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,[4] where the film is set. The film features the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway,, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, Jemaine Clement, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro, and Jake T. Austin.[5] 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. The theme song, "Telling the World" was sung by Taio Cruz.

Saldanha developed his first story concept of Rio in 1995, in which a penguin is washed up in Rio. However, 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 generally positive reviews 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.[6]


In Brazil, various exotic birds are smuggled out of the country. In Moose Lake, Minnesota, a crate with a male blue macaw hatchling falls out of a truck and is found by a little girl named Linda Gunderson, who names him Blu. Fifteen years later,[7] Linda owns a bookstore. Blu, highly domesticated and unable to fly, is ridiculed frequently by the Canada Geese that come by the 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 impoverished orphan boy, and a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo named Nigel, both of whom work for a group of smugglers led by Marcel. While Fernando has second thoughts about his actions, Nigel tells the macaws that he vowed to smuggle exotic birds in revenge after his role on a television program had been replaced by one. However, because of Blu's familiarity with cages, the macaws are able to flee into a jungle.

Fernando meets Linda and Túlio and helps them find the birds, while Blu and Jewel meet a Toco Toucan named Rafael, who offers to take them to his bulldog friend Luiz to remove their leg chain. He tries to teach Blu how to fly, before they meet up with Pedro and Nico. Nigel hires a horde of thieving marmosets to capture Blu and Jewel. Pedro and Nico take Blu and Jewel to a bird's Rio-style party, where they perform a duet, but encounter the marmosets in the process. Their bird friends fight them off while Blu's group escapes on the trolley. Fernando takes Linda and Túlio to the smugglers hideout, where they discover that the birds have already been moved out. Marcel, wanting to leave the country as soon as possible to secure a black market deal regarding Blu and Jewel, explains that he will use the Rio Carnival parade to smuggle the birds to the airport, as all 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. Thinking that being unable to fly will only be a burden to Jewel, Blu parts ways with Jewel, despite her attempts to get him to stay. Pedro and Nico witness Nigel capturing Jewel. When Blu and Rafael learn from Pedro and Nico that Nigel captured Jewel, 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 fail to stop the smugglers on time and Marcel's group takes off in a Short SC.7 Skyvan. On board, Blu destroys his cage using a fire extinguisher and releases Jewel. The macaws release the captive birds, but Nigel injures Jewel. Blu sends Nigel flying into the plane engine using the fire extinguisher and 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 he carries Jewel to Linda and Túlio for help. Later, Linda and Túlio adopt Fernando and organize a sanctuary to protect the jungle from smugglers. Blu and Jewel raise three baby birds together and celebrate with their bird friends, Nigel is ridiculed for his loss of feathers, and the smugglers are sent to jail.



Saldanha first had the idea for the film back in 1995, involving a penguin being washed up on the beaches of Ipanema; it was changed to the current story after he learned of Happy Feet and Surf's Up (two other films involving penguins) being produced. He pitched the idea to Chris Wedge at Blue Sky in 2006.[7] Saldanha showed the animators maps and books with geographic landmarks and measurements, from which they built a digital version of Rio. Later, a group of artists from the company visited Rio to see the various story locations.[9] The animators also met with an expert on macaws at the Bronx Zoo to gain insight into their movement and personalities.[10] Saldanha himself is a Brazilian from Rio de Janeiro; such elements of Brazilian culture and landmarks were also influenced from Saldanha growing up in Brazil.[10]

The lead voice actors were approached in 2009.[7] Jemaine Clement was approached to do the film after seeing test shots of his character Nigel doing a speech from Flight of the Conchords,[11] which was done prior to a script being finalized.[12] Neil Patrick Harris was supposed to voice Blu, but had other commitments outside production;[5] he was later replaced by Jesse Eisenberg. Eisenberg was asked during the filming of The Social Network if he would do his voice recording on the weekends, and he agreed after reading the script, saying: "It was the perfect antidote to get out of the mindset of my character in Social Network who was so severe, and in some ways so joyless."[13]

For music, they brought on board Sérgio Mendes to act as music guru and online living library.[10] He in turn was able to reach out to artists such as and Carlinhos Brown to provide music for the film.[14]

In an interview, Anne Hathaway, who voiced Jewel, said that she didn't see her former Get Real co-star, except for "socially throughout the process. Interestingly, for those of you that are avid IMDb surfers, Jesse and I played brother and sister on a television series, a Fox Television series in 1999 called Get Real. I was his older sister Meghan Green and he was Kenny Green. I'm very happy for all of his success."[15]


The world premiere of Rio took place on Tuesday, March 22, 2011, at a Cinépolis theater in Lagoa, Rio de Janeiro.[1][16] The United States premiere was on Sunday, April 10, 2011 at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, and was released throughout the country five days later.[17]


In April 2011, Oreo announced its special edition Oreo cookies with blue cream in promotion of the film. The promotion included stickers inside each package of cookies. Two types of contests were also announced: first, by completing an album of stickers, consumers could win three movie passes and medium snack bar combos; second, by finding winning stickers in packages with prizes including a trip to Rio de Janeiro, backpacks, cinema passes for a year, and 3D glasses. The promotion ended on May 30, 2011.[18] The promotion is available in Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia.(citation needed)

On January 27, 2011, Rovio Mobile announced a partnership with 20th Century Fox to promote the film. The game Angry Birds Rio was released in March 2011 on the Android Market and the Apple App Store with 50 levels. Rovio released more levels throughout 2011.[19] With the DVD and Blu-ray release, Rovio and 20th Century Fox announced that they are going to start selling Rio Plush Toys in the Angry Birds Online Store and the DVD and Blu-ray comes with a code for 15 Hidden Levels, along with 3 Angry Birds Rio Videos. Also, McDonald's ran a promotion with Rio toys in their Happy Meals.[Rovio Mobile 1]

MPAA rating controversy

In February 2011, the MPAA gave the film a PG rating for "mild off-color humor". After hearing this, it was reported that some of the producers of the film and Fox executives were apparently unhappy with this rating. Fox resubmitted an edited version of the film to the ratings board one month later, and the MPAA changed the film to a G rating.[20]

Home media

As a tribute to the country where most of the story is set and where the director was born, Rio was first released for home video in Brazil, on both DVD and Blu-ray, on July 7, 2011.[21] The North American release date was August 2, 2011,[22] and the Australian release date was September 28, 2011.(citation needed)

Rio is available in 4 different packages: a 4-disc "Party Edition" combination package (3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy), a 3-disc "Party Edition" combination package (Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy), a 2-disc "Party Edition" combination package (DVD and Digital Copy), and a single disc DVD.[22][23] The "Digital Copy" included with the 3-disc combination package is a separate disc that allows users to download a copy of the film to a computer through iTunes or Windows Media Player software. The 3-disc combination package also comes with an hour of bonus features.[23][24]


Pixar cancelled the release of their planned 2012 film Newt because of the similarity of its plotline to Rio.[25]


Critical response

Rio received positive reviews from film critics. As of June 2011, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has scored a 72% rating, with an average rating of 6.4 out of 10, based on 136 reviews. The website's consensus is: "This straightforward movie hits great heights thanks to its colorful visual palette, catchy music, and perfect vocal performances."[26] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has an average score of 63 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[27]

Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a mixed "C" rating. Gleiberman praised the animation in Rio and its music, and later went on to say that the film is "less a Pixar-level pleasure than a busy, frantic, and overstuffed dessert of a movie."[28] Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times gave a positive review of the film. Sharkey said that the storyline is an "eco-sensitive variation of 101 Dalmatians with birds as prey", and praised the film for its comic action and the voices, as well as the visuals.[29]

Box office performance

Rio made $143,619,809 in North America, along with $341,015,951 in other territories for a total of $484,635,760 worldwide, becoming the 13th highest-grossing film of 2011[30] and the 107th highest-grossing film of all time.[3] It was the first film of 2011 to pass the $400-million mark.

North America

Rio debuted with $39,225,962 during its opening weekend on approximately 6,400 screens at 3,826 theaters. It ranked No. 1 at the box office surpassing the other new wide release, Scream 4, which ranked #2.[31] This was the highest-grossing opening weekend for a 2011 film at the time, but now ranks #7.[32] It also scored the largest opening weekend in April for an animated feature, and the sixth largest in April overall.[33] On its second weekend (Easter weekend) it retained first place at the box office, dropping only 33% to $26.3 million, therefore surpassing that weekend's releases, Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family ($25.1 million), Water for Elephants ($16.8 million), and African Cats ($6 million), which ranked second, third, and sixth, respectively.[34]

Other territories

On its first weekend overseas (the weekend before its release in North America) it topped the box office with $54.9 million from 11,714 screens in 72 countries.[35] On its second weekend it earned $55.4 million, still on top of the overseas box office[36] and on its third weekend it remained at the summit of the box office, grossing an estimated $44.3 million. It therefore marked the second film that succeeded in topping the overseas box office three times in 2011, joining Tangled, although it is the only one that did it on three consecutive weekends.[37]

In Russia and the CIS, it topped the box office with $11.3 million during its opening weekend (including weekday previews), surpassing Tangled for the largest all-time opening of a non-sequel animated feature. It earned $24.7 million in total, marking the fourth largest animated film of all time.[38] In Brazil, it opened with $8.3 million, the largest opening weekend of all time in the territory, though it was then out-grossed by Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($8.4 million).[39] On its second weekend it earned $7.2 million, falling just 14% from its opening. It then delivered the highest-grossing third weekend in history with $6.3 million (a 12% decline)[40] and as of June 5, 2011 it has earned $42.9 million, marking the second-largest animated feature of all time behind Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs ($45.3 million).[41] In Venezuela, it has earned $8 million, marking the second-highest-grossing film of all time behind Ice Age 3 ($11.6 million).[42] In Uruguay, it is the fourth highest-grossing film of all time with $754,820 after Titanic ($2.1 million), Avatar ($1.1 million), and Ice Age 3 ($1 million).[43] In Peru, grossing $3.8 million, it is the third-largest animated feature behind Ice Age 3 and Shrek Forever After, and the fourth highest-grossing film of all time behind these two and Avatar.[44] In India, it grossed Template:INR10,000,000 in three weeks making the biggest animated opener ever.[45]



Rio (film)

On March 18, 2011, Brazilian-English singer-songwriter Taio Cruz released a music video and theme song named "Telling the World" on YouTube for the soundtrack.[46]

Rio: Music from the Motion Picture was released in the United States by 20th Century Fox on March 29, 2011 for digital download[47] and by Interscope Records on April 5, 2011 in Audio CD format.[48]

In the Brazilian edition some songs gained a Portuguese version performed by famous Brazilian artists such Ivete Sangalo (replacing Ester Dean in "Take You to Rio (Remix)") and Carlinhos Brown (replacing Jamie Foxx in "Fly Love"). "Real in Rio" became "Favo de Mel" (Honeycomb) but it was performed by the same artists as the English version.[49]

No. TitleWriter(s)Performer(s) Length
1. "Real in Rio"  Sérgio Mendes, John Powell, Carlinhos Brown, Mikael Mutti, Siedah GarrettJesse Eisenberg, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez,, and The Rio Singers with Hollywood 3:48
2. "Let Me Take You to Rio (Blu's Arrival)"  Ester Dean, Brown, MuttiEster Dean, Carlinhos Brown 1:54
3. "Mas que Nada" (2011 Rio Version)Jorge Ben JorSérgio Mendes featuring Gracinha Leporace 2:44
4. "Hot Wings (I Wanna Party)", Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway 2:16
5. "Pretty Bird"  Jemaine Clement, Powell, Yoni Brenner, Mike ReissJemaine Clement 2:04
6. "Fly Love"  Brown, GarrettJamie Foxx 2:39
7. "Telling the World"  Taio Cruz, Alan KasiryeTaio Cruz 3:33
8. "Funky Monkey"  Garrett, Brown, MuttiSiedah Garrett, Carlinhos Brown, Mikael Mutti, Davi Vieira 2:24
9. "Take You to Rio" (Remix)Dean, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik HermansenEster Dean 3:26
10. "Balanço Carioca"  MuttiMikael Mutti 3:01
11. "Sapo Cai"  Brown, Mutti, MendesCarlinhos Brown, Mikael Mutti 2:46
12. "Samba de Orly"  Toquinho, Chico Buarque de HollandaBebel Gilberto 2:49
13. "Valsa Carioca"  MendesSérgio Mendes 2:35
14. "Forró da Fruta" (Bonus Track)Brown, MuttiCarlinhos Brown, Mikael Mutti 2:12
Total length:
Brazilian edition[50]


Chart (2011) Peak
US Billboard 200[51] 60
US Digital Albums 10
US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 6
US Billboard Top Rap Albums 2
US Kid Albums 8
US Soundtracks 4


Rio (film)

The film score of Rio was composed by John Powell and was released on April 19, 2011 by Varèse Sarabande Records.[52][53]

All music is composed by John Powell, except as noted.
No. Title Length
1. "Morning Routine"   2:23
2. "Meet Tulio"   2:55
3. "Great Big Momma Bird"   2:47
4. "Paradise Concern"   1:59
5. "Bagged and Missing"   2:09
6. "Locked Up"   2:10
7. "Chained Chase"   2:35
8. "Bedtime Flyers"   2:58
9. "Idiot Glider"   1:56
10. "Juicy Little Mango"   2:27
11. "Umbrellas of Rio"   2:27
12. "Motorbike"   1:23
13. "Bird Fight"   1:03
14. "Birds Moved"   2:33
15. "Heimlich"   2:31
16. "Birdnapped"   3:37
17. "Rio Airport"   4:24
18. "Flying"   2:43
19. "Market Forro" (composed by Carlinhos Brown and Mikael Mutti) 2:11
Total length:


Award Category Name Outcome
84th Academy Awards Best Original Song, "Real in Rio" Sérgio Mendes
Carlinhos Brown
Siedah Garrett
rowspan=2 Nominated
Annie Awards Best Animated Feature Bruce Anderson
John C. Donkin
Carlos Saldanha
Best Character Animation in an Animated Production Jeff Gabor Won
Patrik Puhala rowspan=10 Nominated
Best Character Design in a Feature Production Sergios Pablos
Directing in an Animated Feature Production Carlos Saldanha
Best Music in an Animated Feature Production Mikael Mutti
Siedah Garrett
Carlinhos Brown
Sérgio Mendes
John Powell
Production Design in an Animated Feature Production Thomas Cardone
Kyle MacNaughton
Peter Chan
Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production Jemaine Clement
38th People's Choice Awards[54] Favorite Movie Animated Voice Anne Hathaway
2011 Teen Choice Awards[55]
2012 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Animated Movie
38th Saturn Awards Best Animated Film

Video games

A video game based on the film was released on April 12, 2011 for the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, and the Xbox 360.[56] It has a Party-genre similar to the Mario Party series. Another game, Angry Birds Rio, was released in March 2011 for various mobile and desktop systems.[57]


Main article: Rio 2

A sequel, titled Rio 2, is in production for April 11, 2014. Carlos Saldanha, the creator and director of the first film, will return as director. All the main cast, including Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jemaine Clement, Jamie Foxx,, Tracy Morgan, George Lopez, Jake T. Austin, Leslie Mann, and Rodrigo Santoro, will reprise their roles. New cast includes Andy García, Bruno Mars, Kristin Chenoweth, Rita Moreno, Amandla Stenberg, Rachel Crow, Pierce Gagnon, and Natalie Morales. The sequel will follow Blu, Jewel and their three kids on a venture into the Amazon where they try to live like real birds.[58]


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External links

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