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‘Rio 2’: More guffaws from Brazil’s funniest macaws

Blu Jewel 'Rio 2.' | 20th Century Fox

Blu and Jewel in "Rio 2." | 20th Century Fox

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‘RIO 2’ ★★★

With the voices of:

Jewel Anne Hathaway

Blu Jesse Eisenberg

Nigel Jemaine Clement

Gabi Kristin Chenoweth

20th Century Fox presents a film directed by Carlos Saldanha and written by Yoni Brenner, Jenny Bicks, Carlos Kotkin and Don Rhymer. Running time: 101 minutes. Rated G. Opens Friday at local theaters.

Updated: April 10, 2014 5:38PM

With a splashy Brazilian-themed musical score, top-notch voice talent and sharp-witted writing, the sequel to “Rio” (2011) is one delightful animated romp. It’s as good as the first one and sure to please both the kiddies and adults with its two-tiered humor.

Kudos to director Carlos Saldanha — who helmed those wonderful “Ice Age” films — for again mining solid animated gold from his bevy of exotic (and not-so-exotic) avian creatures.

The film kicks off with blue macaw Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) living quite the domesticated life of luxury in Rio de Janeiro with wife Jewel (Anne Hathaway) and their three little kiddie macaws.

While Blu kind of misses his former owner, Linda (Leslie Mann), he’s basically happy, but Jewel still feels the pull of the wild. That becomes very strong when she learns her former guardian (ornithologist Tulio, voiced by Rodrigo Santoro) and Linda have discovered a group of endangered blue macaws living deep in the Amazon jungle.

Blu, Jewel and their pack of winged pals (voiced charmingly by George Lopez, Jamie Foxx and head into the Brazilian rainforest for a series of life-changing adventures. There meet the leader of the jungle blue macaws, Eduardo (Andy Garcia, a great new voice addition here).

Of course you can’t have one of these animated films without a decent villain, and Jemaine Clement’s vengeful Nigel delivers. Another good addition: Kristin Chenoweth as Nigel’s devoted sidekick, the poisonous little frog Gabi.

While certainly no “Frozen” or “The Lego Movie” or even “The Croods,” “Rio 2” is well worth a weekend trip to the multiplex for the entire family.


Twitter: @billzwecker

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