Feature Presentation: Rio 2

Rio_2_PosterRio 2 starring the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jemaine Clement, Kristin Chenoweth, Jamie Foxx, Jake T. Austin, Pierce Gagnon, George Lopez, Leslie Mann, Bruno Mars, Tracy Morgan, and Rita Moreno

Twentieth Century Fox/Blue Sky Entertainment, 2014. Rated G.

Synopsis: Tired of city life and how dependant the family has become on humans, Jewel, Blu, and their three children decide to take a trip into the Amazon after they learn that Linda and Tulio may have discovered a flock of wild Blue Macaws. Meanwhile, Nigel joins forces with a poisonous frog named Gabi to get revenge on Blu for rendering him flightless and follows them deep into the jungle. When they reach the colony, Jewel is reunited with her family and Blu must try to fit in with these wild birds and win the approval of his father-in-law.

It’s fun to see the gang back together again, but I have a tendency to be wary of sequels because they often miss the mark. Rio 2 has a lot of things going for it – the family vacation that seems to take a wrong turn, the reunion with long lost family, the quest for the perfect Carnival act – but there seems to be another large portion of the movie that dedicates itself to material that is, well, for lack of a better word, uninteresting to the target audience: conservationism. Sure, there is still the same fun, song, dance, and bird-on-bird action as its predecessor, and saving the rainforest is an important cause, but it wasn’t holding my interest. The animation is colorful and the scenery is well-conceptualized, making it an impressive visual experience that shows off just how much the computer animation field has come even in the last year. It’s a family film that entertains viewers of all ages, though I daresay that it’s much more adult than it gives itself credit for.

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