Our 9-year-old grandson, Harry, has been visiting us, and since he is a movie lover like his grandma, we went to see two animated movies — Rio one day and Hop the next. We decided that Rio is a really great movie, but that Hop is a disappointment.
Thumbs Down on Hop
I asked Harry why he was so hard on Hop, and he answered that “It wasn’t realistic.” By that he meant a series of things. First, it featured the hero bunny, E.B., playing drums and talking to human beings without any of the humans noticing that he was a bunny!
The human guy in the movie was really a loafer who didn’t want to do anything! They had E.B. speaking with a British accent with no explanation! And where was E.B.’s mother? And why was he delivering baskets from an egg-shaped sleigh-like vehicle drawn by fluttering little peeps? None of this made sense to either of us.
And Grandma added that the whole thing was very boring!
Rio is Awesome
Now as for Rio, it was awesome from the beginning when all the tropical birds were singing a really great song and dancing in the trees in Brazil. They spread their bright feathers in unison as they flew from branch to branch, but they were actually parrots so the feathers were okay (and the voices were squaky).
And then the hero, a macaw named Blu, who ends ends up being cared for by a nice lady in Minnesota. Blu does not actually speak a human language to her, although she understands what he is thinking. Then when she allows a nice ornithologist to take them to Rio so he can meet his possible mate, Jewel, the humans talk human, and the birds talk bird. It all hangs together.
And the carnival in Rio is wonderful — lots of music, dancing, and fabulous floats and costumes. Harry remarked that the movie teaches the audience a lot about Rio de Janeiro and its famous carnival. Because there is a bird’s-eye view of everything, both of us got a good sense of the harbor, the beach, the city’s rich and poor neighborhoods, and the birds’ home in the jungle. By the way, Harry says to see it in 2-D because 3-D doesn’t really help.
We won’t tell you any more about the story, but it is a good one. And since we had a happy time at Rio, we think you would too.