Being a fan of the first Rio movie released in 2011, I was expecting a little more from Rio 2. I normally don’t have high expectations for sequels but with returning voices, catchy music and vibrant colors I was expecting this movie to soar. The overall quality of this 2014 movie was grand with beautiful computer animation and enjoyable music. I enjoyed new cast members including Oscar nominee Andy Garcia, Oscar/Emmy/Tony winner Rita Moreno, Grammy winner Bruno Mars and Tony winner Kristen Chenoweth. The storyline wasn’t too complex but the plot and character development was a little unorganized. It was difficult to really relate to some of the other characters besides the main cast because the story didn’t really keep my attention. Some of the characters were also unmemorable and a few of the songs within the film didn’t really relate to the plot itself. I did enjoy the message of the movie and the internal and external conflicts of the main character, Blu. There were also more than a few important messages, children and adults shouldn’t overlook. A few of the messages were related to environmental/ecological awareness, finding beauty around you, having a sense of belonging/purpose and finally, bringing your family happiness.
Rio 2 was produced by Blue Sky Studios and directed by Carlos Saldanha who directed the Ice Age films and Rio. Rio 2 is also the first film to have a sequel for Blue Sky Studios that isn’t related to the Ice Age franchise. The film was distributed by 20th Century Fox with a budget of 103 million dollars. With mixed reviews, the film still did well financially gaining 480 million dollars at the box office. The story initially takes place in Brazil but the overall plot of the film takes place in the Amazon. Rio 2 will be released on Blu-Ray/DVD July 15, 2014. A rumor of Rio 3 is being circulated around the Internet but nothing has been confirmed. I would recommend seeing Rio 2 and I do expect it to win a few Annie Awards this year because of the soundtrack, concept work and storyboarding but I don’t think it’s Oscar material for best animation compared to other animated films this year.