Rio (2011) was a mad-capped adventure that won over audiences with its infectious music, colour characters and the crazy and unlikely pairing of Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) in an extreme case of opposites attract.
In Rio 2, we find out that Blu, Jewel and their brood of three chicks (Amandla Stenberg, Rachel Crow and Pierce Gagnon) are not the last of the blue macaws as a flock has been found in the Amazon. As their human minders head off into the Amazon, so do Blu, Jewel and the kids. Along the way, they pick up their old nemesis, Nigel (Jermaine Clement) the white cockatoo who himself has a new posse comprising a Gabi, a poisonous tree frog (Kristin Chenoweth), and an anteater with a tongue to rival Mr Fantastic’s elastic body.
Back in the jungle, Blu and family reunite with Jewel’s long lost father, Eduardo (Andy Garcia), and Jewel’s suave childhood friend, Roberto (Bruno Mars).
Rio 2 retains the same formula of musical numbers showcasing imaginative and spectacular animation. However, it trips over itself with its plots and subplots – the rivalry between Blu and Eduardo; suspicious way in which Eduardo sizes up Blu: race by the two humans Linda (Leslie Mann) and Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) to save the Amazonian rainforest; forbidden love between Nigel and Gabi. There are enough stories intertwined to make you seem as if you have been caught up amongst the tangled roots in the Amazonian undergrowth.
It is finally with some relief that we get to the big closing musical number where the fun is being able to soar out from among the trees.
For kids who loved the first Rio, Rio 2 is a must-see, just to catch up with their old friends, Blu and Jewel. Those who have not seen Rio previously will need to be patient – there are still jokes aplenty and Nigel hams up “I Will Survive” with the best of them, but we suggest watching Rio first.
Rio 2 opened in cinemas around Singapore on 10 April 2014.