Friday, August 12, 2011

Rio: Movie Review


Birds singing and dancing their way to Brazil, and that's all.

I thought it was just for fun that "Rio" rhymed with "Nemo" and that the story of "Rio" (2011) nearly mirrors the story of 'Finding Nemo" (2003). But there is actual fact in this movie. Hyacinth Macaws (blue in colour) are real birds who are endangered and native to Rio de Janeiro. The cage bird trade — which takes our beloved Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) to Minnesota — are a problem for the species. I'm pretty sure they don't talk though. 2011

Directed by: Carlos Saldanha

Screenplay by: too many to name

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway

I mean form thoughts, speak in complete sentences and solve math and engineering problems. Blu can do all of that but he can't fly. When he returns to Brazil, that is the entire joke and conflict of the movie all wrapped up into one. Which makes the movie very, very short.

To round it out, all the birds, animals, and even humans have to stop and sing and dance for awhile. They have to because it is done in every animated animal movie where the hero returns home (either the artificial or natural home). It's annoying here because the birds do a sort of hip-hop, rap, dance routine — the kind that is in "popular" movies. Blu's female counterpart Jewel is voiced by Anne Hathaway, who can actually sing, but she doesn't until the very end in a duet with Jesse Eisenberg who cannot sing.

I liked the animation, especially of the Hyacinth Macaws (and I completely accept that they changed the female's colouring since we do need to be able to tell them apart). The animated "choreography" with the multi-coloured birds dancing was cute enough it was almost dazzling.

The reason we animate animals is because it is supposed to be cute and funny, but "Rio" unfortunately, really was not funny. Perhaps it will be to kids, but for those of us who find flaws in animated children's movies, it's just not quite cute and funny enough.