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Aside from overall quality, the picks are based on the cultural impact, popularity, artistic significance and staying power of each episode, and, in several cases, on how much they encapsulated the strenghts of their series.
The selection is limited to a single ep per show, and listed below in unranked chronological order. As with any Best Of list, it may not be universally agreed upon, and it really shouldn't; the point of this list isn't to elevate certain shows above others, but to provide some insight into the television production of our time.
I hate to call a movie "overrated", but this one fits the definition
Down here in ol' South America, most precisely in Brazil--which just so happens to be the setting for this movie--rumor has it Brazilian director Carlos Saldanha's "Rio" is perhaps the strongest contender for the Animated Feature Oscar, not to mention it is right up there with Pixar's recent works as one of the best animations of the past few years. It's been a consensus among Brazilian critics that it was by far the best animated feature of the year and one of the highlights of the year in general; "Rio" earned four stars out of five in virtually all Brazilian papers and magazines and a good deal of the most respected critics of the country surrendered to its so-called tear-jerking depiction of the city where it's set. Well, ladies and gentleman, the truth is, all this praise is nothing but the result of blind boosterism, for "Rio" is, in all honesty, a bad movie. Period.
The idea of there only being two blue macaws left in the world and one of them living in Minnesota is quite hard to swallow on itself. Then you add a romantic arc as cliché as it can be: an insecure, spoiled male meets a hot-tempered, independent female. The female doesn't like the male at first; the male has a major issue that he has been struggling to overcome. They forcibly set off on an adventure where they get to know each other; the male falls in love with the female, and, with the help of cute side characters, becomes closer and closer to her. They face a near-death experience toward the end of the movie where it all depends on the male's ability to overcome his issue. Then the female kisses the male and suddenly he finds the strength to save their lives, and they live happily ever after. Yes, Blu and Jewel's plot could be thought up by a nine-year-old kid (who never watched a Pixar movie). It is, at most, a silly story made to sell Rio de Janeiro's tourism potential and thematize Burger King giveaways. Actually, it kinda reminds me of Dreamworks Animation at its worst: uninspired, commercial, overconfident (e.g. Madagascar 1 and the Shrek sequels).
Don't get me wrong; this movie could be watchable as a fun children's movie if you didn't know about the outrageous overrating it received. But the very fact that "Rio" gets to a point where every line is situation is entirely predictable and yet critics claim it was "breathtaking" makes me wonder how much praise it would have received had it been set in a country like, say, Australia. Critics seem to be blind to the amount of ridiculousnesses in this movie, ranging from English-speaking bird traffickers and unrealistic situations to silly musical acts and, even though Rio is the director's hometown, preposterous stereotypes (Guess what? The American characters arrive just in time for Carnaval!).
Everything in this movie deserves a 4 out of 10--the characters are cute but extremely stereotyped, some jokes are really funny but most of them are downright naive, John Powell's score is great as usual but the songs are awful, the plot is efficient but way too predictable, and the kids will have a lot of fun but the adults will most certainly not, unless they are proud Brazilians. The only really good aspect of the film is the voice acting, but then again, any film can have good voice acting with the right amount of money to hire good performers like Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway. So if you want my opinion, I say don't listen to the critics--they'll make you watch this instead of the way better "Cars 2"--and don't spend your money on this, because it is nothing but commercial cinema that confirms how weak 2011 was in terms of animated films. And I say all of this as a Brazilian user.