The animation film Rio is a colourful, swinging and funny film about two birds going on an adventure. I knew the story was indeed about birds and probably set in sunny Rio de Janeiro, but besides that I knew nothing more. Blu, a domesticated macaw from Minnesota, is about to go on the adventure of a lifetime! When bird protector Tulio needs Blu for his breeding programm, Blu and his owner Linda are planning a trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.
The director of the film is Carlos Saldanha and Rio wasn’t the first animated films her directed. He already made a success out of the Ice Age films, so you might say Rio is indeed in good hands! There are also some familiar names attached to the film who gives the animals a voice. Amongst them is Wanda Sykes who also voiced Stella in Over the Hedge and Granny in Ice Age: Continental Drift, to name a few.
The film starts in the sunny jungle of Rio. All beautiful and colourful birds are dancing and singing in the jungle, they were definitely having a party. Then suddenly something happens which actually made me sad: poachers! I was like: “Nooo, leave those birds alone!” After this introduction the blue little macaw ends up with Linda (Leslie Mann) in Minnesota and gets a name: Blu (Jesse Eisenberg). After a few years Blu, the macaw who can’t fly, has become a real pet. He even brushes his teeth! He’s actual really funny and Jesse’s voice fits perfectly with this nerdy bird who really loves his owner Linda and can’t think of a life without her, alone in the jungle, acting like a true bird. When Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) enters the picture the adventure starts. Tulio is someone who protects birds and wants Blu to help him prevent extinction of the Blu Macaw. After some hesitation, Linda and Blu follows Tulio to Rio de Janeiro.
Rio is really beautiful made! The beach, the statue of Christ. I’ve never been there but it really does look like what I’ve seen in other non-animated films or seen on the television. So, once in Rio Blu meets ‘his’ girl, Jewel (Anne Hathaway). The meeting between this lovebirds to be, is really funny with disco lights and a romantic Lionel Richie song. But nevertheless the strong and independent Jewel is not interested in Blu. However when Blu and Jewel are trapped together they go on a mission. They meet other birds from the jungle, creepy, criminal monkeys and a gangster, who’s now an old and ugly cockatoo. To introduce himself he sings the most hilarious song which makes him more amusing than frightening. An other animal who help Blu and Jewel during their mission is the drooling bulldog. Even though it is animation, all that slime coming from the dog’s mouth is really disgusting! Thank God it wasn’t 3D. In the mean time, Linda and Tulio have their own mission. They get help from a little homeless boy and find themselves dressed up as blue macaws during the Brazilian Carnival. The film is easy to follow, consist of a lot of jokes, some songs and is very cheerful. I also like this film because it shows a story about endangered animals and why poachers wants to catch them. Because this film is so colourful and shows the fun side of the birds, I think children would want to see this bird living in their very own habitat instead of getting caught by poachers! But the beginning of the film also shows the downside of keeping wild animals as a pet: They don’t behave like they should and therefore it’s hard to bring saved animals back to their own habitat. I really want to see more of these swinging and colourful birds, so let the sequel come now!