September 1, 2014
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RIO 2
Joyce and Don Fowler

* * *

(Colorful cartoon sequel)

There are plenty of colorful characters in this cartoon sequel from Blue Sky to hold children’s interest for an hour and 40 minutes.

Having been to Rio and the Amazon, we enjoyed the colorful drawings of the river and environs, remembering the animals, birds, and huge lily pads on the river.

Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway are the voices for Blu and Jewel, believed to be the last of the blue macaws species, along with their three offspring.

When two human scientists discover a flock of blue macaws in the Amazon, Blu and family take off to find them. There are clear messages about saving the environment, as the tropical forest is being destroyed by loggers.

There is also a subtle subplot relating to turf wars, with red birds competing with blue birds for an area filled with Brazil nuts. They have an interesting way of settling their differences, and eventually team up against the loggers to take back the forest.

“Rio 2” throws a lot at you, perhaps too much, as the issue of fitting in takes a good chunk of the movie. Blu has been raised by humans in Rio and has trouble adjusting to the ways of the Amazon. Jewel finds her family and wants to return to the forest.

Don’t worry, everything turns out fine in the end, and the kids will go home happy.

The movie is loaded with all kinds of creatures, all with well-known actors voicing them. And there are loads of songs and production numbers. Plus a nasty cockatoo whose sidekick is a colorful red frog that desires his love and attention.

There is even more going on in this overwhelming movie that never bores.

Rated G.


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