The makers of Ice Age take off on a tropical adventure with this vibrantly coloured animation whose musical numbers get you instantly shaking your tail feathers. The soundtrack is an integral part of this film, with the musical duo of will.i.am and Jamie Foxx – two rapping slum birds – bringing to life the sounds of Rio de Janeiro and its many carnivals.
The action centres around Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), a domesticated macaw from the small town of Minnesota who meets the fiercely independent Jewel (Anne Hathaway). Blu’s lack of flight, Jewel’s feisty temperament, and the notorious animal smugglers are all obstacles that need to be conquered if Blu and Jewel are to take steps in saving their endangered species.
It has to be said that the highlight of the film is Nigel the evil cockatoo (an inspired bit of voice casting in Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement, who co-wrote his part). Rio is a family friendly comedy, a colourful addition to the collection of animated films, and can be placed amongst Disney-Pixar’s recent Up and Toy Story 3 as an animation most definitely worth watching.
Rio (2011), directed by Carlos Saldanha, is available on DVD and Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox, certificate U.