Rio

2011, Blue Sky Studios et al

I've been assured by a bird fancier friend that the characters in Rio are "authentic," at least from the standpoint of typical bird behavior. This incidental fact, however, doesn't impact my reaction to the film; even not knowing this, I thought that it was splendid in most respects, with an original story told through the eyes of an insecure, neurotic protagonist—think of a feathered Woody Allen. The animation is top-notch, and marks a noticeable improvement over that of Blue Sky's Ice Age franchise, so at the very least you should enjoy the visuals.

     

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Rio 2

2014, Blue Sky Studios et al

Sadly, as is often the case with sequels, the follow-up chapter in our blue hero's tale wears out its welcome all too quickly, with the thin, predictable plot padded out with overly-long, overly-extravagant musical numbers. Still, audiences didn't seem to mind, since it pulled in a whopping $400 million profit (on top of the $400 million earned by its predecessor). Although the animation is still first-class, all of the fluttering and flapping does get quite tiresome.

 

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