Friday, April 11, 2014

Rio 2
Opens Friday, April 11, 2014 
1 hr 41 min
G | Cartoon/Animation Action



Carlos Saldanha


Jesse Eisenberg as Blu
Anne Hathaway as Jewel
Leslie Mann as Linda Gunderson
Bruno Mars as Roberto
Jemaine Clement as Nigel
George Lopez as Rafael
Jamie Foxx as Nico as Pedro
Rodrigo Santoro as Tulio Monteiro
Jake T. Austin as Fernando
Tracy Morgan as Luiz
Bebel Gilberto as Eva
Andy García as Eduardo
Kristin Chenoweth as Gabby
Rita Moreno as Mimi
Rachel Crow as Carla
Amandla Stenberg as Bia
Pierce Gagnon as Tiago
Natalie Morales as a news anchor
Janelle Monáe as Dr. Monae
Philip Lawrence as Felipe

Reviewed by Stephen M.

I never had a chance to watch the first Rio, but enjoyed Rio 2 for its humor, beautifully colorful animation and interesting characters.  The movie is about Blu and Jewel, two Spix's Macaw, who are husband and wife with three little ones.  These blue macaws are native to Brazil and thought to be the last of their kinds until their owners from the first film spot some in the Amazon rain forest.   The Macaw family is off to the Amazon rain forest to look for their fellow kind and finds them.  Their reunion is cut short however as a motley of danger awaits them in the form of Nigel the villainous cockatoo from the first film as well as the human kind.

One of the things that distinguish this film is the quality of music the color birds bring to the movie.  With singers like Bruno Mars and actors that have a background in music like Jaime Foxx and Anne Hathaway, the soundtrack is one to rock to.  There are classics as well such as the song Memory from the Broadway show Cats sung hilariously from a panther's stomach.

Aside from the songs, are the rich characters from the geeky human owners to each individual bird in the movie as well as the other animals.  The actors do a great job along with the animators in bringing the characters to life and not make them just pretty images without a soul.  The plot itself is pretty interesting but however may be a bit too much as far as which villain or threat to focus on.

Overall, I would highly recommend this film especially for young kids.  The scene with Gabi the frog and Nigel is a bit much for me and I imagine for kids too reenacting Romeo and Juliet. Thankfully they have a happy twist with that in the end.  Do you need to watch the first Rio to watch this?  I don't think so, but I believe the first one would give a nice introduction to some of the characters you would see in Rio 2 of which there is plenty.


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