Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Video review: "Rio"
There is much to like about "Rio," a jaunty, fun animated movie about a bunch of exotic birds having adventures in Rio de Janeiro. It's just that it's made for small children, who will probably enjoy it more than I did.
Unlike other, better animated movies that are inviting to adults -- "Kung Fu Panda" and all the Pixar flicks -- "Rio" is pretty much a cinematic clubhouse for those kindergarten age and under. There might as well be a sign: "Parents Keep Out!"
Jesse Eisenberg provides the voice of Blu, a rare blue macaw brought down to Rio to mate with the only known female in captivity, Jewel (Anne Hathaway). But Blu is about as used to domesticated life as any bird can be, while Jewel wants to soar high in the rainforest. She doesn't dig his neurotic personality, not to mention that Blu never learned to fly.
They're shackled together by circumstance, and spend the rest of the movie on the run from poachers, along with a particularly nasty cockatoo working by the bad guys, who's deliciously voiced by Jemaine Clement.
The movie often feels like it's on autopilot, particularly when it spends time with some fairly unoriginal supporting characters, like a slobbery bulldog and a toucan who's henpecked by his wife.
But it's well-made and bright and shiny, and likely will keep toddlers distracted for awhile.
Video extras are similarly geared more to games and other visual baubles for tykes, rather than anything adults would enjoy.
The DVD version comes with a handful of deleted scenes, a "Welcome to Rio" music video, "Rio de JAM-eiro Jukebox" and a music video by Taio Cruz.
The DVD/Blu-ray combo pack includes all those goodies, plus a digital copy and a number of other features: Things like "Carnival Dance-O-Rama," "Boom-Boom Tish-Tish: The Sounds of Rio," and ... well, you get the idea.
Movie: 2.5 stars out of four
Extras: 2.5 stars