(Written for Boolean Flix)
From the creators of Ice Age, Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway and George Lopez lead a list of star-studded voice talents in computer-animated film Rio.
Centred on the story of Blu (Eisenberg), a blue macaw, Rio’s narrative takes centre stage in an animated version of Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro. With his species in danger, Blu, along with his owner Linda (Leslie Mann) set off, in hope to reacquaint the two remaining breeders before they become endangered.
After the pair are stolen from a top-secret laboratory within hours of their arrival, Blue and female macaw Jewel (Hathaway) escape from the smugglers who are set to sell them for money.
With the two chained together, and Blu estranged from his owner Linda, and unable to fly, both macaw’s set off in hope to set themselves free, with the help of friendly guidance along the way.
Nearly two years after their previous picture Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, the long-awaited return from Blue Sky Studios did not disappoint, conjuring up an a computer-generated narrative that is surprisingly better than first impressions might suggest.
Although not an entirely new concept, Rio reaches out from the traditional norms of children’s animation, locating itself in an exotic part of the world far from the ordinary, as well as featuring an ensemble of lively characters you’d only expect to find in the Amazon Rainforest.
Targeted at the younger audience, yet containing many reference for the elders, Rio is a breath of fresh air in the category for CGI animated films, with Blue Sky putting its colourful visual palette, catchy music and vocal performances to good use.