Rio is one of those animated films that would have been perfect to educate children about exotic birds. In today’s world with the invention and common use of the internet, children have easy access to the information they need rendering this new film rather obsolete. Rio follows the character Blue, a blue macaw (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) that was born in Rio and then captured and brought over to the United States. He is in an exotic bird truck when the car makes a sudden turn and the box carrying him falls off into the snow. Blue is discovered by Linda (voiced by Leslie Mann) and domesticated. The two exist happily as companions until a wild life preservationist disrupts their lives and asks Blue to mate with another macaw Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathaway) to save the species existence. Once in Rio, Blue and his supposed mate Jewel are captured by bird thieves and Blue has to journey his way back to Linda with the help of friends he makes along the way.
Rio is the latest CGI animated feature from Blue Sky Studios, the same people behind the Ice Age franchise. Rio is a film that would have worked as a kid’s movie if it was centered around Blue as an adult getting lost in the United States and trying to find his way back to Rio where he came from. Instead of it being a journey story for the bird the director and one of the screenwriters Carlos Saldanha decided it would be better if Blue had also been domesticated. This is what I believe prevents the film from being as strong as it should have been. Children don’t know a lot about blue macaws and Rio could and should have been an opportunity to educate them about the bird while using the jokes that make the film a laugh riot. This is a good film but it could have been an exceptional animated summer flick. While Rio isn’t able to soar to its fullest potential at least it got its feet off the ground.