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SurrealBrain

Rio 2

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I tried looking for a thread like this, but I couln't find it. If there is one, point me in its direction and lock this thread.

 

Anyway, I noticed that discussion of Rio 2 was beginning to overtake the Frozen thread, so I figure I make one for discussing the film.

 

Now before anyone asks, no, I have not seen the original film, so I can't judge it one way or another.

 

I could find a trailer, though. Here's the most recent one I could find.

It looks stupid from what I've seen, though that may be unfair. However, I might see it if my family decides they want to see it and it's in a nice place (especially if I don't go there often enough).

 

Thoughts?

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Eh. Never saw the first film so I won't see this one anytime soon. It looks so cliché and has a kiddy film vibe to it. Also, Blu and Jewel have children now, which is annoying because you know they're not going to get any character development and will be there only for the audience to go AWWWW at.

 

Not. Interested.

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You do realize that we were talking about how bad the movie looks in the Frozen thread, right? Like, how movies like this are the reason for the "animation is for kids" thing that everyone seems to believe...

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I'm still laughing at the whole "best animated movie since Frozen" thing. If anything, that spot would have to go to The LEGO Movie, but I'm putting Frozen and TLM on the same level as I really liked both.

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I keep seeing commercials for these Rio films almost everyday and not sure what to think of it. Honestly, this really looks like something that would annoy the hell outta me. This sequel looks like it would annoy me even more.

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Not interested in seeing this at all. Even if I liked the first film to an extent despite the plot being generic as hell, I just don't think it needed a sequel at all. I'm not the biggest fan of Blue Sky Studios, their output has been consistently mediocre, the only films by them that I consider to be rather good are Ice Age and Horton Hears a Who. And knowing Blue Sky's practices, they'll probably go on to milk the hell out of this like they did Ice Age. Just look at the trailer: all-star voice cast, slapstick humor galore and sub par jokes, the standard moneygrabbing formula for animated films to get people's asses in theater seats.

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I'm very lenient on the Rio franchise because Carlos Saldanha did a fan-fucking-tasting job nailing down the look and feel of the area the franchise is set in. It's very obvious from both the interviews and the sheer effort going into the aesthetics- the musical numbers, the art direction, the focus on Carnival, the fact that characters actually spoke Portuguese at points, the use of other cultural signifiers to point out things like child poverty, soccer culture, and the exotic animal trade that have an effect on the local culture- that this is ultimately a love letter to Saldanha's native area. It is refreshingly Lion King-esque in the way it completely embraces the country it wishes to celebrate. And frankly, I don't see anything wrong with that. We can have simple child-friendly films without demonizing them as some fucking scourge on animation. Small films have a place.

 

The biggest problem with Ice Age at this point- or at least the one I feel that people miss- is that it completely distances itself from its more poignant and sentimental roots. The original was a great film in terms of characterization and storytelling- one that was much more adult. But if we were to assume it didn't exist, the rest of the film franchise would more or less be fine on its own. Rio thus far hasn't demanded audiences to accept a completely different package than what it has established thus far, so it shouldn't necessarily be lumped in as a symptom of the problem with Ice Age. It is what it is, and it does its job well. I know I'd personally enjoy seeing the sequel in theaters because, again, it's just a bouncy, upbeat, and heartfelt take on Brazil through the life of some cute birds. For God's sake, some colorful optimism can't hurt every once in awhile.

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Liked the first film but I didn't think it needed a sequel and most of Blue Sky Studio's films nowadays are rather average (though I bet the Peanuts film will be fantastic if the production staff and the faithful animation is anything to go by). Not really interested in this.

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I can't deny the animation looks vibrant and colourful and the character animation is also very expressive and well done. It's just the story and characters themselves are not particularly strong. I'm not sure if Rio 2 will be worse in that aspect, but I have seen critics saying that the film is cluttered with too many characters and plot developments. Sounds very similar to what happened with Ice Age 4.

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My only problem with the movie (based on the synopsis, haven't seen it yet, but I intend to) is that it essentially renders the goal of the first movie a complete waste of time.

"Yay we managed to mate and continue the blue macaw species, boy was that a close ca-Oh wait we whern't a dying species after all... Huh."

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The sad thing is, this will still make a ton of money due to all the little kids that don't know any better sad.png

 

And I agree with some of you that the animation is really nice, but who cares? You can have the greatest, most groundbreaking animation, but with stale, stereotypical characters that serve no other purpose than to tell lame jokes and a bland, predictable plot...the movie will still suck. The first Rio I saw once, it wasn't horribly bad or anything, but I never thought about it again until now since it was just so "eh". It did not need a sequel...

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For God's sake, some colorful optimism can't hurt every once in awhile.

There is always a place for a good, cheerful film, but it must first be good, and the cheer may step in after. Local color and animation quality may be excellent, but there must be something of merit lying underneath. It is the reason why, when designing a bicycle, you first start with the frame before then moving on to the paints and bells and tassels. Those things can be excellent enhancements of the experience, and be crafted with great skill, but they are not why people ride bicycles, and they cannot hide a shoddy bike.

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There is always a place for a good, cheerful film, but it must first be good, and the cheer may step in after. Local color and animation quality may be excellent, but there must be something of merit lying underneath. It is the reason why, when designing a bicycle, you first start with the frame before then moving on to the paints and bells and tassels. Those things can be excellent enhancements of the experience, and be crafted with great skill, but they are not why people ride bicycles, and they cannot hide a shoddy bike.

 

It's a flawed analogy to directly compare the movie-making process with building a physical object with a specific utilitarian purpose. If we're going to entertain the notion the all of the visual aspects of film-making are useless, or without merit, or cannot be the central focus of film unless they are accompanied by the utmost excellent characterization possible, it does not explain people flocking towards, say, Gravity, a film that exists only as a technical showcase to visually simulate the silent, anti-gravity environment of outer space. The characters are not particularly well-written and only serve to further highlight how hamfisted the religious and evolutionary themes are, and the set pieces therein- while more accurate than necessary for a film to be enjoyable- have been nicked at thoroughly by the scientific community to the point of being debunked. Yet, if I were to treat Gravity as what an animated film should supposedly be treated like under the parameters described in this thread, everyone would essentially call it a piece of shit not worth their time because, "Well, Bullock's character was cliche' and annoying and Clooney's character was flat!" (I legit can't actually remember their names right now.) But it misses the point thoroughly of what Gravity itself intended to be, and ironically, this luxury- the ability to downplay narrative at the expense of visuals- is one never afforded to animation- that thing that exists on visuals alone- by either side of the argument.

 

This habit of people turning their backs against any animated work that isn't trying to be an obvious Oscar darling versus something that's simply friendly and enjoyable either for children (because god forbid we make films for them) or for other aspects of film-making that are just as valid to focus on as straight narrative, is ultimately a manifestation of the same cultural prejudices that work against western theatrical animation being as accepted as live-action in society, but on the opposite side of the spectrum. It's an internalization, a defensive reaction against the notion that "animation is for children (meaning it's crap)," which people react against by decrying everything that isn't trying to break some status quo. It's just a pompousness that I can't really stand. Downplaying works, both in theatrical and short form, that focus on animation, color, timing, feeling, and the desire to celebrate a theme through visual metaphor (with or without characters at all, nevermind well-written ones) versus ones that just tell a strict narrative apparently cannot be the groundwork of a animated film because without it, that means the animation work is somehow meaningless...in an animated film. It's kind of ridiculous; I mean, the whole point of animation is that you can do whatever you damn well please.

 

And this isn't even accounting for the fact that even if I did look at it from a strictly narrative viewpoint, Rio actually isn't hot garbage. 

 

But as an animator, what the fuck do I know? Let's bring on the next Disney Princess film or whatever.

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...In any case, you've assumed quite a bit regarding me and my position. Namely, that animation is worthless to a picture, and that storytelling must be on par with the greatest in the field in order to pass, both of which I had not stated previously. I understand if you're mad at me, comrade, but I'd rather it be for things I've actually posted. :\

 

My bicycle analogy was indeed a bit flawed, if only because I seem to have underscored the importance of paint. A bicycle may be as sturdy as they come, but it must be a pleasing thing to ride too. Animated films are not things made of either solely one or the other, they need a balance of both in order to be successful. What I was trying to say was that Rio, or any film for that matter, cannot or at least should not rest upon the laruels of just one camp. It's not a crime, of course, but it is a rather bad waste of a beautifully multi-facted medium.

 

What I want to know is why a feel-good movie can't be made with the same level of artistry as the Oscar bait. Buster Keaton, the Coen Brothers, and plenty of others have proven that there is an art to light-hearted adventure or comedy without needing to drag in the dramatic or serious angle. Why shouldn't we expect good effort from the carefree stuffs? Not every superhero movie needs to be Dark Knight to be wonderfully crafted. Avengers proves that much.

 

But as an animator, what the fuck do I know? Let's bring on the next Disney Princess film or whatever.

 

Comrade, let your argument speak for yourself. No matter how high your position, you must have a good argument if you are to win a debate, and the last way you'll do that is by stuffing words in my mouth and calling it a day. If I am wrong I am wrong, but this is a rather hollow way of proving it.

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I extend my apologies; I get frustrated in discussions involving animation where people appear to be unnecessarily dismissive to the medium or specific works. If anything, I was speaking more towards the general tone of the topic than merely to you. Regardless, I'll try to do better.

 

Anyway, the analogy is still flawed. The comfort of a bike can generally be guaranteed for the maximum amount of customers through the study of the human body and ergonomics which lean more towards harder sciences, and in general comfort tends to be a universal design goal of engineers who create things people are going to physically interact with for extended periods of time anyway. But this isn't how film works. A bike maker isn't going to want his riders feeling discomfort, but a film-maker may very well desire discomfort outright to be imparted on the audience to make a point, such as through the use of long, uninterrupted cuts of graphic violence or something. A film-maker can make a film out of literally anything he wants. Any idea, any thought, any statement, any feeling. Film is an art, not an engineering endeavor, so it doesn't help to compare it to such.

 

As a result, how biased towards characterization or visuals any film ends up being- whether the film is animated or not- depends entirely upon what the director intends for the viewer to take away from the overall work. This goal is the particular heart of any film, not necessarily some ambiguous "balance" between "story" and "art;" thus, it is from here that questions about design decisions emerge, such as whether or not to have characters, whether or not characters will take a back seat to the visuals, what the visuals will actually be like, whether it will be stilted or full-motion. I've seen animated films that are literally nothing but the director having scratched directly on the film strip and timed the resulting visuals to music. I've seen visual effects pieces that are intended to be more abstract, with a narrative you make up for yourself. None of these works are "resting on their laurels" just because they aren't typical narrative-based or have a specific focus on the art.

 

As for Rio, the director is pretty much carrying around a neon sign saying: "This film is primarily intended to showcase and celebrate my home country of Rio de Janeiro by using a running plot about native bird species!" As I said, it seems obvious when looking at the film closely in terms of where its focus lies- that being the visuals, music, and world-building- as well as listening to the director in interviews what his intent for the franchise is. As a result, I don't look at it as a film to put rounded characters to the forefront like a Pixar film, no more than I look at abstract films to give me linear narrative. I look at the Rio franchise as a celebration of the eponymous country, and in that context it knocks it out of the fucking ballpark. There is effort in Rio- just as there is effort in Gravity which also sacrifices character writing for visuals and won seven Oscars for it as a result- but you and others are dismissing it because it's simply not the way you wish it to be.

 

Furthermore, I'm not saying a children's film cannot be an Oscar contender. Now that's you putting words in my mouth. My entire point is that we can have films that run the whole gamut of authorial intentand I'd argue we'd need that for the sake of the sheer health of film-making. Not everything needs to be a huge narrative tentpole. We can have children's films that are Oscar worthy, and we can have children's films that are smaller and simpler. We can have films that focus on the story, or ones that focus on the art (Fantasia). Again, it's animation. Art. That thing where you can do whatever you want. I still consider the fact that we are talking about this very subject only indicative of the fact that animation gets such a hard time that people who are animation lovers are lashing out unnecessarily against smaller ideas. But I feel that's the wrong approach to things. Rio should be able to exist without controversy alongside things like Frozen or The Plague Dogs or Grave of the Fireflies. The greater breadth of ideas- as well as execution of those ideas- on display, the better the medium ultimately is.

Edited by Nepenthe
calming down my tone

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Hey, hey, guys. Guess what.

 

I liked Rio.

 

I watch it for the animation, I love the colours and with that, I agree with Nepenthe. I don't care if the story isn't Pixar quality (a term I've grown to despise since everyone constantly compared animation to them), it's still storytelling in a simple way while being its own thing and not being a try-hard.

 

In fact, can you guys STOP comparing every animation to Disney and Pixar? I'm sick of it in every animation argument and all its doing is discouraging people from ever taking up animation because they can never be one or the other.

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In fact, can you guys STOP comparing every animation to Disney and Pixar? I'm sick of it in every animation argument and all its doing is discouraging people from ever taking up animation because they can never be one or the other.

I could stop, but I'm not going to. It's an open discussion, deal with it.

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I could stop, but I'm not going to. It's an open discussion, deal with it.

 

It's not really an "open" discussion if you're trying to actively frame it as "only Disney make good movies" or "anything that doesn't do animation the way I prefer it is crap." Don't be hostile.

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It's not really an "open" discussion if you're trying to actively frame it as "only Disney make good movies" or "anything that doesn't do animation the way I prefer it is crap." Don't be hostile.

I never said that only Disney makes good movies. Sure, they're my favorite, obviously, but I like a lot of other animated movies. And I don't have a problem with people that like movies like this, I'm just saying that I personally think it's crap. You guys are the only ones being hostile by telling me to stop talking about my opinion. If I want to compare this to another animated movie then I will, and if you don't like it just ignore it.

I haven't even seen Rio, mostly because it didn't really interest me personally, but are we still on the "If it isn't Disney/Pixar, its crap" level of criticizing, really?

Just because I said Frozen was better in my opinion doesn't mean that anything that's non Disney is crap. There are tons of other animated movies I love, Disney just happens to be my favorite.

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I never said that only Disney makes good movies. Sure, they're my favorite, obviously, but I like a lot of other animated movies. And I don't have a problem with people that like movies like this, I'm just saying that I personally think it's crap. You guys are the only ones being hostile by telling me to stop talking about my opinion. If I want to compare this to another animated movie then I will, and if you don't like it just ignore it.

 

I'm not asking you to stop talking about your opinion; you can do that as you wish. At the same time, no one else going to stop talking about theirs. And neither am I going to ignore the tone of this thread in the very beginning when discussing my opinion, that being chastising the Rio franchise for being more child-oriented as if making films expressly for children is a bad thing or a "waste," as well as completely dismissing the value of the good things the film does, and how all of this relates to how badly animation is treated by both those who like cartoons and those who don't. We can have a discussion about it, which means people are going to challenge your assertions and comparisons. And no, telling people to ignore you doesn't facilitate "open discussion."

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