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Rio - Movie Review of the Animated Movie Rio (2011 Movie)

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Movie Review of RIO the movie

Movie DVD cover for Rio the movie

Movie DVD cover for Rio the movie

RIO the animated children's movie, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Leslie Mann and Anne Hathaway

RIO Movie Review

Movie Review of Rio the movie

Movie Review of Rio the movie

Rio – Movie Review


Rio – Movie Review

Rio the movie is an adorable movie. Rio is much better than I expected it to be. I did not know the details of the plot of Rio before watching it and the premise for the movie is a very interesting one.

We were at the Walmart Neighborhood Market and my son asked me to buy the movie Rio for him. Rio was on sale in the discounted DVD bin for $3.49. I said sure and we brought Rio the movie on DVD home. Later in the evening, we watched Rio together.

The premise for this animated movie Rio is an interesting one. In this animated movie Rio, where the animals, mainly birds can talk, two exotic birds (blue macaws) are the last remaining ones of their species.

  • Human beings including an ornithologist named Tulio are trying to get the birds together to reproduce and save the species.
  • Tulio travels internationally to the USA to visit the owner of the male blue macaw bird named Blu.
  • Blu is being kept as a pet and is domesticated to the point that he is unable to fly.

Blu's history in RIO the movie

In Blu’s history in RIO the movie, when Blu is just a little baby bird, he is captured from his natural environment by exotic bird smugglers that are looking to profit monetarily.

In Rio the movie, As Blu is being transported in an exotic pets van, there is a vehicle accident and Blu in his cage is left in the middle of the road.

In Rio the movie, lost Blu is found by a little girl that promises to take care of him and he spends the next fifteen years as her pet. They grow up together. Blu’s owner’s name is Linda.

After these fifteen years, Linda gets a knock on her door from Tulio the Doctor of Ornithology who has his business card for her and lets her know what a treasure her bird is.

  1. This special bird is presumed to be the last existing male bird of its kind remaining on Earth and Tulio has traveled 6000 miles of Minnesota to discuss this.
  2. He is spearheading the project of trying to get this bird to mate with the last remaining female bird like it.

Linda listens and considers the importance of trying to let this beautiful blue macaw bird species continue existing but when she hears that she and her pet bird Blu would have to board a plane to go to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she becomes more hesitant. Tulio gives Linda the business card and asks her to think about it.

RIO the movie

The characters, Blu the bird and Linda, his owner head to Brazil in the movie Rio.

Linda sits with Blu, who she is so well bonded to and gives him a pep talk about how she would not ask him to do this if it was not so important and they subsequently head off to Brazil, Blu’s natural environment, where he was captured by the exotic pet smugglers 15 years prior.

  • In a type of lab environment, Tulio already has the female blue macaw named Jewel ready for Blu to join her.
  • Jewel is freaking out in the cage environment because she has only just been captured from the wild and she knows what it is like to be free and able to fly.
  • Jewel is not interested in any advances that Blu might make. She is focused on trying to escape and be free again.

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The birds, Blu and Jewel in Rio the movie

Eventually, in Rio the movie, Blu and Jewel do not escape from the lab but rather they are stolen from it by some criminals that know that the two blue macaw birds are worth a fortune.

Adventure ensues as Tulio and Linda must band together to find the birds. Linda is remorseful and sad about losing her beloved bird. At first she blames herself for bringing Blu to Brazil but then she turns on Tulio and blames him. When Tulio and Linda both rationalize and calm down, they are ready to join forces and work together to find the birds.

Blu and Jewel experience many adventures of their own as they are chained together and trying to break free from cages. They meet up with other birds that become their friends and allies.

A large frightful and treacherous bird named Nigel has been trained by the criminals that capture Blu and Jewel to help to keep them from escaping.

  • When they do escape, Nigel intimidates a band of pickpocketing monkeys to help find them.
  • The monkeys, who steal jewelry such as watches from the tourists in Brazil, are also criminals themselves so they should have no problem with helping to go after the birds.
The birds, Luiz, Blu & Jewel in RIO the movie.

The birds, Luiz, Blu & Jewel in RIO the movie.

Party time and adventure in Rio the movie

At a party, it becomes a fight of the birds against the infiltrating monkeys and the birds win. Blu and Jewel get away from the area and are guided by a few other birds that lead them to Luiz, a bulldog that knows how to break them free from being chained together at the ankle. Blu and Jewel are actually really surprised that this Luiz that they have been hearing about turns out to be a bulldog.

Luiz is a good friend to birds and suppresses his natural instinct to want to snatch them and eat them but that does not stop him from salivating a lot. He explains that all of his salivating is a “medical condition”.

After some treachery and close calls with dangerous machinery that was going to be used to free Blu and Jewel from being chained together at their feet, the chains are finally broken.

  1. Jewel is so excited that she flies up in the air immediately and is followed by the bird friends who circle around her and celebrate.
  2. On the ground, Blu is reminded that he still can not fly and he becomes despondant.
  3. He stands next to Luiz the bulldog, looking up at the other birds for a moment and this gets Jewel’s attention as she swoops down to talk to him.

A disagreement in Rio the movie

In RIO the movie, unfortunately, Blu and Jewel have a disagreement and seemingly part ways. That is until Blu gets word that Jewel is captured by Nigel and he is taking her back to a cage under a float at carnival.

Nigel tries to intimidate Jewel into discussing Blu’s whereabouts and she says, “You’ll never find him.” Nigel basically says, That’s okay. “He’ll find you.”

Nigel already knows that Blu has bonded to Jewel and there is a budding romance and since he is in love with her, he will come looking for her to rescue her. Then, he will get captured himself. Indeed, he does!

The bumbling criminals, driving the ugliest float in the parade, drive it straight to an airplane runway to try to smuggle all of the stolen birds out of the country (there are many other birds of other species there, besides for Blu and Jewel.)


Meanwhile, remember Tulio and Linda? They have been hard at work looking for the birds.

  • They had also gotten help from a little boy that was originally involved in helping to steal the birds.
  • Linda could not believe the betrayal and told the little boy that she had trusted him but he explained that he really needed the money that the criminals were offering him.
  • He had realized his mistake and he was sorry and ready to help Tulio and Linda.

Much of the little boy’s help led Tulio and Linda on many adventures of their own including riding a motorcycle through the streets of Rio. By this time, as the criminals are getting ready to board a plane with many birds, Linda takes the lead in driving another float as fast as she can to catch them. She stops briefly to tell Tulio “Get in.” and they head off. Unfortunately, they are unable to stop the plane before take-off and Linda is in tears again. She is hugged and comforted by Tulio.

Rio the movie - Blu is finally flying!

It’s time for the birds to take matters into their own claws if they want to be freed. Blu is resourceful in helping to break himself, Jewel and the others free from their cages.

  • Blu is the bird that is most familiar with the various types of bird cages and latches and how to break free from them.
  • They have another scuffle with Nigel before being able to escape the plane right into the air and fly free. Not a problem, because they are birds after all.

Nevertheless, in Rio the movie, this is where we are once again reminded that Blu still does not know how to fly! Jewel does not want to leave his side this time and she also has an injured wing. They stay huddled together and kiss as it seems likely that they will fall into the sea together and die, but it is the magic of the kiss that gets Blu’s heart pounding to fight for life and fly with the natural instincts that were within him along. Suddenly Blu is flying!

A happy ending in Rio the movie

In Rio the movie, Blu carries his love, Jewel to safety and both Blu and Jewel are reunited with Tulio and Linda. Blu nudges Jewel and encourages her to trust these humans, they are the good kind. Tulio promises Jewel that he will help her to mend her injured wing.

  • Finally, now that they have truly fallen in love, Blu and Jewel can stay together and keep their bird species going.
  • They have three baby birds at a bird sanctuary named after Blu and operated by Tulio and Linda.
  • Tulio, Linda and the little boy that had helped them get to spend a lot of time with the birds as well.

It is a very happy ending.

Rio is a great animated movie for kids and families to watch together and enjoy.

The movie, Rio is rated G for General Audiences. I rate this animated movie for children, Rio : 4 out of 5 stars. ****

Rio the Movie DVD

  • The are lots of funny lines in this movie, Rio including when Luiz the dog says "You left [for the party] without me? That's messed up!"

You left without me? That's messed up!

— Luiz the dog in the movie Rio

Blu & Jewel

RIO the movie

Rio is a humorous animated movie for children & families

1. First 2 minutes of Rio the movie - Fox Family Entertainment

2. Rio Movie Clip - "I Wanna Party"

3. Video of the Spix macaw, the bird that inspired the movie Rio

© 2018 Nyesha Pagnou MPH


Nyesha Pagnou MPH (author) from USA on September 04, 2018:

Hi Peggy, Thank you!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 07, 2018:

Thanks for reminding me of this delightful movie that I saw many years ago. Your movie review of it tells the story quite nicely.

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