Silver Chips Online

Fly into "Rio"

Amusing characters make "Rio" perfect for any family movie night

By Molly Nicholson, Online Features and Food Editor
April 18, 2011
Brazil is the ideal place for vacation. Brazil is the perfect place for love. Brazil is the best place for adventure. It is obvious why the fun animated film"Rio" takes place in Brazil. "Rio" provides the perfect family outing no matter what age group. Apart from the questionable G-rating, the film is a perfectly fun trip through an exotic South American country.

Rio

(released April 15, 2011)
Chips Rating:
4 stars
G
User Rating:
5 stars Votes: 5
Rio is the story of a hometown bird that goes on a big adventure, only to discover who he truly is as a bird of Rio de Janeiro. Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway star.
Audiences are introduced to the musical side of "Rio" right as the screen turns to the gorgeous animated ocean. Blu is just a baby bird when he is captured and taken away to the United States, where Minnesota native Linda takes him under her wing. After 15 years of domestication, Blu doesn't know how to fly - until Dr. Barbosa shows up. He wants Blu to mate with another bird of his kind before the species dies out. However, bird snatchers and the large Rio de Janeiro carnival complicate things as Blu tries to get the fierce bird Jewel to fall in love with him.

The animation throughout the movie is vivid and clear, carefully detailing famous parts of Brazil such as the Christ the Redeemer Statue on Corcovado Mountain. Vivid colors are used throughout the movie, from the hang gliders to the birds. Each bird's details are magnificent, especially the transition of color from Jewel's eyelids to her tail feathers.

The animation is not the only colorful thing in the movie; the music is just as vivid. With original songs, such as "Take you to Rio" and "Hot Wings (I Wanna Party)," the animation comes alive with songs and dances that happen while the story line builds. Will.i.am. and Jamie Foxx star as two birds that liven up every scene with comedy and melody. Although they are not present in every scene, they are characters that the audience hopes to see again and again.

"The Social Network's" Jesse Eisenberg tries his hand at animation and really delivers great results. He stars as the voice for Blu, the well-educated American who is Brazilian only by birth. Eisenberg's voice fits perfectly with the personality of Blu and captures the audiences' attention with his intellectual conversations. Anne Hathaway plays the lovely and dazzling Jewel, who is a wild and independent bird forced into captivity. Hathaway's voice is sultry, while she is talking or singing, and is completely captivating even though she is off screen.

Rio is rated G, but its plot focuses on the idea that Blu's species is on its way to being extinct. This means that sexual references are scattered throughout the movie, such as birds shaking their tail feathers or even Blu's owner, Linda, stripping down to a typical Rio de Janeiro carnival costume. Parents may comfort themselves knowing the film is entirely animated, but sexual innuendos and even violence is prominent throughout the film.

The characters that play the bird-nappers are dark and borderline morbid. Although two of these criminals are purely for comic relief, their overall purpose seems inappropriate for a movie rated G due to their references to killing and other schemes. Director Carlos Salanha, who directed "Ice Age," is making another statement about the environment. His anti-poaching agenda is evident.

Luckily, the general vibe of "Rio" is happy-go-lucky and age groups everywhere will enjoy the typical boy meets girl, boy loses girl, and boy gets girl back story line. The animation is superb and the characters are intriguing. It's hard to turn away from this fun, funky adventure.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/10877