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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: May 4: Rio


May 4: Rio

"When Blu, a domesticated macaw from small-town Minnesota, meets the fiercely independent Jewel, he takes off on an adventure to Rio de Janeiro with this bird of his dreams."

I really did not like Rio. One thing I cannot stand in any kid's movie is dancing animals and Rio has plenty of those. The entire film is a montage of dance numbers and music videos (with, surprise! more animals). Rio does look great, and the animation is outstanding, but there's only so much that can do for a movie. Oh, and after a completely straightforward and predictable story, it has the balls to end with a dance number. That shit won't stop! Seriously, when did this crap start being mandatory in a kid's movie?

F**k you Happy Feet.

Okay, that feels better. Although a lot of the songs are kind of annoying, it's impressive that the film has an entirely original soundtrack. At least these birds and friends aren't dancing to a song that was only relevant five or six years ago. But the best part of the film is the animation. Vibrant, colorful, and full of life, Rio has some of the best visuals I've seen in an animated movie. It captures the spirit of Rio de Janeiro very well and almost makes you want to make a trip down to Brazil. Of course the film only focuses on the nicer parts of the city, as drug-ridden slums of corruption is not the greatest showcase for a kid's movie. 

Not going to find any Disney princesses walking around these parts. 

Rio is clearly made for kids and is successful in that aspect. It's simple and straightforward. There are a few jokes that are for the adults in the audience, but even then they're very tame. The plot follows a bird named Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg), who's one of the last of his species. He's taken to Brazil in hopes of mating with a female macaw named Jewel (Anne Hathaway). He can't fly, he's a nerd, and is afraid to talk to girls. The two escape from an evil animal smuggler and set out on their own little adventure. He mans up, meets new friends, and it all ends happily ever after. There are no twists or turns and you can see everything coming well ahead of time. At least the entire thing looks pretty. 

Oh, hi there. 

I really wouldn't recommend Rio. It may be nice to have on in the background when you're vacuuming. Terrific visuals can't save the film and it's exactly like every other kid's movie out there. If you have kids and they just need to see it, it won't be complete torture. There could be worse movies you have to watch (Alvin and the Chipmunks, Yogi Bear), but if you can, I'd skip them all. 

The Good:
the colorful visuals and excellent animation
The Bad:
a story that doesn't even try and just borrows from every other kid's movie 
The Ugly:
dancing animals that make me want to eat MORE meat

Overall: 4.2/10


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