I found this movie quite delightful. It’s a beautifully animated story of a neurotic blue macaw, name of Blu, that’s been raised as a pet in snowbound Minnesota when he’s suddenly plunged into an adventure in Rio where he’s been taken in order to breed with the one remaining female of his species. The voice cast is very good, with Jesse Eisenberg a perfectly cast standout as the nervous, inadequate Blu (he doesn’t even know how to fly!). The story is itself kind of clever. Blu meets the last female of his species, Jewel, voiced by Anne Hathaway, and she longs only to be free to return to the jungle while Blu longs only to return to the comfortable Minnesota home he left. It’s a movie about that tug of war between domesticity and freedom, but the film cleverly flips the genders; it’s usually the man longing for freedom in these movies, but Blu wants a hot chocolate by the fire (though, warning: despite a scene of Blu drinking it, chocolate is actually toxic to macaws!), and it’s Jewel that wants the wide open spaces. I really think Blu & Jewel make the movie; they’re both well-written with . . . well, layers might be too generous, but they’re capable of evoking real emotions with their very real feelings. Their love story is believable and sweet. And the film is definitely an eye-popper. The animation realizes Rio beautifully. A mid-film flying section is just gorgeous. The climax of the film is a chase scene that takes place in the midst of a Carnivale parade and it’s inventive, funny and absolutely stunning to look at. If there’s a problem here, it’s with some of the humor being a bit too broad for me. Though a lot of it does work, silly as it is; I did get several pretty big laughs out of the film. The music as well, provided, at a couple of junctures, by cast members Jamie Foxx & Will.i.am. is a bit bland as well. All in all, I found the film pretty well delightful. Good fun. Recommended. 3 ½ stars.
tl;dr – beautifully animated film about parrots in Brazil is well-voiced and more cleverly written than many films of this type; occasionally too silly, but not often. 3 ½ stars.