It’s all about Rio in this delightful animated movie about a domesticated Macaw named Blu (Voiced by a tremendous Jesse Eisenberg) who was whisked away from his homeland as a newborn and raised in frigid Minnesota by a loving human named Linda (Leslie Mann). Years later, a Brazilian naturalist shows up and explains that if they don’t return Blu to his native land and mate him with the lone surviving female Blue Macaw, he’ll be the last of his species. That’s when the story takes us to Rio De Janeiro, where Blu and the bird of his dreams take off on an adventure of a lifetime. To be completely fair, the movie is just amazing to look at. Director Carlos Saldanha, who was born in Brazil, managed to create a lively, colorful and completely mesmerizing animated feature. The sights and sounds of Rio are eye popping, and the natural explosion of colors make it hard to resist. For those of us who’ve never been anywhere near Brazil, this is the closest you’ll get to soak in the sights and sounds of that lively city.
Let’s talk performances now: perhaps my favorite aspect is the vocal work done by Jesse Eisenberg. The dude was simply perfect in “The Social Network”, and in “Rio”, he shows his comic talent in a way he hasn’t had a chance to do yet. Jamie Foxx, George Lopez and Tracy Morgan are all perfectly cast aswell, so is Anne Hathaway as Blu’s female counterpart, Jewel. The movie also provides solid entertainment for the young and the young at heart (guilty as charged). I honestly couldn’t ask for more. There were many young children at the screening I attended, all accompanied by their parents, and everyone was laughing and cheering; that’s always a good sign.
Categories: The Twenty-First Century