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Customer Review

33 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully animated, but slightly underwhelming, April 18, 2011
This review is from: Rio (DVD)
20th Century Fox has given us the likes of Fantastic Mr. Fox, Horton Hears a Who, and, of course, the Ice Age films as far as animated films go. While I did thoroughly enjoy both Fantastic Mr. Fox and Horton Hears a Who, both films were adapted from novels. Despite usually having stunning animation, original animated films created by 20th Century Fox like Ice Age lack something Pixar films such as Up, WALL-E, Ratatouille, and the Toy Story films utilize in the best of ways. Unfortunately, Rio, despite its best efforts, seems to continue this trend.

Rio manages to make its visuals its most cherished attribute. The 3-D animated adventure is intensely rich with spectacular color as every frame of the film is filled with nothing but the most bright and brilliant hues. Calling the film eye candy, in this case, would be nothing more than a compliment for a film like this. It is definitely the most vivid animated film in recent memory. With films these days, everything is so focused on being dark and serious while bright colors are replaced with various shades of gray and gloomy shadows. Rio's dynamic use of color practically makes it a happy film in tone right off the bat and is a welcome change of pace.

However, everything else about the film either left something to be desired or was executed improperly. The finale seems to be wrapped up so quickly. It's been building to this moment right here for an hour and a half. For everything to culminate so hastily followed by an even faster epilogue made it all feel very rushed. Rio also doesn't take the necessary steps to build foundation into your emotions either. Every time it touches on a heart wrenching moment for one of the talking animals we've grown attached to, it seems like it jumps back to silly shenanigans too quickly for it to make any sort of impact on you. Then there's the humor of the film that's really touch and go. It'll probably be fun for most kids, but adults weren't the ones filling the theater with uproarious laughter. The animated film's content is more cute or charming than hilarious or groundbreaking.

Most of the voices fit the characters really well. Blu is Jesse Eisenberg and vice versa, George Lopez's humor just drips from Rafael's feathers, and Tracy Morgan fits Luiz like a glove. However, Jemaine Clement's voice work for Nigel may have stolen the show. His song is the most enjoyable on the soundtrack and the Nigel character is just one that you love to hate. Also, pretty much any scene involving the thieving marmosets is gold. Those marmosets are to Rio what the penguins are to Madagascar.

Rio is both fun and beautifully animated, but the film seems to lack the heart that makes Pixar films so great. 20th Century Fox delivers a film that looks just as good as the best Pixar films, but is only able to scratch the surface of your emotions when it matters most. The humor included in the film seems to fall flat more often than not, as well. It'll make you smirk at times, but nothing is really laugh out loud funny. In the end, Rio is still an amusing animated adventure that's suitable for the entire family but adult viewers may walk away slightly disappointed.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 25, 2011 1:24:53 PM PDT
LP. says:
I have yet to see the movie, but my feeling about it is expressed perectly on this very well written and focused review. By watching the previews and researching about plot and stuff, I am sure it has excellent graphics and animations, but the story and characters feel a bit forced.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2011 3:20:12 PM PDT
C. Sawin says:
Definitely. That assessment is pretty spot-on. Thanks for reading!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2011 8:17:05 PM PDT
book nerd says:
Just a minor correction, it's actually by the animation studio Blue Sky Studios, which is owned by 20th Century Fox, but is not the same thing as 20th Century Fox.

Posted on May 9, 2012 9:48:57 AM PDT
R. Atkins says:
I am surprised that this very thorough review didn't mention the incredible soundtrack. My daughters played the songs over and over again and we danced and had fun. I wonder if this reviewer has children or appreciates this movie for what it is, fun and entertaining for children.
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