Bursting onto the screen, full of colour, energy and charm, theres plenty to like about the follow up to 2011’s moderate box office hit Rio. Including all the staples of modern animated hits, Rio 2 has enough of a blend of gags, catchy tunes and a family friendly plot that teaches a few life lessons without ever being preachy.
Opening in Rio de Janeiro once again we see that Blu has adapted to life outside of the home and is content with Jewel and their three kids. However, when Blu’s former owner, Linda (Leslie Mann), and her husband, Tulio (Santoro), discover evidence that the blue macaws may be not be quite so endangered a species as suspected, Jewel manages to convince Blu that the family should head off into the Amazon rainforest on an adventure to discover their kin.
Along the way the macaw family encounter weird and wonderful characters and pick up a few companions on their travels. One of the real treats that Rio 2 has to offer is the wonderful array of stars that pop up to lend their voices to the characters, and the jungle setting makes for a great backdrop to the gorgeous and colourful animation. There are a couple of scares too for the younger viewers, with all manner of jungle life gracing the screen along the way.
The musical numbers are given the added oomph of having Bruno Mars for a cast member, and the general sense of bigger is better largely pays off. If there’s one complaint of the movie its that it does at times feel like a by-the-numbers sequel. Rio was a pleasant surprise and unexpectedly delivered a solid adventure yarn out of nowhere. Rio 2, while entertaining and fun in it’s own right, doesn’t add anything new and the market is crowded with movies that are about on a par with Blu’s second outing.
Minor quibbles aside, young kids will have a blast meeting the macaws and being dazzled by the 3D. Rio 2 is lighthearted entertainment at it’s best and the tongue in cheek script will more than engage audiences of all ages and it’s enough fun that you’ll be planning on packing your suitcase for Blu’s next family vacation.
(Images courtesy IMDb, Collider, Tumblr)