Rio Parent Guide
While the storyline feels weak at times, "Rio" couples that all-important kids' message about believing in yourself with a handful of one-liners that help liven things up.
Parent Movie Review
Following his socially awkward roles in Zombieland and The Social Network, Jesse Esienbery voices another nerdy male in the animated movie Rio. His character is a blue Brazilian macaw named Blu who, through a series of unforeseen events, ends up in the wintry town of Moose Lake, Minnesota. There the former jungle chick becomes so domesticated he brushes his "teeth" and drinks hot chocolate.
Linda (voice by Leslie Mann), his owner, is a timid, bespectacled bookstore owner who has never journeyed far from the snowy community where she lives. Blu is equally academic, and apprehensive. The twosome’s regimented daily routine is upset one day when a tall, dark stranger slips and slides into the shop. Tulio (voice by Rodrigo Santoro), an ornithologist, runs a bird sanctuary in the lush city of Rio de Janerio. He has the last surviving female blue macaw in his facility and would like to introduce her to Blu. Though it takes some persuasion and outright pleading from the bird-loving Tulio, Linda finally agrees to head south with her beloved pet.
Having never seen one of his own kind before, Blu is enthralled when he first meets Jewel (voice by Anne Hathaway). But his clumsy attempts at wooing (that include some mild, veiled innuendo) are instantly rejected. This feisty female isn’t at all interested in a romantic liaison. She just wants to get out of the enclosure and back to the jungle.
Unfortunately things don’t improve when they are kidnapped and sold to an illegal exotic bird dealer (voice by Carlos Ponce). Chained together at the ankle, their chances for a successful jailbreak are hampered by one little complication—Blu doesn’t know how to fly. Forced to walk everywhere, the pair battles while trying to break their leg irons before the bird dealer and his crazy, evil cockatoo (voice by Jemaine Clement) spot them.
Rio is surprising in a couple of ways. Unlike many other animated films, this script doesn’t slip in a lot of adult-oriented jokes. While that’s great for family audiences, some parents may have a harder time engaging in the simple story. Still this visually vibrant production with its sanitized depiction of Brazil’s colorful and celebrated Carnival offers amazing portrayals of the birds and their surroundings. These are further enhanced in some theaters by the 3D effects. A host of lively musical interludes, reminiscent of movies like Beauty and the Beast, also bulk up this movie’s runtime.
Some very young viewers, however, may be bothered by the repeated peril Blu and Jewel find themselves in, including being chased by a drooling bulldog (voice by Tracy Morgan). Another bird is sucked into the rotating propeller of a plane. (Audience members who wait to watch the credits roll will discover the villainous fowl survived, making it easier for filmmakers who may want to bring their characters back for a sequel.)
While the storyline feels weak at times, Rio couples that all-important kids’ message about believing in yourself with a handful of one-liners that help liven things up. It also dishes up a feel good lesson about trying new things—something adults may benefit from as well.Directed by Carlos Saldanha. Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway. Running time: 96 minutes. Theatrical release April 15, 2011. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is Rio rated PG? Rio is rated PG by the MPAA for mild off color humor.
Violence: Frequent slapstick violence includes falling, tussles, characters who are caged or threatened and a crotch injury gag. A group of monkeys fleece a group of tourists. A boy drives wildly through the streets on a motorcycle.
Sexual Content: Characters wear skimpy costumes at Carnival and swimwear on the beach. A character awkwardly attempts a mating ritual (includes some benign sexual innuendo). A bra is seen on a clothesline.
Language: Brief name-calling is used. "Poop" is heard in a song’s lyrics.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Two glasses of wine are seen on the table during dinner.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
More parents' guide for Rio after the break...
Rio Parents' Guide
Do you think people should be allowed to have exotic birds or other animals for pets?
What regulations should be in place for these kinds of pets?
How do Blu and Jewel differ in their approaches to solving problems? What do they learn from each other?
The most recent home video release of Rio movie is August 2, 2011. Here are some details…
Rio releases to home video on August 2, 2011 with the following bonus extras:
Rio on DVD and Blu-Ray:
- Explore the World of Rio: Beach, Jungle, City and Stadium
- Blu Shows the Way (Introduction)
- Boom-Boom Tish Tish: The Sounds of Rio
- The Making of Hot Wings
- Saving the Species: One Voice at a Time
- The Real Rio
- Welcome to Rio Music Video
- Deleted Scene: Fruit Stand
- Carnival Dance O Rama: Intro, Blu, Jewel, Luiz, Monkeys, Nico and Pedro, Raphael and Samba Line.
- Rio de JAM-eiro Jukebox
- Taio Cruz Telling the World Music Video
- Angry Birds Rio Trailer, Nigel Mash Up and Instructional Video
Rio on Blu-Ray also includes:
-Postcards from Rio
-Live Lookup Powered By IMDB
Rio releases in a 3D version on August 30, 2011.