Summer fun’s here
Direction: Carlos Saldanha
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway
With its bright designs, slam-bang action and bouncy soundtrack, Rio is an animated mélange of music, mayhem and mirth. Anchoring the storyline to colourful computer generated imagery, director Saldanha (Ice Age2: The Meltdown) vividly captures details of location and characters.
It is an absolute pleasure to get acquainted with a nerdy blue macaw (Eisenberg) named — what else? — Blu. Raised by his owner (Leslie Mann) in a bookstore in wintry Minnesota, the exotic bird that can’t fly quite yet is transported to sunny Rio de Janeiro. He is expected to mate with the last surviving female (Hathaway) of the species.
The world of the avian duo turns upside-down when they are captured by bungling bird smugglers. Accompanied by a squad of feathered friends, they organise a great escape.
The feel-good fable is narrated without a trace of sanctimoniousness and effectively connects with the kiddies as well as the grown-up viewer.
The screenplay is packed with captivating characters like a pompous pelican (rapper will.i.am of the hip-hop group “The Black Eyed Peas”) and a hard-partying canary (Jamie Foxx).
The distinguished core voice cast also includes New Zealand musician Jemaine Clement as the villainous cockatoo and television star Tracy Morgan dubbing for the bulldog whose ego is worse than his bite. The samba and bossa nova-infused music adds a dash of sauciness. Enjoy.