Everyone was surprised when the animated movie Rio became a hit. Kids flocked to this film, directed by Carlos Saldanha, because of its wonderfully goofy characters and it barrage of bright colors. Adults survived by clinging to a decent plot line for a kid’s animated flick. Naturally, if any sort of film is successful a sequel is required. Instead of trying to original, like the first movie did a good job, of Saldanha reverted to a classic storyline. We see the age old story of stepdad hates stepson unfold among birds in the Amazon. Star power was added with the casting of Bruno Mars on top of the already huge pile of star power provided by Anne Hathaway, will.i.am, Janie Foxx and George Lopez. One can only hope that a movie containing such a positive helpful message mixed in with a horde of colorful likable characters will be of some quality. We can’t have too many good influences for children when so many bad ones exist.

The lovable rare Spix macaw Blu lives in the Brazilian city of Rio with Jewel and their three kids. They believe they are the last macaws of their species left. When a flock is discovered in the Amazon, Blu and Jewel go to investigate. They find the flock Jewel originally came from and, naturally, Jewels father. Blu ends up having to deal with his father-in-law and a rather handsome macaw Jewel grew up with. Besides family drama, our hero is faced with an illegal logger who intends to develop regions of the forest. If that wasn’t enough, the rather sinister umbrella cockatoo Nigel. Blu’s old nemesis managed to survive the plane crash in the first film but suffers from limited flight. As befits him, he survives has a con artist. When he spots Blu and learns of their expedition he hastily decides to exact his revenge upon the unsuspecting blue bird.

I enjoyed the use of the use of colorful and playful characters just like in the first one. I feel like both Rio and Rio 2 did wonderfully with making the audience want the best for the characters because we as people became attached to these animated talking creatures. I do like the positive and educational nature of this film. Whether you like it or not watching it does help inform you somewhat of the condition of the rain forest. Beyond that it teaches a valuable lesson about acceptance and family. We has a culture do not value principles such as family and loyalty as much as we once did. I can’t help but cheer on anyone who makes the attempt to put out a movie that might, even in subtle way, help change people’s perceptions.

I was not as pleased with how they took a movie with a fresh story and followed it with a very used story. Step-dad step-son story has been used more than once to tell a story of acceptance. I do not care what sort of situation you superimpose this storyline upon it automatically loses some of its edge and feels dated. It disappoints me that so much creativity was shown in the original to be chased by this tired tale. Another problem I had was the lack of use of original characters. Some of the nutty, hysterical characters such as Nico and Pedro are woefully underutilized.

Those little crazy birds are part of the reason I wanted to see the next movie only to find them barely used. I compare this feeling to every Star Wars that loved Jar Jar in the “Phantom Menace” but never got to see him in action again. Plus the addition of other characters who did not feel the roles as well as the ones that were neglected in this film. The only addition I applaud the director for is Gabi the poison dart frog. She brought a cute factor to the table that was missing. Other than that one example the character usage was poor.

In the end up beat songs and bright colors keep children entertained. When your child is entertained and exposed to even a little bit of educational material under the radar, it’s a good day. I cannot stress enough how important the message is despite the tired storyline. This film is not aimed for an adult audience. With presentations like this one has to consider the purpose. If I were to look at Rio 2 strictly as entertainment for me I would not speak very highly but it does accomplish its intended purpose well.

This film enthralls young children, while exposing them to some educational material about forestation and carrying a positive message. We gain some valuable animated role models from both of these movies. Parents take your kids but do not expect to be wonderfully entertained. If you do not have children, save your money; this film was not made for you.

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