Rio

 

20th Century Fox

 

Rating: G

 

Reason for the Rating: N/A

 

Plot Summary: Blu, a pet blue macaw, is sent to Rio to breed with the last of his kind when smugglers kidnap him.

 

PopFam Recommends: If you're looking for a clean, fun movie for the whole family, then Rio fits that bill. Enjoy!

 

Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) was born in the jungles of Brazil, but he was captured by smugglers before he ever learned to fly. His crate fell off a truck heading for a pet shop in Minnesota, when a little girl, Linda (Leslie Mann), rescues him and raises him. Blu enjoys his pampered and uneventful life sans flight living with Linda in a book store she owns, now that she’s grown up.

 

But one day a conservationist from Brazil shows up on their doorstep, saying that Blu is the very last male of his kind, a blue macaw, and they have found the very last female blue macaw for him to mate with. Linda and Blu are reluctant to leave their safe and easy lives, but decide it’s the right thing to do. Once in Brazil, Blu is put in an enclosure with the female, Jewel (Anne Hathaway), but she is far more interested in escaping than mating.

 

That night, Blu and Jewel are kidnapped by bird smugglers, aided by an evil and bitter cockatiel, Nigel (Jemaine Clement). Jewel and Blu must escape—despite Blu’s lack of confidence and flight—before they are sold to the highest bidder.

 

Rio is a fun and exciting children’s movie. It’s fast-paced and will keep the attention of young kids, while still being enjoyable for adults. The animators made use of the beautiful setting of Brazil, and the movie is vibrant with colors and beautiful scenery.

 

Although the opening scene begins with a chorale of singing birds, which might make some get a little nervous, the movie isn’t over-saturated with cheesy songs, and one of the highlights is in fact the song of the evil cockatiel Nigel. Nigel used to be a show-bird who was replaced, and now he takes his revenge on the “pretty birdies” by helping smugglers capture them. His maniacal performance stole the show.

 

Other supporting actors like Tracy Morgan, Jamie Foxx and will.i.am provide great comic relief with scenes such as an all-out monkey on bird fight scene.

 

The plot is predictable, as are most children’s movies, and there aren’t deep themes here that will keep you thinking in the parking lot. But that’s OK, because ultimately that’s not what you go to a kids movie for anyway.

 

Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• Blu is afraid to fly, even though it should come naturally to him. Is there something that you are scared to do, even though it seems easy to others?

 

• What helps Blu finally get over his fear and start flying?

 

• What do you think would help you to face your own fear?

 

--AV

 

Note: All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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