Wow, 7 months without an animated movie review?! Time to change that! The film we’re gonna look at today is Blue Sky Studios’ latest film, Rio 2!
Released in 2014, the film is the sequel to the hit film, Rio, the tale of love between two endangered blue macaws. This film, however, continues the adventures of our macaw couple, Blu and Jewel, voiced by Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway, respectively. Blu and Jewel have gotten used to life in Rio de Janeiro and even have 3 children of their own.
When news comes to them that there is apparently an entire flock of blue macaws still alive somewhere deep in the Amazon rainforest, they decide to check it out for themselves. Well, Jewel is the one who’s more interested in checking it out; Blu is rather reluctant to leave the city. Nevertheless, he acquiesces and they head out to the Amazon with their bird friends from the previous film: Rafael, Nico, and Pedro, voiced again by George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, and will.i.am, respectively.
Once they find the bird haven, Jewel discovers her long-lost father there, Eduardo, voiced by Andy Garcia. Eduardo is happy to have his family back and wants Blu, Jewel, and the kids to stay with him in the rainforest. Blu, on the other hand, has trouble getting used to this rather sudden change of location all while trying to get along with his father-in-law and Jewel’s childhood friend, Roberto, voiced by Bruno Mars.
All of this goes on while a human logging company is trying to deforestate that particular patch of macaw haven. And that’s pretty much the gist of the movie, so let’s talk good points and bad points.
Good points: The animation is very good. It’s colorful and fast at times, and just a pleasure to see. Blue Sky Studios is a company that seems to improve its animation with every new release.
Another good point is the voice acting. Well, I mean it’s not great, but it isn’t horrendously bad either, especially since marinated with celebrity voices. Jermaine Clement returns as the villainous cockatoo, Nigel, and he’s by far, the most excellent voice. I was expecting to be more annoyed by hearing people like Bruno Mars lend their voices, but they were surprisingly tolerable. Good job, guys!
I’m also a big fan of a mute character named Charlie. He’s an anteater whose purpose is to pay homage to Charlie Chaplin. He doesn’t speak, but like Charlie Chaplin, he emotes through action. And when you see him moving, he brings a smile to your face.
Ok, bad points: the story is soo….cliched! You have the usual story of moving to another area and having to get used to it. You have Blu trying to get along with his father-in-law and trying to not see Roberto as a rival. You have the environmental twist again showing man as evil, etc. The boss in charge of the logging company, Big Boss, is so bland and forgettable a character, too!
And if that wasn’t bad enough, this film promotes itself as a musical, but I’m sorry! None of these songs are instantly memorable and none of them merit the need for a sing-along version of the film to be released to theaters a la Frozen.
Summing up, this film is exactly what you’d expect from a theatrical sequel that’s not Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks…it’s just…eh. It’s not horrible, but it’s okay at best!