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April 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Twentieth Century Fox’s Rio is the latest animated family film contrived to appeal to “children of all ages” and pack ’em in at the box office. Reviews are mostly positive but restrained. Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News uses adjectives like “enjoyable,” “gorgeous-looking,” and “sweet-hearted” to describe it. But in the end, he writes, it remains just a “so-so movie” with a script “that squawks when it should sing.” Claudia Puig in USA Today similarly concludes that the plot is “predictable and the comedy uneven” and says she spotted one person at a screening who “alternated between guffawing and snoring.” But Puig herself is of two minds about the movie, noting that it also “captures the lush beauty, musical rhythms and energy of Rio de Janeiro with a deft blend of vibrant visuals and spunky charm.” Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times also does something of a balancing act in her review of Rio, concluding “Actually, more things work than not in this sweetened sweet bird of youth. Maybe the G [rating] is for good fun or great music or a gentle good time.” Unlike other recent animated 3D films, Rio is receiving approval from most critics on its use of the 3D technology. In fact, Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal comments, “For a change the 3D process is indispensable: it heightens as well as deepens the kinetic experience.” Roger Moore in the Orlando Sentinel adds, “Rio is such a delight, so much better than anything we’ve seen in animated form this year, that you won’t mind the 3D premium prices.” The Chicago Sun-Times’s Roger Ebert, the chief foe of 3D among movie critics, did not review Rio. But if he had he would no doubt have been in agreement with Lou Lumenick of the New York Post, who writes, “If you take the kids, you can save some money by avoiding the 3D version, in which the bright colors are dimmed by wearing glasses.” (Trailer)