This romantic comedy adventure is about as cute as it can get, and features the coming together of not one couple, but two. About fifteen years ago, a young blue macaw, Blu, was taking to the skies for the first time as a baby. It was Carnival! time in the city of Rio de Janeiro, but sadly, Blu was going to miss his first Carnival! as he was captured by poachers. So, Blu never learns to fly. He just never got the chance. He was shipped off to an exotic pets dealer in the States, where he lands on a snowy street in the tiny town of Moose Lake, Minnesota, and is found by a young girl, Linda Gundersen. The two instantly become the best of friends, and constant companions. But things are about to change for Blu and Linda.
From out of the wilds of Brazil, clumsy ornithologist Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) comes to Moose Lake to find Blu (Jesse Eisenberg). Linda (Leslie Mann) is running a little bookstore, Blue Macaw Books, in Moose Lake, and has become quite the bird nerd. For you guys who love those cute, nerdy redheads, add Linda to your crush list. This is not really Linda’s story, but Blu’s. Tulio has come to bring Blu back to the bird sanctuary in Brazil to save his species. Blu is the last male of his kind, and a female blue macaw has been found. It is Tulio’s wish to have the pair mated. Linda is against the idea, even though everything has been arranged. All she and Blu have to do is get there. They both know it is the right thing to do, and take Tulio up on his offer, and leave frigid Moose Lake for summer in Rio.
The change in climate is a bit much for Linda to take, because it is not only a warmer place, but a much more lively place. The city is about to begin the annual Carnival! Even the most ordinary people are colourful and full of fun, getting into the spirit for the world’s biggest and wildest party. Blu meets Nico (Jamie Foxx) and Pedro (Will i Am) in town en route to the sanctuary. The two city birds find it odd that Blu does not mind the cage all that much. they talk some, and part ways. When they reach the bird sanctuary, the find Tulio has to be the biggest bird nerd ever. The people there love their jobs and the animals they rescue. Some birds have been rescued from poachers, and others save from life-threatening situations. One very sad-looking cockatoo has some evil plans for Blu, but we’ll talk about him later.
Tulio puts Blu into the beautiful habitat that has been created for Jewel (Anne Hathaway) so they can meet. Jewel has a feisty attitude with the people trying to care for her, and does not really understand why she has to stay inside, or why this new bird is with her. She takes an instant dislike to Blu, but as Tulio and Linda are watching them on the monitors, they think the birds are playing together and leave for the night. This is when the evil cockatoo, Nigel (Jemaine Clement), goes into action. He uses the pitiful act to trick the security guard, and hit him with a tissue of chloroform. The guard is out like a light, and Nigel lets a young boy, Fernando (Jake T. Austin) into the “cage”, and he captures the two blue macaws.
Meanwhile, Tulio takes Linda on a friendly date, and it seems the two bird nerds are really hitting it off, until they get a call about the missing birds. Linda goes into hysterics about her missing pet, and they scour the city looking for Blu. Blu and Jewel are currently in an office on the seedy side of town being held by poachers that are looking to make a fortune by selling the extremely rare birds. The two birds are chained together, and put in a cage in a storage room with many other birds in cages. Jewel is bound and determined to get back to the jungle, and is going to do whatever it takes to get out. She and Blu smash the cage open, and Jewel heads for the window, which becomes her downfall. She does not know that Blu cannot fly. The next couple of days brings challenges and adventure for the birds and their friends, avian, human, and even canine. Blu and Jewel also make many enemies along the way, too.
This is one amazing and colourful movie, and it features a soundtrack coordinated by the master of Brazilian pop music, Sergio Mendes, which is a true gift in itself. It brings the spectacle of Carnival! to life, and is full of pure fun. The voice cast features familiar American and Latin voice actors, and some great rappers. It is one movie I will never get tired of, even though the music from the soundtrack will stick in your head for days. In the case of Rio, that’s not so bad!
I give this film a Musing review of