Rio, a computer animated film by Blue Sky Studio (released in March, 2011), is another excellent and fun experience. It follows the adventures of the ‘Blu’, the last male blue macaw parrot, as he is brought back to Brazil from Minnesota by a scientist hoping to save the species. The film has fantastic visuals in an exotic setting, great voice acting, good story and direction.
The story brings Blu and his owner to Rio de Janeiro, where he meets intended mate Jewel. Blu was raised in captivity and is comfortably domestic, and never learned to fly. Jewel is a wild hearted, free spirit, trying to escape captivity. A smuggler breaks into the lab and steals them, then they get chained together. For most of the movie, they are trying to evade capture, and get the chains removed. It’s funny because Blu can’t fly, so they run alot through the winding streets, yet sometimes Jewel manages to fly and pull him along. The bad guy is a carnivore Cockatoo named Nigel, the smuggler’s main accomplice. Other characters include a toucan, cardinal, canary, bulldog, and some crazy marmosets.
There are some cool scenes, like hang gliding through the mountains overlooking the city. Of course, there is a scene in Carnival, a big event in Brazil. Being a musical, the film makes good use of both romantic and funny songs. The story is good, and the interactions and relationships are interesting, especially the contrasts between the two main characters. This is a really fun film.