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A movie directed by Carlos Saldanha

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A lighthearted tale of a small town macaw finding his wings in Rio, both literally & figuratively

  • Apr 19, 2011
Cute -- one simple word that sums up this movie.  From its storyline, to its characters and animation, Rio is just all around cute, and it's extra cool knowing that it's voiced by an all-star cast.  The story of how Blu, the macaw voiced by Jesse Eisenberg, came to be the companion of human Linda, voiced by Leslie Mann, is a really sweet one.  It shows how a very young Linda discovered him when he was just a chick.  They've been inseparable since, with Blu becoming a fixture at the bookstore that Linda eventually came to own.

It's not until one day, when a nerdy bird scientist arrives at their Moose Lake, Minnesota, bookstore with an invitation to Rio for Blu to mate and revive his specie's population, that they finally leave their small town.  Unfortunately, given Blu's rare and exotic status, he and the feisty female macaw who he was suppose to mate with, Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathaway), are kidnapped by bird smugglers on his first night in town, much to the devastation of Linda.  And that's when the adventure begins.

A huge obstacle stands in the way of Blu's ability to reunite with Linda though though -- the insecure, small town and 'fraidy cat Blu never learned how to fly, making it extra difficult for him to reunite with Linda and definitely did not earn him any points with Jewel, who the smugglers had chained him to, and who he had kind of developed a crush on.
Throughout the movie, you run into characters like a grumpy godfather'ish cockatoo, a rapping cardinal, a clumsy and perpetually drooling bulldog (voiced by Tracy Morgan), a humble and kind-hearted toucan (voiced by George Lopez), and a group of really angry, gansta' marmosets who are ready to rough up some rare, exotic birds, among other colorful characters.
The cute plot, coupled with the superb animation, make for a decent movie.  Plus, the characters are real characters.  Pun intended.  For the characters who you're suppose to love, you really grow to love them and root for them.  As for the bad guys, well, you grow to love to hate them.

This movie is pretty straight forward.  There are a few bumps along the road as the characters get caught up in some random shenanigans, but other than that, there aren't any major twists or shockers, so it's not much of a spoiler to reveal that, yes, Blu does eventually conquer his fear of flying, it's just a matter of when.  It's a heartwarming scene, watching Blu figuratively let down his hair, take off his glasses and unbutton his shirt.  All just in the nick of time.  When it really mattered.

While this movie lacks any real depth and substance, it does have a sweet and cute storyline, and the animation and random shenanigans and adventures that the characters find themselves in are adorable as well.  If you're looking for a lighthearted movie to put a smile on your face and laugh at, and/or like cuteness and birds, and/or want something to watch with the kids, then this is your movie.

One thing that I couldn't help but wonder, though, is how are parents going to explain the birds and the bees -- erm, birds -- scene to their kids.  Out of all the reasons why Blu could have ended up in Rio, it had to be for mating.  Your kid might not pick up on what's going on, but still, you might want to prepare for that talk ;)
A lighthearted tale of a small town macaw finding his wings in Rio, both literally & figuratively

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June 04, 2011
Excellent review
June 07, 2011
Thank ya! :)
April 26, 2011
Doesn't sound to me like you like it much. Too cute? :)
April 26, 2011
It was just a really straight-forward and shallow story line. Not too thought-provoking, but still enjoyable. And there's no such thing as too cute! :P
April 20, 2011
such great pics. feel like I'm part of the story. want to see :)
April 20, 2011
Thanks! Maybe you could be awesome Uncle Will and take your nephew :)
April 19, 2011
whoa. Excellent review!! Debbie, you should do more movie reviews, this is just...just impressive. Your review flowed with a lot of confidence and character. Nice catch on the little 'sex talk'....I know kids in the theater wanted to see it again, perhaps because of that? I am with you, I was very curious as a kid, and hey, I saw THE EXORCIST when I was 8 years old (without my mom knowing).
April 19, 2011
Aw, thanks, Woo! It took me a bit longer than usual to write this because I wasn't sure how to analyze a movie and do it justice! A bunch of movie ticket gift certificates have come into my possession, so perhaps I'll be seeing more movies in the next few months. lol, my mom would freak out when she saw people merely giving a kiss on screen. At least this is a cartoon! :P
April 19, 2011
Nice review. The sex talk might be of concern to more conservative parents, but for the vast majority of audiences, it probably won't cause any problems. It actually might be a great way to bring up sex to kids, since it's animated and involves animals. Of course, I'm speaking as someone who has no children, so maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about.
April 19, 2011
Dear old Aunt Dev likes taking kids out to movies when she's babysitting, and they ALWAYS ask questions about what happened afterward! If I took kids to see this and they didn't ask about it, I wouldn't say anything, but if they do... well, I'll have to be careful with my answer. Yeah, as someone who doesn't have kids, I probably have no idea what I'm talking about either :P
More Rio: The Movie reviews
review by . April 16, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
A Aventura de um pássaro que não poder voar (The Adventure of a Bird Who Can't Fly) !
Animated Family films have never exactly impressed me, I feel that they are mostly the type of films that follow a certain formula and sticks to it. Not to say that there hasn’t been some serious successes within this genre; Pixar and Dreamworks have made a lot of profit sticking to those same formulas while changing the way those formulas were told. There is also a light-weight called “Blue Sky Studios” that want a piece of the multi-billion dollar pie, and they have had their …
review by . September 10, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     "Rio", the new animated film from the minds who brought us the popular "Ice Age", has a good heart and a good idea going for it. I imagine that much like another 2011 animation, "Mars Needs Moms", its concept could have gone to waste through an overly sentimental tone and a lack of depth and humor; but that is not close to what happens. Most animated films I watch end up being great, good, or very rarely bad/mediocre. Those who work in animation often have …
review by . April 16, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Rio is a straightforward but exuberant animated film, brought to life in an explosion of color and infectious Latin beats – and, of course, through the process of 3D, that most unstoppable of all recent movie trends. But I won’t dwell on that. Looking at this film was a terrific experience for me; think of an extreme close-up of an artist’s palette, where oil paints are creatively being mixed together. That it employs first-rate …
review by . May 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
U - 96mins - Animation/Adventure/Comedy - 8th April 2011 Rio is an animation from the same people that brought us Ice Age and so it has a fair amount to live up to. It follows the tale of a blue macaw, Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) who is bird-napped as a chick and smuggled into the USA to be sold. During the move though, he falls from the back of the truck and is found by Linda (Leslie Mann) who takes him in and looks after him. The years pass by until Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro), a extremely bird obsessed …
About the reviewer
devora ()
Ranked #55
When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more
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About this movie


When Blu, a domesticated macaw from small-town Minnesota, meets the fiercely independent Jewel, he takes off on an adventure to Rio de Janeiro with this bird of his dreams.
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Director: Carlos Saldanha
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family
Release Date: 15 April 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: Don Rhymer
Runtime: 96 minutes
Studio: Blue Sky Studios, Twentieth Century Fox Animation
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