Rio 2: Feather-flying jungle fun

Blu is back and he’s still, to use a metaphor with an animal theme, a fish out of water. Rio 2 picks up where the first one left off and, despite an opening scene that takes place during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Brazil’s party-hearty capital, most of the action takes place in the Amazon jungle to the north.

RIO 2

Two and a half stars (out of four)

Rated: G

By BRUCE DEMARA

Blu is back and he’s still, to use a metaphor with an animal theme, a fish out of water.

Rio 2 picks up where the first one left off and, despite an opening scene that takes place during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Brazil’s party-hearty capital, most of the action takes place in the Amazon jungle to the north.

There, Blu and Jewel and their three boisterous chicks go in search of a flock of fellow Spix’s macaws in a remote forest enclave where Blu — raised as a pet in Moose Lake, Minnesota — finds it hard to adapt to all the “creepy” bugs and such.

Blu is still much too attached to his GPS device and fanny-pack, much to the disgust of his disapproving and derisive father-in-law, Eduardo. Blu’s old adversary, Nigel, is also back and bent on revenge after having his feathers fatefully clipped in the first film.

Meanwhile, Blu’s former owner, Linda, and her Brazilian ornithologist friend, Tulio, are menaced by a gang of illegal loggers led by an evil guy who dismisses them as tree-huggers.

Director Carlos Saldanha doesn’t mess with the formula that made the first Rio a $500-million box office bonanza, with many of the same characters — such as Luiz, Pedro and Nico — back.

But, using the jungle setting, Saldanha also introduces a couple of new animal characters, including a poison dart frog named Gabi (delightfully voiced by Kristin Chenoweth) and a silent tamandua named Charlie along with some delightfully mischievous monkeys, a couple of amusingly slow-dancing turtles and a boa constrictor who plays a brief but important role in dispatching the chief villain.

The voice work is well done, with Jesse Eisenberg as Blu and Anne Hathaway nicely fleshing out their respective characters and Jermaine Clement is wonderfully arch as the Shakespeare-quoting Nigel. Bruno Mars is good fun as the preening Roberto, a prospective rival for Jewel’s affections, and Andy Garcia is the archetypically haughty father-in-law Eduardo.

There’s plenty of lively and inventive production numbers throughout and the animation, including the 3-D effects, is top-notch.

The storyline is a bit on the scant side so adults aren’t going to find it terribly engaging. But younger audiences, preteen and earlier, are going to come away with a couple of useful lessons — the first about not rushing to judgment about others, and the larger one on the importance of protecting nature from human depredation — that are presented in a way that is entertaining with a minimal of preachiness.

Those who enjoyed the adventures of Blu and Jewel and company in the first Rio are going to find the sequel an equally pleasing diversion.

Just Posted

Vandal strikes downtown business

Window with PRIDE poster broken

No new RNs hired to Red Deer hospital emergency department in a month: United Nurses of Alberta

UNA filed a grievance in June in response to what they say is a staffing crisis

Traffic pattern to change for summer near interchange

Southbound Hwy 2 traffic to be shifted

Red Deer couple win $100,000 in lottery

Couple won their money on June 1 LOTTO MAX with EXTRA draw

‘Walking survey’ of Red Deer’s green carts starts this week

Gold stars or pointers on correct use will be left on inspected carts

Updated: SUV smashes through fences and deck in Anders

Driver taken to hospital after SUV veered off 30th Avenue into Anders

Cull hasn’t been able to solve bunny burden in Alberta mountain town of Canmore

CANMORE, Alta. — Problems persist in an Alberta mountain town overrun with… Continue reading

Canada should help Holocaust denier on trial in Germany: civil liberties group

OTTAWA — A civil liberties group is urging the Canadian government to… Continue reading

Westerner Days: Send us your photos

Your reader photo may just make the pages of the Adovcate.

Adam Henrique signs $29.1M, 5-year extension with Ducks

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Centre Adam Henrique has signed a $29.1 million, five-year… Continue reading

Fashion firms upend design routine to focus on speed, trends

NEW YORK — Prototypes? Passe. Fashion company Betabrand saw that knitwear was… Continue reading

Trimming and tidying: Perennials need care too

The great attraction in growing perennial flowers is that you never have… Continue reading

Johnny Depp settles lawsuits involving former managers

LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp has settled lawsuits with his former business… Continue reading

Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber falls to Bryce Harper in Home Run Derby final

WASHINGTON — Nationals Park was eerily quiet late Monday when Kyle Schwarber… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month