Sunday, February 2, 2014


Rio is one of those movies that I had heard about but never got around to watching until recently.  Everyone told me how great it was so I had very high expectations.  I must say that the first time we watched it I was a little disappointed.  However Liam got into it more and more to the point that he kept asking for it, once we sent it back to Netflix.  Finally I conceded and we found it on sale and bought it.  The more that we watched it the more that it grew on me.  I definitely love the music and the bright colors.  There are a lot of big stars doing voices.  I love that the main character is kind of dorky and out of his element.

If you aren't familiar with Rio it is about a Blue Macaw that was a black market smuggled bird.  He ends up with a loving owner in Minnesota and lives his life domesticated, never learning to fly.  He is the only known documents male left of his species and so he must embark on a journey to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in order to help populate his species.  The crazy adventure begins there.  The story is cute and the characters are unique from ones that we have seen in the past.

Rio came out in 2011 and connected the main character Blu (the male blue Macaw) with his female counterpart Jewel.  His owner is named Linda and lives her life around Blu as a bookstore owner in Minnesota.  Tulio is the ornithologist who finds them in Minnesota to bring Blu to mate with Jewel.

Rio was released in 2011 by Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age) as a 3D Computer animated musical-adventure-comedy.  It was directed by Carlos Saldanha.  Originally the concept was for a penguin to wash ashore to Rio.  But when the concept was being developed in 2005, Happy Feet and Surf's Up were also coming out.  This caused Saldanha to change the concept from a penguin to a blue macaw.  The film was considered a box office success grossing over $484 million worldwide.  It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song for "Real in Rio."  Originally Neil Patrick Harris was approached to voice Blu, but due to other obligations he had to pass and Jesse Eisenberg was selected to voice Blu.  Originally the film was given a PG rating for "mild off-color humor."  Due to the target audience being children, it caused the film to be edited and re-submitted to the MPAA in order to achieve a G rating.  The release of Rio caused Pixar to cancel the 2012 release of their movie Newt due to similarities in the plotline. 

The amazing voice talents of Rio include:
Blu voiced by Jesse Eisenberg (Social Network, Zombieland, Adventureland)
Linda voiced by Leslie Mann (This Is 40, Funny People, Knocked Up, Big Daddy)
Tulio voiced by Rodrigo Santoro (Xerxes in 300,  Love Actually)
Jewel voiced by Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables, Dark Night Rises, Bride Wars, Devil Wears Prada)
Nico& Pedro (Friends of Jewel) voiced by Jamie Foxx & Will.I.Am (From the Black Eyed Peas)
Rafael (Toucan) voiced by George Lopez (the Comedian)
Luiz (A Bulldog) voiced by Tracy Morgan (30 Rock, Cop Out)
You also get cameos from Wands Sykes and Jane Lynch etc.

Overall I give this film a 4 out of 5.  It definitely grows on you and you learn to love it more and more but initially you don't feel that it is the greatest film that you have ever seen.  The animation is done beautifully and you get to know a lot of characters individually.  Rio 2 is set to be released in April of 2014.  I definitely recommend checking it out if you have never seen it, and giving it a second chance if it didn't stick with you the first time you saw it.

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