A full trailer for "Rio 2" is now available, and it shows that the animated sequel is as sweet, mild-mannered, and gently amusing as the first movie.
Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) pack up their kids to go live in the Amazon. "We're not people, we're birds. We have to get out into the wild and be birds, Blu!"
There, the fowl family is reunited with Jewel's dad (Andy Garcia) and the birds meet other denizens of the jungle, including a villainous Cockatoo (Jermaine Clement), a rapping cardinal (will.i.am), a poisonous tree frog (Kristin Chenoweth), and a drooling bulldog (Tracy Morgan).
It's clear from the trailer that "Rio 2" will be very family friendly, cute, and colorful. The "meet the parents" theme isn't original, but some of the gags in the trailer are charming.
"Rio 2" opens in theaters April 11, 2014.
Gallery | 2013 Fall Movie Preview: Family & Animation
- 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2' (Sept. 27, PG)
What It's About: In the sequel to 2009's "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) gets the gang back together after discovering that the machine he thought he'd turned off is still running. But instead of altering the weather, it's pumping out fierce (and sometimes cute) food-animal hybrids called "foodimals."
Why We're Excited: With the voice talents of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Terry Crews, Will Forte, Neil Patrick Harris, and James Caan (plus many more), what's not to love? If the original was any indication, kids are going to love it and there should be enough laughs to keep adults interested, too.
- 'Romeo and Juliet' (Oct. 11, PG-13)
What It's About: Star-crossed lovers blah, blah, blah -- you know the story. Shakespeare's classic tale of the forbidden love of two ill-fated teens gets yet another Hollywood treatment.
Why We're Excited: With a screenplay by Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes (creator of "Downton Abbey") and a cast that includes Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld (as Juliet, in her first role since "True Grit"), Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis ("Homeland"), and Stellan Skarsgard ("The Avengers," "Thor"), we have high expectations for the performances and delivery of Shakespeare's trademark tongue-in-cheek humor. While the subject matter in "Romeo and Juliet" isn't appropriate for children (they would also fall asleep), this faithful-looking adaptation may help that middle- or high-schooler struggling with Shakespeare's texts gain some insight into the timeless play.
- 'Ender's Game' (Nov. 1)
What It's About: Ender Wiggins, a young boy with a unique ability, is sent to military training facility to hone his skills and take on the alien forces that have left Earth decimated for the past 70 years.
Why We're Excited: Politics aside, fans (including us) of Orson Scott Card's epic sci-fi book series have waited nearly three decades for Ender to finally hit the big screen. Based on what we heard at Comic-Con and what we've seen of "Ender's Game" so far, we have high expectations.
- 'Free Birds' (Nov. 1)
What It's About: In this animated comedy -- from the director of "Horton Hears a Who!" -- two turkeys with nothing in common travel back in time to change the course of history to ensure that turkey never ends up the main dish on the nation's Thanksgiving menu.
Why We're Excited: With a plot this bizarre and the vocal talents of Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson, and Amy Poehler (to name a few) rounding out the cast, we hope to be pleasantly surprised. Going by the trailer, there will be plenty of laughs for adults and kids alike.
- 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' (Nov. 22)
What It's About: In the second installment "Hunger Games" franchise, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their controversial duel Hunger Games victory sparks a rebellion in Panem.
Why We're Excited: Um, it's "The Hunger Games." We're also looking forward to seeing the former victors come to life on the big screen to compete in the Quarter Quell. With Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, and Woody Harrelson returning, and talented actors Jena Malone, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Sam Claflin (and so many more) joining the cast, "Catching Fire" is shaping up to be a movie event not to be missed -- if you were a fan of the first one, that is.As Katniss and Peeta embark on a "Victor's Tour" of the districts, Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games.
- 'Frozen' (Nov. 29)
What It's About: In the animated musical adventure "Frozen," loosely based on the classic tale "The Snow Queen," by Hans Christian Andersen, princess Anna (Kristen Bell) journeys across her snow-covered kingdom -- along with handsome Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and goofy snowman Olaf (Josh Gad) -- in search of her sister, Elsa (Idina Menzel), whose magic has trapped the land in eternal winter.
Why We're Excited: At Disney's D23 Expo in August, we were shown a clip and watched Menzel perform a ballad -- and both impressed. Disney doesn't mess around when it comes to adapting classic tales for the big screen, so expect a film that has plenty of humor, action, music, charm, and, of course, heart.
- 'Black Nativity' (Nov. 29)
What It's About: "Black Nativity," inspired by the 1961 musical by Langston Hughes, is billed as an inspiring, holiday-themed movie musical about a teen who travels from Baltimore to NYC to spend Christmas with his estranged relatives.
Why We're Excited: Not only does the cast feature music superstars Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Hudson, but it also includes Oscar-nominee Angela Bassett and Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker. Kasi Lemmons, who nabbed a "Best First Feature" Independent Spirit Award for 1997's "Eve's Bayou," is director and screenwriter.
- 'The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug' (Dec. 13)
What It's About: Bilbo is back in Part Two of Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic "The Hobbit." The dwarves, along with Bilbo and Gandolf, have returned from the Misty Mountains with the "precious" ring to reclaim the gold stolen by the fearsome dragon Smaug.
Why We're Excited: Thar be dragons! Er… dragon. While "An Unexpected Journey" didn't blow us away quite like Jackson's "Fellowship of the Rings" did back in the day, "Desolation of Smaug" has our inner fanboys (and fangirls) all atwitter at the promise of more Smaug.
- 'Saving Mr. Banks' (Dec. 20, PG-13)
What It's About: Disney tells a story only Disney can. Back in the '60's Walt Disney made it his mission to adapt P.L. Travers' book, "Mary Poppins," for the big screen. Even with all of Disney's clout, the author needed some serious convincing -- and a heavy hand in the adaption process -- in order to get the movie made.
Why We're Excited: With a nostalgia-filled trailer powerful enough to move anyone to tears, we're putting this sure-to-be Oscar contender, starring Academy Award winners Tom Hanks as Disney and Emma Thompson as Travers, high on our must-see list -- but leave the young kids at home.
- 'Walking With Dinosaurs 3D' (Dec. 20)
What It's About: Blending present-day, real-life backdrops with CGI, "Walking With Dinosaurs 3D" uses documentary-style filmmaking to tell the inspiring life story of one little dinosaur that goes from scrappy runt to family hero.
Why We're Excited: Remember the expensive, impressive, BBC-produced "Walking With Dinosaurs" documentary that aired in six parts on the Discovery Channel back in 2000? Well, this pricier follow-up ups the ante with a simple (yet familiar) underdog narrative and some striking 3D visual effects work. Little ones will likely be transfixed by the shock-and-awe of seeing their dinosaur books come to life on the big screen, while older kids (and adults) will probably need some tissues as the story plays out. In either case, this looks like the kind of movie that makes you forget that it's educational.