Now Showing On Cable: “Rio”

Making its debut on home tvs via the magic of premium cable this weekend was last year’s animated flight of fancy, “Rio”. Brought to you by the creators of “Ice Age”, the film features celebrity voicing courtesy of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez, Will.I.Am, Jamie Foxx, Tracy Morgan and Jemaine Clement.

It tells the story of a Blue Macaw (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg), “Blue”, who was raised in captivity as a pet. When it’s discovered that he’s one of the last remaining birds of his species, he’s returned to Brazil with the intention of mating him with a female Blue Macaw (Anne Hathaway) who is currently held in captivity.

Of course, she’s not too keen on the idea. Nor is she fond of being held in captivity. So it’s not long before the mismatched couple are on the run… With one major problem.

“Blue” can’t fly.

“Blue” was captured in the wild as a chick and brought to Minnesota to be sold as a pet. Raised indoors, he never had need to learn to fly.

When a South American bird expert convinces Blue’s owner to bring him back in order to repopulate the species, it seems a safe enough proposition. Yet poachers are after the rare and valuable birds, and Blue and his arranged mate, Jewel, are soon birdnapped. The duo manage to escape, but find themselves in quite a predicament. They’ve been chained together at the ankles, and Blue is forced to confess that he can’t fly. Chased by the poachers, and separated from Blue’s owner, the two have a lot to deal with in the jungles and city of Rio… Including each other.

What ensues is well done piece of animated fare. Between the aerial sequences, the colorful jungle/South American setting and the high calibre animation, “Rio” is visually impressive. Big, bright and bold. It’s also filled with musical numbers and action sequences, as so many animated features are.

“Rio” is loaded with celebrity voices, and Will.I.Am and Jemaine Clement both helped create songs for the film. It comes across, too, the songs are unmistakably theirs. I particularly enjoyed Clements’, it was very reminiscent of his “Flight of the Conchords” work. But all the voices are very good, Tracy Morgan is totally credible as a slobbering bulldog, an Eisenberg is the perfect choice to portray the neurotic Blue.

I don’t know that “Rio” will ever be mentioned as one of the shining examples of the genre… It’s not all that “deep”? I guess, if such a thing can be said about an animated movie? It’s relatively light, let’s just say that. But it was still gorgeous to watch, and very entertaining.


25 thoughts on “Now Showing On Cable: “Rio”

  1. Film was a lot of fun. Surprised it didn’t get nominated instead of one of the 2 animated films that I haven’t even heard of. Should get the Oscar for best song, though.

    • I know, right?

      Oscar loves to do that though… fins some movie you havent heard of and “Recommend” it to you. LOL. The last oine I remember was the “Secret of the Kells”.

      And I hope it DOESNT win best song!! It’s up against my Favorite!! “Man or Muppet” needs a statue!!

  2. I was surprised how much I enjoyed Rio. The bulldog was my favorite character but as you said all the voice talent was good. Favorite bit was on the plane and the door open bathing the bat in sunlight. Class

    • Yeah, that was kind of funny. Found out on Twitter today that a sequel has been greenlit. Not a big shock, seeing as it was pretty successful at the box office.

      I just hope Tracy Morgan gets his act together so we can get more bulldog! That was near perfect casting.

      Thanks for posting up, John!

    • Maybe you have been. But hey, look at it this way. If you’ve been through one of those “My kids would NOT stop watching this movie” experiences, and you STILL like it? You know it was pretty good. LOL.

      I know a lot of people who have soured on movies because of something like that…

  3. Saw it in the theater with the kids back in the spring. It was OK. The kids enjoyed it and still do some quotes from it, so I guess it hit the right demographic, but I didn’t think it held a candle to Madagascar or even Ice Age.

  4. I got put off by Rio with these annoying Orange ads they have before a film starts over here which riffed off of Rio.

    Also, I think i’m unnecassarily bias towards Dreamworks animation. In the sense that I usually turn away from it. I should have learnt with How To Train Your Dragon, which is a superb film.

    Maybe… maybe…

  5. No matter how I try, I still cant get into this film. I’ve tried to watch it and couldn’t finish it each time. Not saying it’s a bad movie, just that it’s not for me. Glad you liked it though. Perhaps one day I should give it another shot.

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