Rio Review

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Neurotic macaw Blu (Eisenberg) is whisked from the comfort of his adopted home in Minnesota to Brazil in the hope that he'll find a mate and save his species. But things go badly wrong when he and his feisty new bird friend Jewel (Hathaway) are stolen.


Disliking Rio would take an immense amount of will. It’s generic - given just a list of character descriptions, you could probably lay out a rather accurate sketch of the plot. But it’s made with so much verve, voiced so charmingly, and with such tropical colour daubed excitedly into every inch of the screen that stimulation is not optional. A surprisingly energetic Jesse Eisenberg voices Blu, a very rare bird shipped to Brazil so that he might mate with a female (Hathaway). But she has no interest, the two get kidnapped, yada yada yada. Jettisoning a few characters, who’ve been crammed in for maximum celebrity larynx concentration, would help, plus give more room for Jemaine Clements’ wonderfully bilious cockatoo and more of his brilliant songs (sample lyric: “Like an abandoned school, I’ve got no principles”). One is not enough.

Okay, so it's not exactly a groundbreaking advance from the team behind Ice Age, but with its kaleidoscope of colour and heaps of humour, you'll be charmed.