Rio is a 2011 American 3D computer-animated musical adventure-comedy film produced by Blue Sky Studios and directed by Carlos Saldanha. The title refers to the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, where the film is set. The film features the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, Jemaine Clement, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro and Jake T. Austin. It tells the story of Blu (Eisenberg), a male blue macaw who is taken to Rio de Janeiro to mate with a free-spirited female blue macaw, Jewel (Hathaway). The two eventually fall in love, and together they have to escape from being smuggled by Nigel (Clement), a cockatoo.
Saldanha developed his first story concept of Rio in 1995, in which a penguin is washed up in Rio. Saldanha learned of the production of the films Happy Feet (2006) and Surf's Up (2007), and changed the concept to involve macaws and their environments in Rio. He proposed his idea to Chris Wedge in 2006, and the project was set up at Blue Sky. The main voice actors were approached in 2009. During production, the crew visited Rio de Janeiro and also consulted with an expert on macaws at the Bronx Zoo to study their movements.
20th Century Fox released the film on March 22, 2011 in Brazil, and on April 15, 2011 in the United States. The film received critical acclaim from film critics. Observers praised the visuals, voice acting, and music. The film was also a box office success, grossing over $143 million in the United States and $484 million worldwide. The film was nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song "Real in Rio", but lost to the other nominee, "Man or Muppet" from The Muppets.
A sequel, Rio 2 was released on April 11, 2014.
In Brazil, various exotic birds are smuggled out of the country. In Moose Lake, Minnesota, a crate with a male Spix's macaw hatchling falls out of a truck and is found by a little girl named Linda Gunderson, who names him Blu. Fifteen years later, Linda owns a bookstore. Highly domesticated and unable to fly, Blu is ridiculed frequently by the Canada Geese that come by outside of Linda's bookstore.
One day, ornithologist Túlio Monteiro invites Blu and Linda to Rio de Janeiro on the condition that Blu, who is the last male of his species, mates with a female macaw. Linda accepts and they fly to Rio, where Blu meets a Red-crested Cardinal named Pedro and his Yellow Canary friend Nico. At Túlio's aviary, Blu meets Jewel, a fiercely independent blue macaw longing to flee into the wilderness. The macaws are captured by Fernando, an orphaned boy, and a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo named Nigel, both of whom work for a group of smugglers led by Marcel, who wants to leave the country as soon as possible to secure a black market deal regarding Blu and Jewel. While Fernando has second thoughts about his actions, Nigel tells the macaws that he desires to exact revenge on "pretty birds" after his role on a television program had been ruined by one.
However, because of Blu's familiarity with cages, they flee into the jungle. Fernando meets Linda and Túlio and helps them find the birds, while Blu and Jewel meet Rafael, a Toco Toucan, who offers to take them to his bulldog friend, Luiz, to remove their leg chain. He attempts to teach Blu how to fly, before they meet up with Pedro and Nico. Meanwhile, Nigel hires a horde of thieving marmosets to capture Blu and Jewel. Pedro and Nico then take the two to a birds' Rio-style dance party, where they perform a duet and begin to fall in love, but encounter the marmosets in the process. The birds fight them off while the five escape on a tram. Fernando takes Linda and Túlio to the smugglers' hideout, where they discover that the birds have already been moved out.
Marcel explains that he will use the Rio Carnival parade to smuggle the birds to the airport, as the other streets have been blocked off for the festivities. Meanwhile, Blu and the others meet Luiz, who releases the chain holding Blu and Jewel. After the two get into a heated argument, they decide to go their separate ways.
Pedro and Nico then witness Nigel capturing Jewel. When Blu and Rafael learn of it, they rush to the carnival to rescue her. Meanwhile, Linda and Túlio have spotted the smuggler's parade float and organize a rescue attempt for the birds. As Linda and Túlio pose as dancers in blue macaw costumes, Nigel captures Blu and the group. Linda and Túlio are unable to stop the smugglers in time and Marcel's group takes off in a Short SC.7 Skyvan. During the flight, Blu destroys his cage using a fire extinguisher and releases the other captive birds. However, Nigel attacks the macaws, injuring Jewel. Blu sends Nigel flying into the plane's engine using the fire extinguisher, causing the plane to fall. The smugglers flee the plane. Unable to fly, Jewel falls out of the plane's open cargo hatch towards the ocean. Jumping out of the plane to rescue her, Blu finally discovers that he is able to fly and carries her to Linda and Túlio for help. Later, they adopt Fernando and organize a sanctuary to protect the jungle from smugglers. Blu and Jewel marry and they raise three children together, and celebrate with their friends.
Meanwhile, Nigel (who actually survived the plane accident) is ridiculed for his loss of feathers, and the smugglers are sent to jail.
- Jesse Eisenberg as Blu, a Spix's Macaw. He is socially awkward, domesticated, and clumsy. Blu was smuggled from Rio de Janeiro to Moose Lake and was adopted by Linda. He lived with her for 15 years. While he can log on to a computer and shred on a skateboard, he can not fly.
- Anne Hathaway as Jewel, a free-spirited macaw. She is initially concerned with escaping to the wilderness. Meeting Blu causes her to be displeased, but she eventually falls in love with Blu.
- George Lopez as Rafael, a Toco Toucan. After learning that Blu can not fly, Rafael attempts an impromptu lesson, telling him that flying is about feeling the rhythm of one's heart.
- Jemaine Clement as Nigel, a sadistic Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and former television actor. After Nigel was replaced by a parakeet, however, he develops a hatred of exotic birds and specializes in capturing them for his owner Marcel.
- Bernardo de Paula as Kipo, a Roseate Spoonbill at the bird's samba club. He helps Blu and Jewel escape when Mauro and his henchmen attack them.
- Tracy Morgan as Luiz, a bulldog and a chainsaw expert who has a medical condition of drooling.
- will.i.am as Pedro, a rapping Red-crested Cardinal who befriends Blu and gives him advice on how to attract girls.
- Jamie Foxx as Nico, a close friend of Pedro. He is a Yellow Canary with a green and purple striped bottlecap as a hat that loves to samba.
- Brian Baumgartner as Mauro, a king of thieving Common marmosets who are hired by Nigel to help capture Blu and Jewel. However, Mauro disapproves of Nigel's abusive behavior.
- Wanda Sykes as Chloe, a Canada Goose from Moose Lake.
- Jane Lynch as Alice, another Canada Goose.
- Chavo Vaynér as a woodpecker.
- Bebel Gilberto as Eva, a Keel-billed Toucan and Rafael's wife.
- Jeff Garcia as a bat kidnapped by the smugglers
- Leslie Mann as Linda, Blu's human owner who discovers Blu after being taken from Rio de Janeiro and adopted him for 15 years.
- Sofia Scarpa Saldanha voices the younger Linda.
- Jake T. Austin as Fernando, an impoverished and orphaned Brazilian boy. His duties are to assist Marcel into capturing exotic birds and to earn money. He eventually decides to betray Marcel and to help Linda and Túlio find Blu.
- Bernardo de Paula as Sylvio, an obese security guard at Túlio's aviary. He is also a fan of the Carnaval festival and spends as much time as he can dancing the samba.
- Rodrigo Santoro as Túlio Monterio, an ornithologist from Brazil who suggests that Blu is to be taken to Rio to mate with a female.
- Carlos Ponce as Marcel, the leader of the smugglers and Nigel's owner who gives him difficult tasks to which none of his partners can achieve.
- Jeff Garcia as Tipa, one of Marcel's henchmen.
- Davi Viera as Armando, one of Marcel's henchmen.
Rio received generally positive reviews from critics with a 72% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 148 reviews with an average score of 6.37/10.