The other night I went to the movies to go and see DreamWorks new animation “Rio” in 3D. Rio is a story of a blue Macaw named “Blu” (played by Jesse Eisenberg) who is captured in Brazil and shipped to Minnesota. Blu grows up as a perfect house pet, he never learnt how to fly and knows nothing of his birthplace. He is a proud pet and wishes nothing more than spending his life with his owner Linda (played by Leslie Mann). Unfortunately there are several events, leading Blu and his owner into the heart of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro.
Through even more strange and unfortunate events Blu gets stolen and lost in Rio and is stuck with the only other Blue Macaw in the world, Jewel (played by Anne Hathaway) the story continues as these two birds go on their journey to get back to their ideal homes. Unfortunately Blu discovers he is less of a pet than he thought and likes the wild just as much.
By the end of the movie the two birds have both changed their viewpoints and feel a special connection between each other. The story is sweet and packed full of humor and laughs, but lacks the depth expected in such an animation.
Just before “Rio” started there were several movie trailers, one of them being a Pixar trailer. Being an all out animation maniac I was super amped and really very excited to be blown away by Rio. However seeing the Pixar trailer before “Rio” made me compare the two films. Although I am sure this is not fair on “Rio” it is a reality. Pixar specializes in computer-generated animation, and DreamWorks does the same, they are both in the same profession and thus work for the same customer, so why was DreamWorks so lazy.
“Rio” has great graphics, wonderful color and uses 3D to its advantage, however they seem to have run out of steam and forgot to create a memorable story. What I mean by this is simple, “The Wizard of Oz” is memorable, children and adults around the world know and love the 72-year-old movie. I honestly can’t say it could be said for “Rio”. However looking at the Pixar films I see a long nostalgic future for them.
Rio seems detached, emotionally, there is no connection to the viewer’s emotion, and you don’t feel much at all. It doesn’t move or compel you to feel a thing. And I am not sure why. DreamWorks is a big company and I am sure they know what they are doing, but I feel like emotion would help people like a film more and thus lead to more popularity and thus more income. However it seems as though DreamWorks couldn’t careless with nostalgic emotional movies. If I look at the other 6 DreamWorks films I see a pattern, laughs and giggles with zero involvement from the viewer, the depth is just not there.
I feel like DreamWorks aims for children only and rather young children too. I bring my 13-year-old sister along to all the animation movies, to give me a different viewpoint. After the movie I asked her what she thought? She replied with “It was nice”. I asked the same question after Rango and she replied with “I loved it, we have to buy the DVD”. Comments like this make me wonder if DreamWorks is moving in the right direction.
To help you understand the way I am feeling let me hit you with some numbers, Pixar released “Toy Story 3” in 2010 and made $1.1 Billion. Nickelodeon’s “Rango” Made $230 000 million, “Rio” in comparison raked in a whopping $55 million. So maybe nostalgia and emotional stories pay better, than lazy detached humor?
Movies are something we do as a family and as friends more often, we expect more from a movie than just random humor and basic entertainment value. We want something, which leaves us feeling something. After “Rio” we didn’t feel much more than “nice”, if this is DreamWorks plan I don’t honestly see the point. To conclude “Rio” was a very nice movie, entertaining and simple in design. However if you are over 15 years old, you probably wont enjoy it. I wish I could say something more positive but I cant this is a children’s movie made only for children. If you have children its perfect, if you are any one else rather book a ticket to “Gnome and Juliet”.
Final Rating (as a child): 8/10
Final Rating (as a adult): 4/10