Wednesday, April 06, 2011

RIO: A Tale About Having the Courage to Fly

I always like watching animated movies with heart because they are not just for kids but for everyone to be reminded of and learn new lessons from. RIO is one such movie and I thoroughly had fun watching it.

This 3D animation feature comes from the makers of the Ice Age films, which I also love, by the way. The story is mainly set in the lively and quite magical city of Rio de Janeiro and the lush forests of Brazil. Blu (with the voice of Jesse Eisenberg), a rare but highly domesticated macaw, has just been identified by an ornithologist as the last of his kind.

From their Minnesota home, Blue and his owner, Linda (Leslie Mann),  reluctantly head to Rio so he could meet the last female blue macaw on earth. Unfortunately, it was not love at first sight for the feisty Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathaway) who'd rather be back in the rain forest where she says she belongs. When the two were bird-napped by animal smugglers, they had to fight and search for their freedom while chained together. Along the way, they meet new friends, made some enemies, learned to know more about each other, and discover courage on many levels.

There are so many great things about RIO: the heart-tugging story, it's remarkable characters, the witty dialogues, the bursts of beautiful colors, realistic backdrops, and lots of wonderful music. When I first saw the trailer months ago, heard Sergio Mendes' Mais Que Nada, and learned that he's going to be the film's executive movie producer, I immediately knew the musical score alone would be awesome.

(Trivia: My husband and I love Portuguese music. In fact, our very first date as BF-GF almost twenty years ago, in June 1991, was to watch the Sergio Mendes and Brasil '88 concert at the PICC! :p) So it's no wonder my feet were constantly tapping the floor every time an energetic song is played in the movie.

It would be hard to forget the other zany characters that made the story more engaging. Jamie Foxx, Will.I.Am, and George Lopez provide the voices to the friendly and hilariously funny birds who helped Blu and Jewel in their journey. Oh, and the monkeys? They're really something! I just regret not paying much attention to the geese so I failed to recognize the voices of Wanda Sykes and Jane Lynch.

Towards the end, Blu has to have the guts to finally learn to fly. I won't, of course, reveal the ending. You have to find out if Blu will return with Linda to Minnesota or stay with Jewel in Brazil and who gets to live happily ever after.

RIO is presented by 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. and opens on April 7 in Philippine theaters. Do bring the whole family!
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