- Film Festival
"Rio" is one for the kiddies, so you'll have to forgive this childless twenty-something for feeling at odds with the target audience. The theater was stuffed with tykes with mouths agape—whispering, screaming, and coughing. I have no idea if that means they were enjoying it. From an adult perspective, this anthropomorphic epic isn't necessarily a painful endurance test, but unlike Nickelodeon's "Rango," there isn't a single compelling reason to recommend it to anyone over the age of 12.
Anthropomorphic animals are the bread and butter of the animation industry. Ever since Walt Disney found a cash cow in Mickey Mouse, the medium has tickled audiences with talking critters that span the breadth of the animal kingdom. But Rango, the titular chameleon of Gore Verbinski's cartoon western, is something of an anomaly. The gangly, photorealistic bipedal lizard didn't graduate from the "Bambi" school of cuddly creature design. Voiced by Johnny Depp in rare comedic form, the character is defined by beady eyes, a sharply crooked neck, and a gaudy Hawaiian T-shirt.