Remember any of those movies where two characters were chained (or handcuffed) together and had to learn to work together to make it out? Yes? No? It doesn’t matter, because Rio, the latest animated offering from Blue Sky–the studio that gave us Ice Age and Robots–is a movie that uses that device in an animated film.
To great effect.
Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) is a domesticated macaw who ended up all the way in Minnesota after he was kidnapped by exotic bird smugglers as a baby from his native forest in Rio de Janeiro. As a result of having being raised by the sweet and nerdy Linda (Leslie Mann) Blu never learnt how to fly. But he compensates for his lack of flight in many other, borderline nerdy ways.
Blu’s comfortable life changes when an man from Brazil arrives at Linda’s doorstep and requests that she accompany Blu back to Brazil so that he can mate with one of his kind and help save the species from becoming extinct.
Cue the adventure!
Blu is supposed to hook up with Jewel (Anne Hathaway), a feisty Brazilian who has no interest in being caged. In the perfect odd couple pairing, Blu has no interest in being free. Now when these two are captured for sale by another trio of bird smugglers they will need to pool their skills and seek the help of a few local characters to make their escape.
So how does it all play out? Like a big bag of fun.
The vistas of Rio, and especially Carnival are beautifully rendered. We see it all, the favelas, the beaches, an aerial view of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue…it’s all there. And it is magnificent. From the very first choreographed dance sequence to all the chaos and excitement that follows this is just a beautiful movie to look at. And like the best Pixar movies (Up, Wall-E, The Incredibles) this movie has a lot of heart.
Bravo Blue Sky. Now please stop with the tiresome Ice Age sequels…