu is eventually rescued by a charming young girl after falling off the back of a truck.
While the affections of children often wax and wane, however, Linda never stops loving and coddling him. Keeping Blu around even when she’s old enough to have her own business, a cute little bookshop in chilly Moose Lake, she buys him the best toys and caters to his every whim, especially hot chocolate cravings—basically an idyllic existence if you’re forced to live in the cold.
But when you’re a bird of paradise living comfortably in suburbia, apparently, the party can’t last forever. When Linda finds out that Blu is the last male of his species and must return to the jungle to, well, keep his kind in existence, it’s a devastating development—especially since he can’t fly.
Nonetheless, Blu must get home, so Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro), a Brazilian bird doctor with a slightly sadistic streak takes him back to Rio de Janeiro to breed with the last female macaw, Jewel. Of course, a pampered homebody is hardly a free spirit like Jewel’s type, so they don’t exactly get off to a great start. Well, until, it’s a matter of life and death when bird smugglers enter the picture.
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