Rio, formerly promoted as Rio: The Movie, is a 2011 American 3D computer-animated musical comedy film produced by Blue Sky Studios and directed by Carlos Saldanha. The title refers to the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, where the film is set. The film features the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, Jemaine Clement, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro, and Jake T. Austin. It tells the story of Blu (Eisenberg), a male blue macaw who is taken to Rio de Janeiro to mate with a female. He meets Jewel (Hathaway), a free-spirited macaw. The two eventually fall in love, and together they have to escape from being smuggled by Nigel (Clement), an evil cockatoo. The theme song, "Telling the World," was sung by Taio Cruz.
Saldanha developed his first story concept of Rio in 1995, in which a penguin is washed up in Rio. However, Saldanha learned of the production of the films, Happy Feet and Surf's Up, and changed the concept to involve macaws and their environments in Rio. He proposed his idea to Chris Wedge in 2006, and the project was set up at Blue Sky. The main voice actors were approached in 2009. During production, the crew visited Rio de Janeiro and also consulted with an expert on macaws at the Bronx Zoo to study their movements.
20th Century Fox released the film on March 22, 2011 in Brazil, and on April 15, 2011 in the United States. The film received generally favorable reviews from film critics. Observers praised the visuals, voice acting, and music. The film was also a box office success, grossing over $484 million worldwide. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song, "Real in Rio," but lost to the other nominee, "Man or Muppet," from The Muppets.
In Brazil, several exotic birds are smuggled out of the country. In Moose Lake, Minnesota, a crate with a male Spix's Macaw hatchling falls out of a truck and is found by a young girl, named Linda Gunderson, who names him "Blu." Over the course of 15 years, Linda takes care of Blu, and grows up treating him as her true best friend and companion. Linda eventually owns a bookstore, named Blue Macaw Books, and Blu continues to live very happily with his human companion. Also, as a result of living a secluded life in a bookstore, Blu is very intelligent, but is socially awkward and still unable to fly, and is ridiculed by two Canada Geese, named Alice and Chloe, who frequently visit outside of the bookstore.
One day, in late winter, an ornithologist, named Tulio Monteiro, tells Linda that Blu is speculated to be the last male of his species, and advises that she and Blu come with him to Rio de Janeiro in order for Blu to meet a recently-found female of his species. Although reluctant at first, Linda eventually accepts, and they later arrive in Rio. On the trip with Linda and Tulio to the aviary where the female macaw was being held, Blu meets a Yellow Canary, named Nico, and his Red-crested Cardinal friend, named Pedro, who give Blu advice on how to attract a female. Tulio explains to Linda that they have arrived in time for Carnival, "the biggest party in the world." At the aviary, Blu meets and falls in love with the female Spix's macaw, Jewel. Blu, taking Nico and Pedro's advice, tries to attract Jewel by being a "crazy love-hawk," and attempts to kiss her. However, Jewel becomes angry at him since they "just met." Jewel begins to physically attack Blu; Linda and Tulio assume that they are mating, and decide to give them privacy. Tulio leaves a guard, named Sylvio, to watch over the macaws, as he and Linda leave the aviary to eat dinner at a restaurant. Later, Sylvio is attacked and rendered unconscious by a "patient" of the aviary, a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo named Nigel, who lets an impoverished orphan boy named Fernando into the aviary. While the macaws continue to not get along well, they are captured by Fernando, who works for a group of smugglers led by a man named Marcel, who wants to leave the country as soon as possible to secure a black market deal regarding Blu and Jewel. Fernando is paid a paltry sum, and gets sent away by Marcel, and he starts to have second thoughts about his actions. After Blu and Jewel are chained together and locked up with many other captured exotic birds, Nigel sings a song to them about how he vowed to cause pain to all "pretty birds" after his role on a television program had been ruined by one. Meanwhile, at the restaurant, as Linda and Tulio talk about their love for birds, Tulio receives a call from the aviary, and he and Linda discover that Blu and Jewel were stolen, and they soon decide to search for the macaws themselves. Back at the smugglers' hideout, Blu uses his intelligence to open their cage, and they escape. Nigel, along with Marcel's henchmen, Armando and Tipa, pursue them, but Blu and Jewel are able to flee into the jungle. They then spend the night at Vista Chinesa.After Linda and Tulio spend the night handing out and posting "Lost" posters for Blu and Jewel, Fernando feels guilty about stealing the macaws, and later meets Linda and Tulio, to help them locate the missing birds. Meanwhile, Blu and Jewel meet a family of Toco Toucans. The father, named Rafael, assumes that Blu and Jewel are "love-birds" who are heading for Carnival. Jewel denies it by claiming that they are only "chained-to-each-other birds," and asks him for help in removing the chain attached to their legs. Rafael then offers to take them to his friend, Luiz, to help them remove the chain, with permission from his authoritative mate, Eva. After Rafael learns that Blu can't fly, he brings them to the edge of a cliff to try to teach him. Rafael advises Blu, "When you feel the rhythm of your heart, it's like samba. You fly!" As Jewel sprints towards the edge, Blu still refuses to fly, and the two fall off the cliff. However, they are inadvertently saved by a hang glider, and as they are riding atop the hang glider, Blu becomes mesmerized by the view of the city. Rafael follows them, and Blu claims that he feels like he's flying. However, he decides to spread his wings, and Blu and Jewel are blown off of the hang glider. They continue to bounce off of other hang gliders, and eventually crash-land onto a beach. Rafael finds them and decides to abandon the flying lesson. Afterwards, the three ride a fruit truck in order to reach the fruit market where they expect to meet Luiz. They later meet Nico and Pedro at the fruit market, and are told that Luiz had already took a trolley back to his garage. Meanwhile, Nigel is sent by Marcel to locate Blu and Jewel. Nigel then hires a horde of thieving marmosets to capture the macaws. Nico and Pedro take Blu and Jewel to a Rio-style party for birds, where they perform a duet, and Jewel begins to have feelings for Blu. However, the marmosets track them down and attack them. Their bird friends fight off the marmosets, then the five are able to flee onto a trolley that would lead to Luiz's garage, with the help of a Roseate Spoonbill named Kipo. Meanwhile, Linda and Tulio are taken to the smugglers' hideout by Fernando. They notice that Blu and Jewel aren't there, and Fernando admits that he is the one who captured them. Suddenly, Marcel's henchmen, Armando and Tipa, are heard approaching the hideout. Linda and Tulio hide, and they hear the smugglers explain to Fernando that they will use the Carnival parade to hide the smuggling of the birds. Tipa then decides that Fernando should also come to the parade with them.
During the sunset trolley ride to the garage, Rafael, Nico, and Pedro try to make the ride as romantic as possible for Blu and Jewel. After Pedro tries to sing a rap song for them, Nico tells him that his song was too aggressive, and Nico then decides to sing a slow love song, while Rafael tries to get Blu to compliment Jewel. However, Blu speaks to her very awkwardly, and then accidentally chokes on a falling flower pedal, causing Jewel to give him the Heimlich maneuver, ultimately ruining the moment. Later that night, Blu and the others meet Luiz, who turns out to be a bulldog. After Jewel gets upset with Luiz's "medical condition" of drooling, his feelings are hurt, and he is reluctant to help her. However, Rafael is still able to convince him to help remove the chain attached to the macaws. Luiz then plans to cut off the chain with a table saw. However, Blu and Jewel are hesitant about his plan, and as they are being pushed into the saw by Luiz, Jewel flies upward and grabs an overhead lamp, with Blu dangling beneath her, just above the saw. Jewel lets go of the lamp, and the chain lands in Luiz's mouth, with Luiz's head hanging over the side of the table. His drool lubricates the chain, and Blu and Jewel's feet are able to slide out of the cuffs of the chain. Jewel is very relieved to be free, and she flies out of the garage and into the air to celebrate, along with Rafael, Nico, and Pedro. Blu is also happy to be free, but becomes disappointed that he cannot be with Jewel anymore, and walks away to find Linda. Jewel notices him, and questions why he is leaving. Blu claims that he can't spend his life following her wherever she goes, and Jewel stubbornly points out that this is because he can't fly. The two begin to argue, and they then decide to go their separate ways, though they are both secretly sad about this. Rafael follows Blu, and Nico and Pedro follow Jewel, to try to convince the couple to make up. However, Jewel is ambushed and captured by Nigel. When Blu and Rafael learn from Nico and Pedro that Nigel had captured Jewel, they rush to the Carnival parade to rescue her, with the help of Luiz. Meanwhile, Linda and Tulio organize a rescue attempt for the birds.
Linda and Tulio pose as dancers in blue macaw costumes to find the smugglers' hidden parade float. Meanwhile, Nigel uses Jewel as bait to lure in Blu and the others. As Luiz becomes distracted by the parade, the birds are able to find the smugglers' float. Linda notices Blu, and tries to follow him with Tulio. However, Blu and his friends are captured and caged inside the float, by Nigel. Later, in the early morning, Marcel and the other smugglers arrive at the airport and load all of the captured birds into the cargo hold of a plane. Fernando is caught trying to free Blu and Jewel, by Marcel, and Fernando is forced to run away. As the smugglers' plane is about to take off, Linda and Tulio attempt to stop the smugglers by driving a float towards their plane. However, the smugglers are able to take off, and Linda and Tulio are deeply saddened that they have failed to save Blu and Jewel. However, during the flight, Blu escapes his cage using packing cord and a fire extinguisher; he straps one end of the packing cord hanging from the ceiling to the extinguisher, and the other end to the top of his cage. He slams himself against the side of his cage to knock the extinguisher off of its rack. The weight of the falling extinguisher causes the top of his cage to pop open, and he breaks free. He releases all of the captive birds, and pulls a switch to open the hatch of the plane. All of the birds, excluding Blu and Jewel, then escape the plane and fly away. However, as Jewel tries to comfort Blu over his fear of flying, Nigel attacks Blu. Jewel tries to help Blu, but Nigel throws her aside, causing a cage to fall onto Jewel's wing, injuring it. As Nigel mocks them and has Blu pinned down, Blu notices that the fire extinguisher was under pressure from the fall. He manages to hook the fire extinguisher onto Nigel and sets it off, sending Nigel flying out of the plane and into one of the propellers, causing the plane to fall. The smugglers then flee the plane by jumping out with one parachute. Unable to fly, Jewel slips out of the plane and falls towards the ocean. Blu then jumps out of the plane to rescue her. He catches Jewel, who calls him crazy for coming after her. He then tells her that he won't let her go, because they were "chained-to-each-other birds," and Jewel realizes that Blu loves her. Jewel then passionately kisses Blu; he begins to feel the rhythm of his heart, which suddenly gives him the courage to fly. Blu carries Jewel as he is flying, and soon finds Linda, Tulio, and Fernando at the airport. Tulio notices Jewel's broken wing, and later heals her over the course of several weeks. Linda and Tulio soon organize a sanctuary to protect the jungle from smugglers, they become married and adopt Fernando, and Linda opens a new bookstore, named Livraria Blu, in Rio. Blu and Jewel later become mates, raise three chicks, Bia, Carla, and Tiago, together, and celebrate their new life in the jungle with their bird friends.
Meanwhile, Nigel is revealed to have survived the plane crash, but has lost much of his feathers and is ridiculed for this by the marmoset's leader, Mauro (Nigel threatened him with "flying lessons" when he hired him and the other marmosets to capture Blu and Jewel). During the credits, it is also shown that the smugglers have been sent to jail.
- Jesse Eisenberg as Blu, a male Spix's macaw and the protagonist. He is socially awkward, domesticated, and clumsy. Blu was smuggled from Rio de Janeiro to Moose Lake and was adopted by Linda Gunderson as Tyler "Blu" Gunderson, living together for 15 years which is the reason he is very domesticated. However, he is unable to fly.
- Anne Hathaway as Jewel, a female Spix's macaw and the deuteragonist. She is free-spirited and desperately longs to escape to the rainforest. Jewel is also Blu's love interest.
- Jemaine Clement as Nigel, a sadistic Sulphur-crested cockatoo and the main antagonist. Nigel was formerly a television star, but after being replaced by a parakeet, he developed a hatred for "pretty birds" and began to capture them for his owner, Marcel.
- George Lopez as Rafael, a romantic Toco Toucan and one of the three main tritagonists. He has a fondness of Carnival.
- will.i.am as Pedro, a rapping Red-crested Cardinal and one of the secondary tritagonists. He befriends Blu and gives him advice on how to attract girls.
- Jamie Foxx as Nico, a close friend of Pedro and one of the secondary tritagonists. He is a Yellow Canary with a green and purple striped bottlecap as a hat and tambourine that loves to samba.
- Tracy Morgan as Luiz, a bulldog and a chainsaw expert who has a medical condition of drooling.
- Bernardo de Paula as Kipo, a Roseate Spoonbill at the bird's funk party.
- Wanda Sykes and Jane Lynch as Chloe and Alice, two Canada Goose sisters from Moose Lake who ridicule Blu.
- Francisco Ramos as Mauro, the leader of the marmosets.
- Bebel Gilberto as Eva, a Keel-billed toucan and Rafael's wife. She is tone-deaf.
- Leslie Mann as Linda Gunderson, Blu's human owner and one of the two main tritagonists who discovered Blu after he was taken from Rio de Janeiro to Moose Lake and adopted him for 15 years.
- Sofia Scarpa Saldanha, the director's daughter, voices the younger Linda.
- Jake T. Austin as Fernando, an impoverished and orphaned Brazilian boy. He assists Marcel in capturing exotic birds.
- Bernardo de Paula as Sylvio, an stocky security guard at Tulio's aviary. He is also a fan of the Carnival festival and spends as much time as he can dancing the samba.
- Rodrigo Santoro as Tulio Monteiro, the secondary tritagonist and an ornithologist from Brazil who suggests that Blu travel to Rio to mate with Jewel. He is also Linda's love interest.
- Carlos Ponce as Marcel, the leader of the smugglers and Nigel's owner, who gives him difficult tasks which none of his other partners can achieve. He is the secondary antagonist.
- Jeffrey Garcia as Tipa, the clumsy one of Marcel's henchmen.
- Davi Vieira as Armando, the smarter one of Marcel's henchmen.
- Rio is the first Blue Sky Studios film to be a musical; however, it is the fourth film to have any characters singing any songs. The first being Robots, in which Fender sings a parody of "Singin' in the Rain" after saying goodbye to Loretta. The second being Ice Age: The Meltdown, in which a flock of vultures sing "Food, Glorious Food" to the main cast. The third being Horton Hears a Who, in which near the end, the major characters sing "Can't Fight this Feeling.
- This film revived a G Rating film
- Aip was made in order to appear at the Kids' Choice Awards in 2011 where Blu and Jewel presented one of the winners.
- This is the second Blue Sky Studios film to get a G rating from the Motion Picture Association of America, the first being Horton Hears a Who.
- A promotion in South America for Rio was made. It was Rio Oreo.
- The film was a box office success, making over $470,000,000 worldwide.
- The DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital Disc Rio Trio Party Edition came out on August 2 in North America, July 7 in Brazil, and September 28 in Australia.
- Rio is the first film to pass the $400 million mark in 2011.
- The movie has several elements similar to Happy Feet (ex. both feature singing and dancing birds, the movie ending with the main male and female characters' offspring being seen, and some rude humor early on).
- The Rio video game for Wii, Nintendo DS, PS3, and Xbox 360, came out on April 12, 2011.
- A Puzzle game was released on December 10, 2011.
- Rio is also the first Blue Sky Studios movie to feature modern humans; the people in the first Ice Age movie were Neanderthals.
- Rio is the second Blue Sky Studios film in which the main character is first seen at a young age (the first was Robots).
- Rio is the third Blue Sky Studios film to begin with the opening credits, after Robots and Horton Hears a Who.
- This is the first and so far only Blue Sky Studios film to have the love interest kiss the main character.
- Rio is the second movie by Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox to be turned into a franchise, after Ice Age, which currently has four movies and six short films.
- Lead actors Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway both appeared in the short-lived series, Get Real, as brother and sister.
- Rio ranked No. 1 at the box office surpassing the other worldwide released movie, Scream 4.
- As Nigel tells Jewel and Blu about his movie career, there's a movie poster in the background titled "Fly Hard." This is a reference to the film, Die Hard (1988).
- A reference to Goldfinger (1964) is made when Nico throws his hat (a bottle cap) at the monkey holding onto the spoonbill that takes Blu and Jewel to the trolley — just like Oddjob in Goldfinger.
- Pedro calls one of the marmosets "Little King Kong" as an insult. This references the film, King Kong (1933).
- Blu references The Wizard of Oz (1939) with the line, "There's no place like home."
- A reference to The Great Dictator (1940) is made with Nigel and his globe during his song.
- The film references Psycho (1960) with shrieking violins heard in certain scenes.
- A reference to Garfield and Friends (1988) (TV series) is made where during "Real In Rio," a walking egg bearing a resemblance to Sheldon is shown.
- A reference to the film, Fargo (1996), is made where a human character, Linda Gunderson, is a play on the Fargo characters, Marge Gunderson and Linda Kooksey. The story also begins in the small town of Moose Lake, Minnesota, which was the location of the cabin from the famous wood chipper scene.
- A reference to American Idol (2002) (TV series) is made with Nigel's "South American Idol" line during his song.
- When Nico and Pedro are singing "Hot Wings" at the club, in the introduction of the song, Nico can be heard saying, "My life," but neither Nico or Pedro's beaks move.
- In the beginning of the movie, during the first performance of "Real in Rio" the yellow macaw that baby Blu looks to has three chicks. She only throws two out of the nest then flies away with the newly flying chicks, leaving the third one in the nest.
- When the bird sanctuary guard rips off his clothes and begins dancing, his wrists are bare, but when he is giving his report to the police officer, he has fluffy straps around his wrists, matching the ones he has on his ankles.
- When Tulio visits Linda in Minnesota, there are two blue pens or pencils on the table. When Tulio throws Blu, the two pens or pencils have disappeared.
- When Blu is standing on the makeshift light runway preparing an attempt to fly, the section of wire at the end of the runway is shown draped and absent of lights, but as he runs the wire changes, it is no longer draped and has no gap in the lights.
- When the smugglers parachute out of the airplane, they are over the ocean, a good distance from the island; but in the credits they are pictured floating past the funiculars going up the mountainside.
- Linda serves Blu a cup of hot chocolate at the beginning of the film. Chocolate is toxic to Macaws.
- Carnival Floats in the Sambodromo Parade are not allowed to be self-propelled. In real life, they are always pushed by a crew.
- Police cars in Rio de Janeiro are not numbered by just 5 digits. They consist of two digits followed by a dash followed by four digits (for example 12-1234).
- Standard Brazilian license plates are light gray with black letters. They are composed by three letters followed by four letters (i.e. ABC-1234) as opposed to the three letters/three numbers shown in the movie.
- Sulphur crested cockatoos are native to Australia and are unknown in South America. However, Nigel is a house pet and it isn't beyond reason for the smugglers to have operated outside of Brazil.
- The plane with Linda and Blu lands at Santos Dumont Airport. This airport currently does not have any international flights.
- Main article: Rio 2
Sérgio Mendes commented in January 2012 his nomination for Best Original Song, saying, that the film will most likely have a sequel, and that Carlos Saldanha is planning it to be released in 2014 three to four months before the World Cup which will be held in Brazil.
The plot of the sequel will tie into the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but the exact storyline has yet to be revealed by the film's producers. Carlos Saldanha and Sérgio Mendes, along with others, met with each other a week after the film was announced, on February 1, 2012 to reveal the synopsis of the film to one another. Sérgio Mendes will once again being creating new music for the sequel to the film, due to his Oscar nomination for his music in the first film. Saldanha revealed that no deal for a script or deals have been made with studios about the film as of yet. The sequel will be distributed by 20th Century Fox and animated by Blue Sky Studios.
- Main article: Rio/Gallery
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