Sun-Herald

RIO

Author: ED GIBBS
Date: 10/04/2011
Words: 324
Source: SHD
          Publication: Sun Herald
Section: S
Page: 8
CRITIC'S RATING 7/10

VOICES OF: ANNE HATHAWAY, JESSE EISENBERG, JEMAINE CLEMENT, LESLIE MANN, TRACY MORGAN, JAMIE FOXX, WILL I AM

RATED G

FILMMAKER Carlos Saldanha - who brought us Ice Age (and its two sequels) - says he wants to give back to his home town after making it in Hollywood. And what better way to do it than with an outrageously vibrant colour palate, a series of knockout musical set pieces and a top-notch, A-list cast all sounding like they are having a hoot.

The plot is a join-the-dots crowd-pleaser. Inept macaw Blu (Eisenberg) is one of the last of his kind. To avoid extinction, he's flown from ho-hum Minnesota to Brazil's top hot spot, ostensibly to breed under laboratory conditions. But, having barely flirted with feisty macaw Jewel (Hathaway), the pair are soon kidnapped amid the madness of Carnival. Ruling the roost at the crooks' hideout is a wonderfully droll cockatoo by the name of Nigel (Flight of the Conchords' Clement).

You'd be the world's biggest grinch not to get a kick out of this feather fest. As the title suggests, its aim is for sheer, unashamed family fun. Hathaway and Eisenberg are both fantastic as the mismatched lovebirds and Clement threatens to steal the show every time he flies into frame (thankfully, often). When he suddenly breaks into song - with the laugh-out-loud "I'll have you rotisserised" - you're left wanting more.

There is plenty of other music on offer here: Foxx and will.i.am pair up to good effect throughout (you might have seen them last week on American Idol, emphasising the fact), while the likes of South American-New Yorker Bebel Gilberto and Brazilian bossa nova legend Sergio Mendes hop on board for the ride.

It might feel a bit crowded at times but seeing (and hearing) it all in colour-soaked 3D is a treat. It's good, old-fashioned, Disney-inspired fun. And it's brought bang up to date with heartwarming ease.

 
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