RIO (2011)

TMG Scale 8.0

Starring Jesse Eisenberg as the voice of Blu and Anne Hathaway as the voice of  Jewel plus Wanda Sykes, Jamie Foxx and others

TMG: This is a solid animated and fun film. I laughed and I was touched. It had humor for adults and kids alike. It was no Megamind (2010) but pretty darn good. I thought Jesse Eisenberg was a perfect match for the immature and hapless, meek macaw named Blu. I really did not think Anne Hathaway added anything as the voice of his mate in the making, Jewel. I am pretty certain Joy Lynn was less impressed. So better read what she has to say.

Joy Lynn: I disagree with TMG on this one. I was less impressed and at most give this film a 6.5 for adults and 8.0 for kids. After seeing this animated kids movie, there is now no doubt in my mind I prefer Pixar films rather than 20th Century Fox Animation.

Blu (Eisenberg) is a rare macaw adopted and domesticated by a young girl named Linda from Moose Lake, Minnesota.  When Linda grows up she is approached by a Brazilian scientist who wants to take Blu to Rio de Janie to mate the only bird of it’s kind named Jewel (Anne Hathaway). Exotic animal traffickers kidnap Jewel and Blu and the movie takes you to Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival celebration with elaborate floats, salsa dancers and spectacular color and animation. The fact that Blu does not fly grounds Jewel and the two of them run around Rio chained together.  Once unchained, both Blu and Jewel find themselves united in the air, giving Blu a new perspective on life.  Life should not be about what you can’t do, but what you can do when given the right opportunity.

Rio is a very rich colorful energetic film with great music and scenery that kids will enjoy. The dialogue is entertaining and fast paced for kids, less so for adults.  Unfortunately, the voiceovers by Jessie Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway are weak. The merging of the two notable voice actors left me wanting more; wanting to connect to memorable animated characters like Buzz Lightyear, Andy, Woody, Nemo and Shrek.   Where was Tom Hanks, Tim Allen or Ellen Degeneres?  I especially had a difficult time watching Eisenberg act like a bird after his incredible role in Social Network (2010) as Mark Zuckerberg.

 

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