Rio 2 (2014)

(On Cable TV, April 2015) I liked the original Rio well enough, but wasn’t exactly asking for a sequel.  But at a time where high-profile animated films usually beget sequels, here comes Rio 2 not trying too hard to justify its existence.  The story gets predictably bigger (our rare songbird couple from the original film, now with kids, discovers an entire colony of their species in the Amazon) and leaves Rio entirely to go deep in nature, kicking up issues of rainforest deforestation.  Add to that a bit of protagonist emasculation, a nemesis from the first film, musical antics from famous signers reprising their roles and you’ve got the makings of a serviceable sequel, although one that doesn’t exactly bring transcendence to the proceedings.  It is colorful, music-filled and upbeat (the musical numbers are usually the highlight of the film), but to what end?  Simply more of the same, loosely reprised… albeit surprisingly busy at times.  Rio 2 is likely to be a hit with anyone who liked the first film (and I may pull the “mood” card here, saying that I wasn’t in the mood for more of the same.) but it’s not going to go beyond imitation.  Not bad, but the time at which even a passable animated sequel was an event is now past.

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