In Theatres: 
Apr 15, 2011
Running Time: 
1 Hour, 36 Minutes

The rainforest of Brazil is a beautiful place filled with all kinds of exotic animals and breathtaking views. Birds have the freedom to fly whenever and wherever they want. Life is good, that is, until the smugglers come to take the birds away. That’s what happened to Blu, a blue macaw who was captured when he could barely flap his wings. Lucky for him he accidentally fell off the back of their truck and was picked up by the loving Linda. Unfortunately being coddled all these years has left Blu unable to fly or do other basic things a bird should be able to perform.

As it turns out, Blu is one of the last remaining of his kind. There happens to be another macaw in Rio, a female one, and scientists are trying to save the species. Does this city bird have what it takes to capture the heart of a fellow mate or has he been away from his natural habitat for too long?

Part comedy, part romance, Rio follows Blu as he ventures alone in Rio de Janeiro as he learns what it’s like to be a real bird and not just some pet, all the while trying to escape from the same type of smugglers who captured him when his was just a hatchling.

Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, and many other actors lend their vocal talents to make these birds (and humans) come alive. Even more surprising is the fact that some of them can really sing. Throughout the film there are various musical numbers and while it’s a given that Will.i.am would have some involvement in the songs, others including Eisenberg really impress with their singing ability. The soundtrack is like something straight out of Carnivale.

That brings up another aspect of Rio; the visuals. The animations look fantastic and capture the essence of Brazil. There are some breathtaking views to be seen, and the film is faithful to recreating famous landmarks, such as the Christ the Redeemer statue, put you in the heart of the film.

Rio is a cute and sweet film that will draw you in with its luscious visuals and keep you entertained with its captivating story. Jesse Eisenberg at first seems a little awkward as a blue macaw but you eventually warm up to him, as with all the characters. Tracy Morgan does an exceptionally good job as the slobbering bulldog, Luiz. If you’re a fan of the Ice Age movies but have been waiting for something a bit warmer, then Rio is it.

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Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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