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I don’t really have a whole lot emotionally riding on Blue Sky and Twentieth Century Fox Animation’s upcoming sequel Rio 2, from director Carlos Saldanha. And now that I’ve seen the first trailer for the film, via iTunes Movie Trailers, I’m feeling even more neutral towards it. On the one hand, it starts off with one of the more gorgeous animated crowd shots that I’ve ever seen, and those pristine visuals look like they will be present throughout the whole movie. But on the other hand, it looks like a watered down retread of the first film, which is what a lot of animated sequels tend to be anyway. And I really wasn’t all that impressed with Rio‘s story to begin with.
In the sequel, Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway reprise their respective roles of Blu and Jewel, who live with their three kids in the gorgeousness that is Rio de Janeiro (the kids will be played by singer Rachel Crow, Amandla Stenberg and Pierce Gagnon). But Jewel decides that their children shouldn’t be living such a great life, and decides they should move into the Amazon, where the real bird life happens. Just as Blu had to figure out how to adapt to his new life in the last film, he’s doing it all over again here, just with a family and different characters around him. Like Jewel’s dad, played by Andy Garcia. You have to admire an animated movie willing to take on father-in-law humor, as though real-life entertainment hasn’t done that to death.
But again, this is a really good looking trailer, from the character design to the lush and deep backgrounds. Chances are I’ll be paying more attention to the swirling skies and jungle settings than the margarine-like jokes being told. I already know that the waterfall sequence will be my favorite part of the movie. If anything, it’ll be yet another example of why Saldanha needs to get out of the animation game and break into live action, which will hopefully happen soon.
The rest of the cast is filled with both returning and new actors, including Leslie Mann, Jamie Foxx, Rodrigo Santoro, Jemaine Clement, Kristin Chenoweth, John Leguizamo, Bruno Mars, Will.i.am, Tracy Morgan and George Lopez. A lot of good talent in that list.
Rio 2 will be flying into theaters on April 11, 2014, and you know darned well it’s coming out in 3D. Can’t waste all that scenery on just two dimensions. Check out one of the film’s previously released teaser below.