“Rio” talkback

Congratulations to our friends at Blue Sky. Bravo! Well done! 72% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, nice reviews in the New York Times and the L.A. Times – and I personally think it’s the Connecticut studio’s best film since the first Ice Age. Carlos Saldanha’s Rio opens today in the U.S.

It’s a traditional audience pleasing adventure comedy, with an assortment of colorful characters, set in a spectacular location. The art direction, voice acting and animation are first rate. The use of 3-D is pretty good too. Is it the most important animated film of the year? Probably not, but I had a few laughs and enjoyed the ride. What did you think?

As usual, our talkback section below is open to those who have seen the film. C’mon, let everyone know what you think.


  • http://beaudetteblog.blogspot.com Grant Beaudette

    I thought Rio was sort of mediocre as a whole. I liked the way it looked and there were some genuine funny moments, (more than I can say about some films) but some of it was rather cliche and I thought a lot of the dialogue was downright poor.

    I’m glad I saw it, (if only to see a friend’s name in the animation credits) but I won’t be clamoring to see it again.

  • Matt

    Nothing short of excellent. Finding Nemo is the trademark animated fish movie, A Bugs Life is the trademark animated insect movie, Rio is the the trademark animated bird movie. Great story, great characters, catchy songs, hilarious quotes, AMAZING animation. My girlfriend and I will be seeing this movie again for sure.
    The only bad thing I can say about the experience is seeing the horrible trailers for Hoodwinked 2, and PROM.

    4.5 out of 5.

  • Jenny Talea

    I thought Surfs Up was the trademark animated bird movie:)

  • CVG

    I saw it today and the animation and hard work in the feathers and movements and lighting shine so much that I really admired the visuals, but the story itself is loaded with clichés and the writing is really bad so I’m sad to say that I didn’t really enjoy it as a whole. Also the underlying message comes out really one sided…*SPOILERS* here is a bird that was not raised like the rest of the birds and he loves his home and his owner and drinks lattes and can read books, but everyone in the movie singles him out as the weirdo and the “guy who has to change”. Why did he have to change at all if he was perfectly happy? Just to get the girl? A girl character that btw didn’t once change her own mindset or values at all for him. But meanwhile he was the one that had to change himself to get with her. I didn’t really agree with that…and basically at the end he is happy but it was all imposed upon him that this new life is the best for you and he’s so meek he just accepts it and dances happy and clueless with the rest of the flock because now he’s “normal” and everyone loves him and is just like the other birds. I would have liked it more if some of the birds had adopted his own qualities and quirks to live better lives themselves somehow or just something to balance out the one-sided idea that the key to ultimate survival relies on conformity/integration to the flock.

    • Ethan

      I’d say both Blu and Jewel changed each others. At least on the angle of security and freedom:

      Blu had a repressed fear of flying and a general insecurity. In the opening scene, as a kid, he REALLY wanted to fly, but fell down. His first contact with humans was a positive one, so he ended up preferring living in a cage, choosing security over freedom.

      Jewel’s fears were centered around her extreme distrust of humans because she lived in an area where humans were capturing, caging, and selling birds, she wanted freedom over security.

      Jewel helped him appreciate the freedom brought by flying, while Blu helped her trust humans, they helped each other surmount their fears. So in the end they met halfway, the security brought by human protection in a preservation park, and an open area bringing the freedom of flying.

      • Inky

        As I posted in my main reply, this would have worked out if both birds were given equal views on their lives but we don’t get that. We get more of Jewel’s preaching over the freedom of flight than Blu explaining to her that Linda was the one who SAVED him from death which at the very beginning of the film was a clear indicator that not all humans are bad. Jewels’ revelation is all the way at the end and seems like a cop-out; its just 30 seconds of her being handed to Tulio and then being set free in the wild. That’s it. It didn’t feel like any sort of realization or anything but rather a tacked on ‘Ya see!’ at the end of the movie in an attempt to make it seem like both birds were right.

    • Inky

      I also felt a bit bother with this considering that it was Blu’ ‘pet knowledge’ that saved the other birds several times. He knew how to open cages, he knew how to climb, and he basically knew how to work his feet and beak like HUMAN HANDS but in the lesson of the movie, that wasn’t good enough despite the fact it was shown that it came in handy more than once even if the other birds could fly. It also bothered me that none of the other birds seemed to appriciated this, even after Blu saved them yet he was supposed to be thanking them the entire time.

      It was nice that Blu finally learned how to fly but it just felt so mishandled; it almost felt like Blu was being bemoaned because he had found other uses for his own disadvantages which in of itself, I think is a great lesson; you might not be able to do everything like everyone else but you can always find YOUR way to make things work out. Granted, I didn’t want Blu to be PRAISED for these abilities but they should have been at least recognized by the other birds. Even though he couldn’t fly, HE could do things THEY couldn’t.

      Maybe the lesson wouldn’t have felt so bad if Blu wasn’t as talented, loved, and cared for as he was shown. All of Jewel’s anger towards ‘teh humans’ was just annoying because Linda had already shown that human are capable of caring for animals yet Blu never got a chance to really stick up for her which again I thought made the lesson uneven.

  • Some Girls

    As a whole, most of these films might always have a bit of “familiarity” in them. Yes some jokes we have heard before. The script writing is entirely ground-breaking, but the movie was a feast for the eyes,and the ears! The story is in terms quit familiar as well, but it makes it for a good outing to the movies.
    The animation, designs, everything was nothing short of fantastic. The music…well, felt like coming out of my seat to dance. As from a company which we have been used to seeing the Ice Age movies, Blue Sky has definitely have shown to be promising in the animation world (like I said, besides Ice Age) and we will be seeing hopefully alot more from them of course! Wonder what’s next?
    All in all, It’s no Pixar film if you want to compare it that way, good to bring the kids to, good for a teenagers like us who take animatin seriously.. ;)
    and it’s just great all around! If anyone has any doubts, see it for yourself, don’t wait to see it on DVD when you could have had the experience in theaters. If you don’t like it, to each his own. Me and my twin loved it!

  • Gidget

    I thought the movie was pretty cute, and funny at times. I didn’t care for the 3D, but the film itself looked great, I loved how colorful it was and how nice Rio looked. I liked most of the characters, especially Blu, Linda and Tulio. The music was mostly enjoyable, just not any of the hip-hop songs. To be honest, I would have liked the movie more without Will.i.am, his character just felt out of place to me. My biggest complaint story-wise would be that I didn’t find Blu and Jewel’s romance believable. They had just barley started liking each other at all and then suddenly they have romantic feelings for each other. I did really like ending of the movie though. Overall, it was a fun movie and I enjoyed it, and I plan on getting it on DVD. :)

  • Nadav

    The thing I like most about this movie is the visuals and the environment. The thing is it’s basically a cartoony rendering of Rio.
    I’m not saying that it doesn’t take a lot of work and talent, but I can’t really give it too much credit for sucking me into a new original world. Which for me, is one of the great things about animated films.

    Also I completely agree with CVG on the whole message being one sided aspect.

    It’s just, for me, a really forgettable film.

  • http://www.mike2d.blogspot.com Mike Caracappa

    The animation was nice, but I found it to be full of general animated film cliches. I didn’t find it to be very funny because the characters were to busy doing their schtick instead of being fully developed, realized characters. Everyone in it just felt like cardboard cut outs. The villain bird is just evil for the sake of it (he even has a song to point that out). Do you think the two birds are going to fall in love despite their differences? Is it a big surprise Blu is going to fly at a pivotal moment? I was ready for it to end about half way through. Sorry, but I just didn’t get into it.

  • Anthony D.

    A great film! Animation was just as good as Horton Hears A Who!, really enjoyed the romamce between Blu and Jewel (I love me romance), and the finale was simply beautiful. This and Rango, can’t wait to see again and get on DVD. Highly recommend it! :)

  • http://jgchan.blogspot.com Jerry Chan

    As usual with Blue Sky films, the animation was top notch and wonderfully exaggerated (every time I struggle with pushing a 3D rig around and I throw up my arms and proclaim that 3D animation can never be as exaggerated as hand drawn animation can be, a wonderful bit of animation like this comes along and shuts me up)

    If I might nitpick for a moment (and bear in mind that I’m in no way qualified to judge this since I just graduated from college last year), with such stylized, wonderful animation, why didn’t they stylize the lighting as well? There were a couple of shots in there that might have been absolutely beautiful had they opted to not stick with naturalistic lighting, but at this point this is me wishing that each studio would develop their own unique look beyond the typical faux-realistic, naturalistic/imitates life look.

    Again, I have to emphasize that this is me being really, really anal about this. Overall, Rio was absolutely adorable and well done

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    I loved it. I think its the best movie yet from Blue Sky.
    The characters,voices,and animation were all wonderful. I particulary liked the growing romance between Linda and Tulio. The way I saw it,Linda and Blu were an inseperable couple at first (as shown at the begining),but once
    they met Jade and Tulio,they found their equal ‘independence’. It’s a fun movie that will appeal
    to people of all ages. I reccomend you see it on the big screen than wait for it to come on dvd/blu-ray.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

    Visual technical excellence with a boilerplate script.
    Paint-by-numbers comedy and characters.
    Gag timing is announced a week in advance by telegraph.
    A painfully safe exercise.

    The above-listed characteristics will guarantee the film’s success.

    Future viewings will be at home with the sound off, simply to enjoy the animation.

  • Cyber Fox

    I went to see this film with my mom and my brother
    Though i was expecting to get there early to see the promised 2 minute “Regular Show” short but due to Regal’s crap scheduling, we arrived at the end of a short that was originally a teaser for “Ice Age: Continental Shift”

    as for the film, The film looked great in 3D
    The animation is wonderful though stylized
    The voices are great even though will.i.am’s role is mostly comic relief

    The characters are great in their own way even though the bird smugglers are typical dumb@$$es

    Character Development is mostly big here in this film
    The kid that was a accomplis for the bird smugglers had a change of heart
    and Blu learned to fly (spoiler) to name a few

    If there’s one thing, The humor is sometimes a hit and miss

  • Austin Papageorge

    I was really excited to see Rio after seeing its spectacular art direction in trailers, and listening to some of its songs on Youtube. The movie itself, however, left me disappointed in some ways. The reviewers of this movie often say it’s not of the caliber of Pixar films, but I think in terms of art direction, and even character animation it surpasses Pixar.

    The major problem with the movie is the script. The screenwriters for Rio are mostly writers of mediocre live action “family” Hollywood fare, and lukewarm sitcoms. If someone with a more vibrant vision for animation, and more experience with animated features and storyboards wrote the script, like maybe Andrew Stanton or Jim Reardon, I might have been ecstatic for this movie. Nevertheless, the movie still tugged at my heartstrings at the end, and I’m someone who is completely unmoved by most, if not all, Pixar movies.

    So in short with Carlos Saldanha’s direction and story, along with Sergio Pablos’ designs, Sergio Mendes’ musical direction, some nice singing by nearly all cast members, and many other contributions, make this movie easily watchable fare for anyone interested.

    (By the way, I’m almost perversely intoxicated with Anne Hathaway’s vocal solo in Will.i.Am’s song Hot Wings (I Wanna Party). That was absolutely beautiful.)

  • Austin Papageorge

    Oh, I forgot to say this: even though most of the vocal cast is good, Jermain Clement is the only one who actually acts. As Nigel, he doesn’t sound at all like he does in Flight of the Concords; he actually sounds like a menacing villain in an animated movie, even when performing a rap song he co-wrote. He’s even more of a thespian than Jeremy Irons as Scar in The Lion King.

    • 2011 Adult

      He…. co-wrote it?

      Is there no song in this film that doesn’t have the performer as a creative consultant?

    • http://midnightheist.deviantart.com/ Scott

      I usually don’t care for musical numbers in my movies/shows (except FotC, ha), but I actually enjoyed that one.
      Must be because he co-wrote it?
      Top acting from him, probably my favourite part of the movie.

  • PeteR

    Excellent kid’s cartoon! Not very challenging or compelling, but a decent way to kill 80 minutes.

  • Anna

    Every element of this movie (plot, characters, acting, script) seemed to have been blindly picked out of a giant burlap sack of hollywood stereotypes.

    It was unconvincing, put on, and lacking in honesty and sincerity.

    Sitting through this movie was almost unbearable.

  • AB

    I thought the film was excellent. The animation and production design was top notch.

    The only thing that seemed out of place with the rest of the film was Nigel’s musical number. Could have done without that. But the film as a whole was satisfying, I thought.

  • http://platynews.deviantart.com Platy

    The plot was a bag of cliches and most of he musical acts don’t fit very well with the narrative … but the rest (animation, design, lightining, the feeling of the city even if a little too idealized….) of the movie is awesome ! =D

  • Ethan

    I loved the character animation, the character designs, and the voice acting. As a whole this all combined to give some great honesty to the characters. The romance was very naive (in a good way), and it was also very charming, reminiscent of older animated films, when we didn’t take ourselves too seriously. I felt it had the exuberance of looney tunes shorts.

    On the negative side, the screenplay itself was very bad, horribly bad. Many obvious plot elements and devices, many cliches. The first half was very slow: we waited forever for the real start of the film (Blu leaving into the wilderness). The dumb bad guys got too much screen time, and they didn’t make the audience laugh much. (the audience reacted very strongly to the birds, all of them)

    ** spoilers **
    The ending needed some serious script doctoring. Or maybe I missed a detail. Blu doesn’t jump because he can’t fly. Jewel says they’ll find another way (with a serene tone, no more hurry, accepting their fate). She breaks a wing, then Blu can actually fly her to safety with ease and grace. So why didn’t SHE fly HIM to safety then first? Or why didn’t Rafael just grab him and fly him to destination, or any other times in the film? Nigel did that very often. Maybe most plot points in the 2nd and 3rd act could have been solved with one of the bird just grabbing him along?
    ** end spoiler **

    Despite it’s flaws I liked it anyway. I had a good time. The animation itself made it charming, disarming, honest, old school, kids loved it. I feel that putting down the whole film because of the bad screenplay would be like complaining that the rio festival and samba music are not as good as a timeless opera. That would be missing the point of the festival. Maybe the film was actually self-referential.

  • Nik

    I enjoyed “Horton Hears a Who” and the last “Ice Age” film, so I was really looking forward to “Rio.” I thought the film was beautiful-looking and generally entertaining although the script seemed weak and poorly thought-out. I agree with the comment above about the big plot hole of the bird characters carrying each other while flying. The art direction and character design of the birds was wonderful. The animation of the birds was top notch. Really enjoyed the bird characters and the scene with Rafael and his family was one of the funniest parts of the film. Also liked the scenes during carnaval festivities.

    It seems like this film sets a record (in animation) for having THREE awkward, clumsy nerds as main characters (Blu, Linda, Tulio) — I am so tired of this particular character trope. And why do all the people in the film tend to be three body types? Tall, slender male and female with a big head or fat guy with a little head.

    Liked the character of the boy Fernando and wish they’d done more with him and given him a backstory. Jewel’s characterization seemed lacking and I was disappointed they didn’t find a Latina actress to do her voice.

    Nigel (the evil bird villain) was annoying and his stupid song seemed out of place. The dumb thugs were nothing special. The drooling dog Luiz was gross — wasn’t there any other type of Brazilian animal they could have used? Oil or soap probably would have worked better to slip the chains off the birds’ feet anyway. I was fine with the lemurs but I think more could have been done with them.

    I also agree with another poster above that the best way to re-watch this film is with the audio turned off. WHY do the characters have to babble and talk non-stop all the time? This is a film, not a sit-com! I was actually disappointed when Blu started talking in the film. Liked the use of black and hispanic voice actors for a number of roles (although, once again, I wish their had been a more Latin flavor to the accents of the Brazilian characters).

  • 2011 Adult

    I liked its energy, visuals, and the songs didn’t seem as out-of-place as you may think. The songs did just come out of nowhere without any segway, but I think the problem is that NO ONE here was expecting this film to be a musical! Odd, considering it takes place in a very musical location.

    Aside from being very brief, there were in fact moments that explained some plot holes people seem to be complaining about. Why didn’t Jewel just grab Blu and fly away at the climax? Because every attempt before this to fly resulted in them plummeting to the ground because of Blu’s lack of self-confidence, so why would she ever try again? Why is Nigel evil? Because, as his out-of-place song explained, he used to be an animal movie star in Brazil until he got replaced by another bird, probably watched too much Conan the Barbarian, went insane from being a setting star, and became a cardboard villain, abite with spectacular character moments. There were explanations, but they 1.) were too brief in explaining everything and 2.) were never mentioned again!

    There were other things very wrong with the film. Why did we need so many tired cliches used time and again!? If it weren’t for the kinetic, vibrant, BRILLIANT character animation, I would not have distinguished Rio from another film 25 years ago!!! I had thought the doctor was going to be Mr. Exposition and disappear, but nooooooooo- he HAS to be the other male lead! So the five head to see this “Luiz” so they could get the chains off, but stop to go to a bird dance club somewhere? Oh, that’s okay, because Blu gets to loosen up a bit and get comfortable with the one other bird he obviously has a choice in mating with! No rush!! The incompetent monkeys won’t ever catch them because they have no place in the story! Why did will i. am and Jamie Foxx’s characters need to be there? To plug their record labels? Oh, that will WORK WONDERS for the events to develop. And don’t worry about wondering why all this is going on, because the kids will just watch anything! It’s just a cartoon right? That’s what Chris Wedge and the other directors in their DVD commentaries keep saying!!!

    The good points. … really great concept, many funny little moments, beautiful animation, and a good revival for animated musicals……… kind of. I agree with that one other replier above, I would watch it again with the sound off.

    • Ethan

      “”"Why didn’t Jewel just grab Blu and fly away at the climax? Because every attempt before this to fly resulted in them plummeting to the ground because of Blu’s lack of self-confidence, so why would she ever try again?”"”
      That’s some very weak duct tape on that plot hole. Blu didn’t have any problem tagging along on the ultralight glider, he positively enjoyed it. He wasn’t afraid of height, he was afraid of was attempting to fly by himself, what he lacked was self-confidence. So any bird grabbing him would have solved all his problems, just like the ultralight glider.

      None of them ever tried, or even suggested to lift him. They only asked him to fly by himself, even when chained to Jewel, and when it didn’t work it was “Oh crap we’ll have to walk because he can’t fly”. But at the end, “No wait I can fly and hold jewel at the same time, it’s easy ! What a twist !”.

      • Ethan

        A nerd just told me it’s called a hang glider. So, yeah, I meant a hang glider :-)

  • Jpox

    Loved the character animation, the Rio backdrop and the music. Despite the flaws in the script, it was a fun movie to experience. Blue Sky is becoming one of my favorite Animation studios.

  • http://adreamer49.wordpress.com/ Jacob

    The movie was very cliche in my opinion. I liked the animation for the birds but the human characters consisted of about five different models that weren’t even dressed very different from each other. There really is nothing in this movie that has not been done before, in a better way. I never really bought into the romantic relationship. None of the characters arcs felt believable and I absolutely began to hate the owner and her forced boyfriend. Anyway, not a very good quality review, but the movie just made me frustrated.

  • Furry Cartoon Brew Reader

    Quite enjoyable! I’d definitely recommend seeing it.

    Before the film: Trailers. “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” – Jim Carrey, starting to show his age a little, is a man who for some reason finds himself taking care of penguins in a luxurious apartment. Some CGI for the penguins. “Cars 2″ – Kept my eyes closed and tried to tune it out. “Zookeeper” – Zoo animals who can talk (like Babe the pig); could be mildly ok, could be dumb. Then the short film, “Scrat’s Continental Crack-up” – silly, fun, quick, liked it. And then, Rio!

    Cons: I watched the 2D version, and there were lots of shots that screamed that they were set up specifically for 3D audiences. Lots and lots of shots. Especially all the fast-moving scenes zooming through streets, etc. For me this was very distracting and is the main reason I’m not keen on 3D visual direction.

    At least a third of the 4-to-6-year-old children in the audience weren’t engaged. Granted, it’s hard to keep their attention span. Still, there was much excess chatter and restless wriggling. I’d suggest it for ages 7 and up. First started to seriously manifest when Blue and Jewel made it to the jungle, and then kept happening on-and-off for the rest of the film.

    Will-i-am as Pedro, the sidekick bird with the red headfeathers… “Yo yo yo!”… was not endearing. Prevalent enough to be mostly annoying (his first scene was fine, but nothing afterwards), yet not prevalent enough to ruin the second half of the movie, although any more and he would’ve come close. Felt like a studio exec insertion. (“Ya gotta have a character like this! He’ll be all cool and like! The kids’ll love it!”) His rapping was kept very short; thank you. The sidekick’s sidekick (voiced by Jamie Foxx) – I wish their roles had been reversed, I liked him a lot better.

    One character’s egregious drool. Eeyagh. Great hat, though.

    I’m a little worried about the potential for – what would you call it – the 101 Dalmatians effect? – where pet stores get an upsurge of interest in specific pets after a popular movie gets released or re-released. Dalmatians are a very active dog breed and not for everyone; neither are owls (as happened after the first Harry Potter film) – and parrots as well. They require a lot of space, care, attention and interaction, as well as some species being very long-lived – with many potential health problems, e.g., no cooking with Teflon anymore. So why – why did you have to have a shot with Blue being given chocolate? Ok, it’s a happy comfort food in terms of the storytelling angle, I get it, but next time… uh, just please don’t. Do the research and think of the real-world implications.

    Theoretical franchise potential… I’m finding it hard to picture it. The film’s closure was fine as is. What’s next, the wacky day-to-day adventures of Blue and his animal friends in the jungle? Raising fledglings? With Linda and Tulio on the sidelines? Plus, given that part of the film’s story was about Blue attaining self-confidence, what character weaknesses remain to exploit besides naivete to jungle life? A not-true-to-the-film sense of neurosis? Plus you’ll need new antagonists. I don’t think the monkeys would carry it too far. (P.S., please don’t use any of these ideas. Hire Lauren Faust.)

    I think some Minnesotans might take brief offense at Linda not being much of a party person, but I’m sure they’ll get over it. Still, “Cheese and crackers”?! Come on, give us a “Yaaaaa!”

    Middle-of-the-road: The songs. Thankfully not too many, and none outstayed their welcome. The opening song is the only one I could remember after the film. A good selection of South American styles were included. I like what Sergio Mendes did with the new version of Mas que Nada. Nigel’s song was also very good at achieving its purpose of demonstrating that he’s one of the main antagonists.

    Not much toilet humor: Good. Still, there was a kicked-in-the-groin joke: Bad. For the visual pun: Thanks for at least being creative with it.

    Pros: The plot was fairly straightforward, nothing too daring, but it was told well. Main characters were well-defined. Good voice acting. When the 3D shots weren’t being obvious, the remaining visuals were great, especially some of the cityscapes, and the lovely flowered trees above the streetcar. Loved some of the backlit scenes to shift focus onto the characters for an otherwordly effect – Linda’s “angel” shot; Jewel at the bird club. Plus lots of little touches all over the place, like Jewel’s closed eyes showing her enjoying the ride on the hang-glider.

    Very much enjoyed the animation and body language. I must guiltily admit I’ve not seen a single one of the Ice Age films, so I can’t compare and contrast. Lots of great use of squash and stretch with Blue’s head and neck. And it works with him perfectly, because parrots are very much like that in real life!

    As for the earlier comment about Blue being imposed upon to conform to get the girl… I agree there’s a little awkward subtext there. Personally I was more thrown by sentient, self-aware characters that were more motivated by self-interest for the first half of the movie, so much so that it overrode any desire to preserve their own species. I found that mildly disturbing, but not so much that I couldn’t enjoy the film.

    To me, the subtext of the larger part of the movie was about leaving one’s comfort zone, to learn about differences and appreciating those differences in others. And what I really, really liked is that every major character was shown to have both strengths and weaknesses, no one was one-dimensional. (Well, except the bad guys and side-characters, but that’s nothing new.)

    Tulio’s a little awkward and takes an overly Stanislavskian approach to bird communication, but he honestly cares for his charges and is an experienced ornithologist.

    Linda’s a little bookish and shy, but a caring pet owner. She steps very much outside her comfort zone by taking the trip to Brazil, and although she gets emotionally distraught at several points, it doesn’t paralyze her from action. She keeps trying. I found her to be a very strong female character, especially how she took charge of various vehicles during the film. I also really appreciated that a character with glasses didn’t have to take them off to appear “more beautiful”.

    Jewel’s focus on flight gave her a narrow world-view on what could be accomplished without it – kind of like taking a low view to a disability. She overcomes this as well as learning that some humans are trustworthy. She’s very independent, strong-willed and isn’t willing to sit idly by. Still, there are traditional gender tropes happening, but given the nature of the story, these are hard to avoid.

    Blue’s self-confidence and inability to fly were his greatest challenges, fearing anything that might hinder him from returning to the safety of Linda’s care. At the same time, he’s extremely acrobatic and talented with his beak and feet, which really surprises Jewel, as well as having a strong understanding of physics and using things around him as tools.

    The most laughs from the adults in the audience came from the quick joke with Tulio and the motorcycle.

    I really liked how not everyone in the movie spoke English. Several birds were bilingual (breaking into English after realizing that Blue is an American foreigner), and some of the humans spoke only in Portuguese, yet not in a way that viewers would require subtitles.

    Something I also appreciated a lot was… well, obviously Linda and Tulio, the human protagonists, were going to end up with each other in the end, in parallel with their birds, Blue and Jewel. But at the end of the film the focus stayed on the birds. There was no forced extra scene with the humans falling in love. Instead, Linda and Tulio’s relationship was acknowledged as the credits started to roll. It was simple, it gave closure to that part of the story, and it was just right. Likewise the scene with Blue and Jewel flying off together – simple, and not overplayed. Thanks for handling it all that way! And hey, I got feeling all mushy and I shed man-tears.

    So yeah, great work, Blue Sky! :-)

  • Jorgen Klubien

    Loved it! Just right on so many levels. An instant classic… nothing smug about this gorgeously animated movie. Best (animated) romantic comedy since Lady and the Tramp. BLUE SKY, hope you win this years Oscar!

  • Toonio

    The movie in general was good, full of great animations and awesome backgrounds. This movie shows the creators did their homework on every possible detail related to the production.

    On the story development some parts of the 2nd act felt a little slow , and the 3rd act was quite bland. The last sequence rehash of the first sequence was a disappointment. This wasn’t about bringing everything “full circle”, but re-discovering your roots and “re-birthing” (or “re-birding” ;))

    One thing that is getting my nerves with CGI movies is the human design “templates” you see across the studios. It’s getting really boring to see the same characters over and over. I’d say pay some little extra money in new models and rigs, it cannot hurt at all.

    Despite of my comments I’m still thinking on going to see the movie in 2d. I guess the 3d glasses dropped the brightness of the movie way to much for my taste.

    My main reason to go and see Rio was the bright colors on the trailer, however on 3d that was a drag. I don’t know if the projector’s lamp was dying, set up on low or something, but if they don’t pay attention to this, it could contribute to the start of the end for the 3D movie business.

  • pablo

    bright colored fluff

  • http://silvialisanti.blogspot.com/ Silvia Lisanti

    I really like the animation of Blue and how the bird were charachterised with their own personalities and role: in those days I think it is hard to find a film with good charachters that immediately catcha the audience attention;
    The views of Rio were stunning, I particularly appreciated the flight of the two macaws around the Jesus statue with the soundtrack of “Mas que Nada”, the 3D gave added a good emotional touch to the scene, as you were actually living it…
    The plot may have be a bit weak and with some classic clichè, that’s true, but I mainly loved it as few movies: very enjoyable and a colorful show for the eyes!

    DOes it exists an Art Book of the movie??? where I can find some inspiring material from the production????

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    I thought Beverly Hills Chihuahua (which I watched on a bus trip) had better characters and gags than Rio, and almost a better plot. And I’m totally serious about it.

    Rio was beautiful to look at, but at the end that wasn’t enough. It really felt too long to me.

    I guess there were some fun moments, but there were a lot more failed gags.

    Scenes I enjoyed would include some of the first ones with Blu and Linda in Minnesota, the one from the teasers when Rafael teaches him how to fly and the scene with Rafael and his family. I guess the scene with the little bird singing a love song while they were on the trolley was nice enough.

    Everything else was quite bad.

    Tulio was completely unfunny and a little annoying. I can’t see how Linda could fall in love with him at all. Nigel had some potential but his song wasn’t very good and most of the time he was just menacing the monkeys with very little presence in the story.

    Most wasted characters were Pedro and Nico, who kinda looked like Spike and Chester from the Looney Tunes, but they were far from being that funny. Pedro was just a hip-hop guy cause Will.i.Am is doing the voice and Nico just didn’t do much in the whole movie. Luiz wasn’t used too much either and the drool gag went old soon.

    The dumb bad guys weren’t very funny either, and Fernando could have been ok, but seemed to be there only to add some “emotion” with a poor child.

    The best character was probably Rafael, but at the end he’s underdeveloped too, cause there are too many secondary guys in the movie.

    Blu and Linda were sort of ok I guess but they could have done a lot more with them. Especially with Linda, I think she became less interesting once she started to fall in love with Tulio. Instead of making Tulio likeable they sort of made Linda more stupid so she would find this crazy guy attractive.

    I doubt I’ll watch it ever again, but I’m sure I will watch Rango many times when it comes out in dvd.

  • Metallicfire

    Seems the critics all say it was lacking the Pixar storyteam. Which just goes to show what a shame it is that this movie killed Newt.

    • Bud

      I don’t think you know that is a fact. Because it’s not.

    • Ethan

      No. If they had the pixar story team, they might have canceled the film half way during production for being too quirky, or fired the director, or spent 260 millions after bullying them to change the story 3 times. They would probably end up with no film at all, and a few fired directors. The CCO would then need to step down to direct the films himself.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/Mesterius1 Mesterius

      Seriously? I heard a rumour about them cancelling Newt because of this, but still, wow… I wouldn’t have minded another film built on this same basic theme. Especially as Pixar would have probably given the story a less clichéd treatment than the case was here.

      That being said, I did enjoy Rio quite a bit. A few annoying supporting characters along the way (the fat Don-Juan-wannabe bird, who someone apparently intended as good comic relief, was completely unneccessary in my opinion), as well as a few annoying songs (I could have lived without the villain bird doing those rapping moves). And a few story turns which were simply too predictable. But… beautiful colors, good animation, nice characters – to my surprice, I liked the main human characters a lot, especially the book-loving girl – and the 3D was actually quite wonderful at times…

  • JMatte

    A beautiful movie: absolutely wonderful animation, superb attention to details (I kept staring at those feathers- congrats to the character fx team!), overall superb artistic direction. The music was also fun and catchy.
    Script problems? Yes, but possibly because I’m getting old and jaded, ha ha! But, if I was a young kid and had not yet seen so many movies or tv shows, this would rank very high in my faves. Fun family film. Good work, Blue Sky!

  • tom

    Rapping birds. I know it’s for kids, but did they really need rapping birds? Especially with the feathers curled in that attitude “rap” gesture, jabbing towards the camera. I cringed more and more each time it happened.

    I’m not sure why everyone liked the music either. Even at one point, Blu says he hates it. And with lyrics like “We can chill in my gazeebo – zeebo”, who can blame him.
    The opening song was good, until the singing started.

    So apart from that, and the highly, almost insultingly predictable plot, I enjoyed it. Basically, it looks great. Everything else is average.

  • Inky

    Saw the movie today and I can say that, sorry guys, I was underwhelmed. By now, sugar-pop colors and wacky movements can’t buy me as much as it did when I was younger because there is so much more to a movie than that and by this, I mean the story.

    The story of Rio looks good on paper but it was just executed badly. There really wasn’t as much heart-tugging as the movie was grabbing for what with the message of how animal smuggling is bad and how many times Jewel was using the term ‘pet’ as if it were a bad thing. (Never mind that Linda basically saved and cared for Blu his entire life or he would have frozen)What was the message with that? That Linda was bad for not instantly returning Blu to his ‘proper’ place in the wild and by taking care of him and basically building a bond between them, she ruined him?

    Okay, maybe that’s going a bit too far but there really was no balance of views here. Even though Jewel did get a SLIGHT revelation that not all human are bad at the end, it was just annoying that all she did was bemoan Blu for being a pet and not being able to fly, even though his years of being such a lowly ‘pet’ allowed him to gain knowledge on how to work cages, locks, and other things that a proper ‘free’ bird wouldn’t do. Heck, it was his ingenuity that got everyone free from their cages. I really don’t remember anyone celebrating Blu for his quirkiness with these abilities but everything was all fine and dandy when he got to the real paradise. So no, it was not a balanced lesson; Blu was constantly told how pathetic he was but Jewel’s lesson came at the end for about 30 seconds and didn’t leave any sort of impression. Had Blu been given more a chance to explain his relationship with Linda and how she SAVED HIM FROM FREEZING TO DEATH AS A CHICK, it would have felt justified but it wasn’t

    That…just didn’t sit well with me. As someone said above, it did feel a slight bit like conformity and despite the fact that Blu had his own talents to help him, they weren’t good enough because he was a ‘pet’.

    While the birds were designed nicely, the humans were mediocre at best and I found it rather upsetting that one could easily spot the fact that they reused model types OVER AND OVER throughout the film. There were just pallet swaps and nothing more. If Pixar, Dreamworks and Sony can come up with a crowd of what looks like 100s, each with their own body types and faces, I don’t see why they couldn’t do the same with this.

    If anything, Rio felt like a filler CGI animated movie; its here, it will last, but then it will be topped by something that is written, produced, and animated better. I’m just disappointed that Rio has so much on the inside but not all the heart that the movie tried to shove down our throats. I would have had more sympathy for the movie if any of the character were worth having any sort of feelings over.

  • James E. Parten

    There are pictures that leave the viewer with a good feeling in his or her heart. “Rio” is one of those pictures.

    Yes, the plot features elements that have been seen before in other films. But familiarity does not have to breed contempt, if the material is handled properly. And here it seems to be handled in just such a manner.

    There is a lot of spectacle here, but would you expect less from anything set in Rio de Janeiro at Carnaval time? This is something that was known to both the Disney crew (“Three Caballeros”) and to the Famous crew just relocated in NYC (“We’re On Our Way To Rio”, the second Popeye color one-reeler).

    Voice casting was exemplary. But then, I have yet to catch an animated feature, drawn or CGI, that had universally lousy voice casting.

    Music worked. But then, with Sergio Mendez acting as musical supervisor, one should expect nothing less. If anyone in modern music should know about proper Brazilian rhythm, it’s Mendez! I’d like to see the carnival marcha that opens and closes this picture become a hit, but it probably won’t happen.

    Considering the lack of G rated product out there, there are a lot worse options than leaving the kiddies to see “Rio”. There is enough there also so that parents won’t get bored, nor have their intelligence insulted.

  • Sayuri

    What annoyed me was the choise of voice in the caractures, only Tulio and Rafael´s Wife was voiced by brazilian actors, and Rafael was really annoying to hear a hispanic accent, brazilian portuguese accent is different!

    • Austin Papageorge

      Wait… so George Lopez’s voice annoys you because he has a “hispanic accent”, and the movie was set in Brazil? Was it more annoying than hearing the non Hispanic-American actors Anne Hathaway, will.i.am, and Jamie Foxx as Brazilian birds in the movie?

    • Dan

      Someone commented before this, that main caractures like Jewel should have had a latin a cast voice, and I agree. This is a film that uniquely tried to portray a country’s culture, yeah other films that have talking animals in foreign lands mostly don’t worry about that, but that is because it is not part of the design, yet since in this film that is sort of the point, it was something to consider. But other than that, I enjoyed the originality of the movie in a year that lot’s of sequels like Kung fu panda 2 and Cars 2 are coming out

  • David

    I saw it this weekend.

    Animation and art direction was top notch. Another job well done by the crew at Blue Sky. Congrats to all involved.

    Script was not very compelling. Hated the songs , especially the villain bird’s song braggin’ ’bout how he so bad … reminded me of an equally awkward song in Filmation’s “Happily Ever After” , with Ed Asner doing the rappin’ as the bad owl Scowl:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K267QhMp6LE

    (starts at 0:13 mark)

    The main characters Blu and Jewel were ok and the secondary bird characters were just ok, too. Mildly entertaining.

    Didn’t feel much of anything for the human characters.

    Beautiful looking movie on the surface, not much else to it besides the good animation and art direction. Didn’t hate it , didn’t love it. Probably would not see it again. I guess it was worth seeing, but once was enough. It wouldn’t really have bothered me if I’d saved the $15.00 bucks and caught this at the $2.00 theater in a couple of months. (a word to the wise , if you’re watching your pennies carefully)

  • JOEY

    The only thing I thought that hasnt been said already is that there was WAY too much slapstick. Every other scene had somebody running into a pole or getting smacked in the head with something, it was EXHAUSTING and a lazy way to script action.

  • http://katiebetter.wordpress.com KB

    I’ve been looking forward to this movie for awhile, not just as an animator but as a bird lover as well! Blue Sky still amazes me with their visuals and animation, the mannerisms for the birds were so dead on!

    The thing that really brought it down for me was mainly Pedro and Nico, these guys were just too spazzy and scene-stealing for me with the pop culture “asides” and just poor joke writing. Even their designs just didn’t appeal to me. I understand it’s a niche that has to be filled in this kind of film in this industry, but uuuugh. Frustrating. Script went a lil overboard with the cheese, even the kid sitting next to me was shaking his head, but hey, it’s that kind of movie.

    Needless to say, I did enjoy it, I probably will see it again, if anything to study it more. The love that went into the opening dance sequences and the Carnival parade is felt!

  • Keegan

    I hate that people think they have to tack on a cliche love story to a movie to make it complete, and this is no exception.

    But other than that, it was pretty nice. I liked the bird designs.

  • http://a113animation.blogspot.com/ William Jardine

    I thought it was a fantastic film, and I completetly agree with what you said about it being Blue Sky Studios’ best film since Ice Age 1. I loved it and, as I said in my review, the animation was fantastic!

  • http://www.infurnation.com Rodso64

    More or less in order: Visually, I thought this film was a wonder. Not just the character designs and the backgrounds and layouts, but the texture (of feather, beak, and more) and the lighting of was top-notch and an absolute joy to behold. Wow. The music and several of the songs were also a lot of fun, and the party and Carnival sequences were a lot of fun as well. Now… about the writing… *shiver*. The dialogue literally hurt my teeth, and the whole thing gave me a back-ache from wincing so much. The human dialogue in this thing clearly bares no relation whatsoever to things that real live adults would actually say to one another. I’d say “watch it with the sound turned off when it comes out on DVD”, but then you’d miss a lot of the terrific music. Maybe if we’re lucky they’ll release it with a “no dialogue” option?

    One other little gripe: I have never been so sorry to see a film in 3D before. The colors were TERRIBLY muted, especially compared to what we’d seen before in the trailers on our home computers. And color is one of the stars of this movie! We plan on going out to see it again ASAP, and this time in 2D, thank you very much.

    • http://www.infurnation.com Rodso64

      Update: We went to see it again, in 2D this time. Sure enough, the colors and lighting were much better… but, oddly, still NOT as bright and clear as that 2-minute preview we saw on a home computer. Odd. Still, do yourselves a big favor folks: See this one in 2D.

  • uncle wayne

    JUST came back! I went ga-ga for it. VERY fun….very lightening quick. And coming from New Orleans, the parralell from Carnivale to Mardi Gras is glorious!! Beautiful! I havta watch it again to catch alllll the laffs I missed while laffing!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001249396142 Steve “Pokey” J.Anti-Blockhead

    I’ve wanted to see it..finally saw “Hop” a few days ago and THAT was better than I planed..”Rio” has, as far as billing the stars doing voices, two posters: the one we have in our theatre uptown Whittier, with no actors, and the one in a Regal(r) Cinema out in La Habra, which listed the performers (someone on GAC Forums mentioned they didn’t care for Jewel’s voice, too Babs Bunny like, and as a Tiny Toon near hater I would understand that, but I doubt that this is like that, given all the positive comparisions to things like Toy Story 3. Anne Hatahaway is the voice of jewel, btw.)

  • John

    I liked it, my nephew and Niece and Sister liked it, and that’s good enough for me!