Friday, April 15, 2011


Guest blogger Liz Parker is back from an advance screening of the new animated movie "Rio".  Is it the ultimate party or a dull snore.  Let's read what Liz thinks...

"Rio" is a rare bird indeed: a movie that can entertain both the children who it is geared towards, and the adults that take them to the theater (or, in my case, an adult who likes 3D and animated films). Although its trailer is a bit vague, "Rio" ended up being really cute, and it's a movie that anyone can enjoy.

Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network") lives in the South American rainforest until one day he is captured by a rare bird company. He is shipped to Minnesota, but falls out of the shipping truck mid-transit, where he is found by a little girl, Linda (voiced by Leslie Mann, "Funny People"), who decides to take care of him. She and Blu make a great pair, and he continues to live with her as she becomes an adult, and owner of a bookstore. A scientist from South America, Tulio (voiced by Rodrigo Santoro, "Post Grad"), visits the store one day and informs Linda that Blu is one of the last of his kind, and that he wishes to bring him back to South America so he can mate with Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathaway, "Love and Other Drugs"), the last female blue macaw in existence. She is hesitant at first, but eventually agrees, and she and Blu make the journey to Rio de Janeiro. Once there, however, Blu and Jewel get captured by smugglers, and must work together to free themselves, even though Jewel hates Blu at first. They meet a variety of other birds along the way, who will later help them try to escape, and eventually Jewel starts to warm up to Blu, who has a bit of a flight problem.

Yes, see this film. The birds and other animals in this movie are hilarious. There is an evil cockatoo, Nigel (voiced by Jermaine Clement, "Dinner for Schmucks") who has a whole song and dance number that he performs - it reminded me a bit of Scar from "The Lion King," actually - and it is his job to make sure that Blu and Jewel stay captured, as the smugglers are going to make a lot of money off of them. All of the baby birds are really cute, and the movie has a lot of laughs as well, for both the kids and adults. The 3D was awesome too; it definitely popped off the screen, especially when the birds were flying around, and it's definitely worth paying the extra $2.50-3.00 for it. "Rio" will do very well at the box office, if audiences can look past its semi-vague trailer, and it should - it's one of the better animated movies I've seen this year so far.

"Rio" is in theaters today, April 15th.

Liz Parker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. She currently works as an Assistant Medical Editor for a pathology website. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films
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