Bold, bright, and colorful, this 3-D animated confection from the makers of the Ice Age movies turns south to explore the misadventures of a rare blue macaw and his motley assortment of friends.
Captured by exotic bird traders in a Brazilian jungle, a baby blue macaw ends up in the hands of a very protective, bookwormish, little Minnesota girl named Linda. Growing up with Linda, the macaw receives the name Tyler Blu Gunderson, Blu for short, and lives a pampered and routine-oriented life. A clumsy, bespectacled Brazilian ornithologist shows up at Linda and Blu's front door one day with an earnest plea that they accompany him back to Brazil so he can mate Blu, supposedly the last known male blue macaw, with his last known female blue macaw, Jewel, in order to save the species.
Wary at first, Linda eventually relents and takes Blu to Rio de Janeiro. Once there, the matchmaking attempt does not go as planned, and both Blu and Jewel find themselves in the sights of bird traders with dollar signs in their eyes.
As voiced by Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Blu is brainy, socially awkward, and completely domesticated, to the point where he does not even know how to fly. Eisenberg's vocals are a bit grating at first, but they end up serving the character well. Anne Hathaway does a fine job with Jewel, a tough, independent-minded bird who cannot stand the thought of life in a cage. A wild toucan (George Lopez) adds some comedic spice to the proceedings, as does a dimwitted, drooling bulldog (Tracy Morgan).
The film is rated G, though there are a few mild double-entendres and suggestive comments that will almost certainly go over kids' heads. All in all, Rio is an entertaining film that all ages should enjoy.