“Rio” is a Riot

Don’t let the animation fool you “Rio”is a movie even adults can enjoy. Although the film may target the younger audience, the older crowd can definitely have more than just a few laughs.

The movie opens in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with a band of colorful, exotic singing birds setting the mood for a beautiful visual experience with the bright colors of South American jungle. The blissful scene is quickly interrupted by a group of bird smugglers with burlap sacks, and it becomes evident this not just a happy-go-lucky musical.

The storyline is based around the cleverly named Blu, a blue macaw voiced by Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), who is snatched from Rio the moment he steps out of his nest. After falling out of the poachers’ truck he ends up in the small town of Moose Lake, Minn. . In a twist of fate, Blu is rescued by a red-headed girl named Linda (Leslie Mann), and they become inseparable.  The adventure truly begins 15years later when the duo is visited by Tulio, an awkward, bird-loving Brazilian scientist, who reveals to Linda that Blu is the last male blue macaw.  Blu must then leave the comfort of his domestication and return to the wild Rio to carry on the species with Jewel (Anne Hathaway), a female blue macaw.  The film turns to the developing love between Jewel  and Blu as they try to escape their nappers  and Blu finally learns to spread his wings while meeting an entertaining group of friends along the way.

The hour and a half computer-animated movie, which is offered in 2D and 3D, is directed by Carlos Saldanha (Ice Age).The majority of the film takes place in Rio during Carnival, which allows for an exciting array of colors, scantily clad characters and a soundtrack full of samba.  Most of the comedy comes from the character of Luiz, the drooling English Bulldog, who is voiced by Tracy Morgan, and the rest of the Brazilian Gang.   Other famous voices behind the animated characters include George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Wanda Sykes, and Jane Lynch.

Some characters such as  Nigel, a bitter cockatoo, burst into a song at moments that seem inopportune for a solo, and it seems that Saldanha should have focused less on the music and more on the comedy.For an audience with high expectations, this film is definitely not the new “Lion King,” but worth the money.

Overall, a lot of the funniest parts can be seen in the trailer; however, staying for the end definitely makes the movie worthwhile.  The storyline, typical of many children’s movies is nothing too exciting, but the visual aspects of the movie will keep even a whiney baby’s interest.

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