Director: Carlos Saldanha
The Story: A bird-catcher catches a huge load of exotic birds from the jungle in Rio de Janeiro. He sells the lot to someone in the city. Some of the birds are transported to the USA. A parcel falls out of the truck and in it is found a tiny blue macaw. A small girl finds him and takes him home for her pet. Linda (Leslie Mann) calls her pet Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Blu grows up to be more human than bird. He gets educated along with Linda but never learns how to fly. A scientist and researcher, Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) goes to Linda’s book shop. He tells her that Blu is the last of his species of blue macaw. He also says that Jewel (Anne Hathaway), the last of the female of the species, is with him at his lab. Tulio suggests that the birds are brought together in their homeland of Rio to ensure that the species do not die out. At first hesitant, Linda agrees to his suggestion and takes Blu to Rio against her better judgement. Watch the colourful and hilarious turn of events when they get there right in the middle of the Rio carnival and finally Blu meets Jewel. Jewel is a smart bird with a lot of bird sense. Blu is also smart but very human and pretty sophisticated at that. Will the two get along enough to get together?
My Perception: What hits you most about this 3D film is the rainbow dance of colour. It took me back to our visit to Jurong Bird Park in Singapore. There are so many exotic birds that thrill your heart.
The wake-up sequence first thing in the morning in the Rio jungle right at the beginning, sets the movie off on the right note.
There is Blu – so suave and smart. He is absolutely knowledgeable about just about everything that one can learn from books and the internet. It’s fun hearing him talk. He cannot fly to save his life – literally.
Jewel is wild by nature and lovely to look at. She is forever trying to escape Tulio’s lab. Desperate to get away, she gets so angry when she falls out of there to land in another jail – that of a bird thief.
The wild cockatoo Nigel (Jemaine Clement) plays the perfect villain. He is admitted to Tulio’s lab pretending to be horribly sick. He wakes up in the middle of the night to steal away all the exotic birds that are homed there. Super villain!
Rafael (George Lopez) is a toucan with a large family and a domineering wife. He goes along with Blu to help him get back to Linda. He’s quite romantic and is keen to get Blu and Jewel together.
Then there are the thieving monkeys of Rio; Bull dog Luiz (Tracy Morgan); the red-crested cardinal Pedro (Will-i-am) and the little yellow canary Nico (Jamie Foxx). All so cute and important characters in the film.
The film takes you from the wilds of Rio at the beginning to a small town in the USA and later back to Rio de Janeiro. It takes you into the slums of Rio and all the way to the grand annual carnival. Beautifully picturised!
A cute bird story that looks gorgeous in 3D animation, edited and directed perfectly.
Verdict: GO FOR IT if you like animated flicks!
Rating: **** Snazzy