Kristin Chenoweth chats about 'Rio 2'

Kidsday reporters Onurcan Vilan, Abe Fabel and Yaneth

Kidsday reporters Onurcan Vilan, Abe Fabel and Yaneth Guzman, age, 9, from BaySshore and Medford with actress Kristin Chenoweth at the AOL offices in Manahttan on April 9, 2014. She is the voice of Gabi in the new movie "Rio 2." (Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly)

On Wednesday, we went to a private screening of the new movie "Rio 2," which opened Friday. After seeing it, we met with actress Kristin Chenoweth, who stars as Gabi the frog.

In this movie, we travel with Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg), Jewel (Anne Hathaway) and the macaw bird family from Rio to the Amazon to explore their roots. They discover that they are not the last of their species. Their owners Linda and Tulio are bird lovers and naturalists who protect wildlife and the rain forest. During their journey, they encounter bad men that try to destroy the habitat and take the blue macaws.

One of our favorite scenes was watching the fate of the frog, Gabi. She was very colorful, dramatic and evil in a gentle way. She didn't sing like a frog; it was more like an aquatic opera singer. Another favorite part was the macaw soccer game. It was action-packed and reminded us of Quidditch.


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We give this movie 5 smiles, and recommend it for the whole family. We thought the movie was better than "Rio." The plot was funnier, and we loved the new characters. The movie and music were so good we actually got out of our seats and danced in the aisle during the last song.

Are you like that frog?

Well, she's pink and purple. So I love pink, I love to sing, and so does Gabi the frog. That's kind of the only similarities that we have. She's in love with somebody that doesn't love her back. I've had that, too. So I'm kind of like her.

Did you like playing a frog?

I did! So [in the first] "Rio," it was mainly about birds and humans, but now they introduced this frog, and it's an amphibian. That's what we called those reptile type things. So I did lots of research on like what it feels like to be an amphibian -- what do they sound like, even though frogs really don't talk. If she could talk, how would she sound.

Did you write the song you sang?

Thank you for asking that, because the composer -- his name is John [Powell] -- writes music for a lot of different movies. He wrote that song for my character. I love it.

Have you ever been to Rio?

No. I really want to go, because when I researched the movie and I looked at the Amazon, Brazil and all of it -- it looks so beautiful to me. I really want to go, because it looks like a fun place to me.

Did you like the way the frog looked?

Yeah, I did. When I was first invited to look at the character and the drawings of the character, I noticed that her eyes were on the side of her head, like one here and one here. And I was: "how's that going to work?" Think about it: If your eye was here and here, what do you see, what's the view? But I liked the fact that she was pink, and I liked the fact that she had a big smile and big lips and green eyes like me.

What do you prefer -- shows for children or shows for older people?

I like shows that do both. Like when I see "Rio 2," for example, I'm like "that's a good story." No matter what age you are, you're going to like it. I like movies and stories that are pretty. Like, I've been on Broadway before. I was in a show called "Wicked," and it was cool looking.

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