Despite the film receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film was positively received by many fans and was a financial and commercial success, grossing over $500 million.
Blu and Jewel enjoy life in Rio with their 3 kids, the oldest and music-loving Carla, book smart Bia, and the youngest and mischievous Tiago. Meanwhile, Blu's former owner, Linda Gunderson and her ornithologist husband, Tulio are on an expedition in the Amazon and eventually discover a quick-flying spix's macaw that loses one of its feathers. When word gets out about this through television, Jewel believes that they should go to the Amazon to help their human friends find them. While the kids are ecstatic, Blu is uncertain, but is pressured into going along. Rafael and Nico and Pedro decide to come along. Luiz attempts to follow, but fails. Blu brings a fanny pack full of supplies, one of which he uses mostly is a GPS, much to Jewel's displeasure.
Meanwhile, the leader of a group that is in a line of illegal logging named Big Boss, discovers Linda and Tulio's expedition to find the macaws and orders his minions to hunt them down to avoid disruptions to their work. Also, Blu and Jewel's old enemy, Nigel the cockatoo has survived the plane crash from the first film, but is now unable to fly and is working as a fortune teller/con artist. When he sees Blu and his family flying overhead of him, he wastes no time deciding to go after them in revenge. He enlists two minions to help him in his plans; a silent anteater named Charlie and a poison dart frog named Gabi, the latter of which is in love with Nigel. Blu and his family use a boat to get toward the jungle (with Nigel's first plan of revenge being inadvertently foiled by Charlie), and when they arrive, they find nothing in sight. However, they are eventually taken to a flock of blue macaws that are hiding in a secret paradise land. There, they meet Jewel's stern long lost father, Eduardo, his older sister Mimi, and Jewel's childhood friend, Roberto. Eduardo seems unimpressed with Blu's domesticated behavior.
While searching for the macaws, Linda and Tulio are eventually trapped by the loggers. Meanwhile, Blu does his best to fit in with the flock, as his family and friends are doing, who are against humans and all things human. Blu fails at Eduardo's survival techniques when the former takes Blu out to train him to be like one of the flock. Meanwhile, after countless attempts to get to Blu, Nigel gets his chance when he lands in an audition hosted by Rafael, Nico, Pedro, and Carla for Carnival while in disguise as a bird named Bob. When Blu tries to pick a Brazilian nut for Jewel, he accidentally tries to get it in the territory of the Spix Macaw's enemies, the Scarlet Macaws, led by the hostile Felipe. Blu inadvertently causes war between the two for food when he accidentally hits Felipe with a twig. The war turns out to be just like soccer and Blu accidentally costs the flock the food when he sends the fruit ball into his own team's goal, much to Eduardo's frustration. Blu and Jewel then have a falling out afterwards, which causes Blu to go find Linda.
Blu visits Tulio and Linda's site, where he discovers a broken CB Radio, and is discovered by Roberto (who followed Blu), who accuses him of being a traitor. Despite this, Blu saves Roberto from being run over by a tractor, and sends him to warn the flock as he saves Linda and Tulio. Blu persuades the macaws to defend their homes and they easily outmatch the loggers with help from the Scarlet Macaws and the other animals. Big Boss tries to blow up the trees as a back-up plan, but Blu steals the lit dynamite. Nigel goes after Blu and reveals himself as they are falling down when he tugs on the dynamite. After the dynamite goes off, Nigel tries attacking Blu while they hang upside down from vines. Gabi tries to help Nigel by using Charlie's tongue to slingshot a prehensile-tailed porcupine quill (which they got earlier) with her poison on it to shoot it at Blu, but it accidentally hits Nigel, who gives a Shakespearean death speech before seemingly dying. Gabi tries to commit suicide by drinking her own poison and the pair are seemingly dead. However, Bia points out that Gabi isn't poisonous at all (she was lied to by her parents that she was). Nigel tries to attack Blu one last time, but Gabi showers Nigel with affection against his will. Big Boss tries to escape, but is swallowed by a boa constrictor.
With the flock now under Linda and Tulio's protection, Blu and Jewel decide to live in the Amazon with their kids and friends, though still agreeing to visit Rio in the summer. Meanwhile, Nigel and Gabi are taken back to Rio by Tulio, Luiz finally arrives in the Amazon after hitching a ride with Kipo, and Charlie joins the birds' party.
- Jesse Eisenberg as Blu, a male Spix's Macaw from Minnesota.
- Anne Hathaway as Jewel, a female Spix's Macaw from Rio de Janeiro
- Jemaine Clement as Nigel, a sadistic Sulfur-crested cockatoo
- George Lopez as Rafael, a romantic Toco Toucan fond of Carnival
- Jamie Foxx as Nico, Pedro's close friend. He is a Yellow Canary with a green and purple striped bottlecap as a hat and tambourine that loves to samba.
- will.i.am as Pedro, a rapping Red-crested Cardinal
- Tracy Morgan as Luiz, a bulldog and a chainsaw expert who has a medical condition of drooling
- Bebel Gilberto as Eva, a Keel-billed Toucan and Rafael's wife
- Andy García as Edaurdo
- Bruno Mars as Roberto
- Kristin Chenoweth as Gabi
- Rita Moreno as Mimi
- Amandla Stenberg as Bia
- Rachel Crow as Carla
- Pierce Gagnon as Tiago
- Natalie Morales as News Reporter
- Janelle Monáe as TBA
- John Leguizamo as TBA
- Eric Edelstein as TBA
- Leslie Mann as Linda Gunderson, a girl who discovered Blu after he was taken from Rio de Janeiro to Moose Lake and adopted him for 15 years
- Rodrigo Santoro as Tulio Montero, a Brazilian ornithologist
- Jake T. Austin as Fernando, Marcel's former impoverished assistant
- Note: It's unknown if Sylvio and Mauro were return in the sequel. But they never did.
On January 25, 2012, while speaking to the Associated Press, Sérgio Mendes who co-wrote a song for the first film spoke about the sequel, saying: "I think the plan is for the movie to come three or four months before the World Cup. Fox has been talking about (it) and it looks like it's going to happen. We're going to have a meeting I think next week and Carlos is coming to town to tell us the story, and it looks like it's a go." In April 2012, Deadline.com reported that Jesse Eisenberg had signed up to reprise his role as Blu, and Anne Hathaway had also signed on to reprise her role as Jewel. In October 2012, Variety stated that Carlos Saldanha had officially signed a five-year deal with 20th Century Fox that allows him to helm live-action and/or animated films, with the sequel being part of that contractual agreement.
Don Rhymer, screenplay writer of the first film, died on November 28, 2012 during the writing phase of the sequel, from head and neck cancer. In January 2013, Rodrigo Santoro confirmed his return to voice ornithologist Tulio Monteiro, as well as hinting that the sequel's setting will involve the Amazon. 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky unveiled the first teaser trailer at the annual Las Vegas, Nevada CinemaCon on April 18, 2013. On May 14, 2013, that same trailer was released online worldwide, and attached with Epic. Entertainer Bruno Mars joined the cast as Roberto after director Carlos Saldanha caught his performance on Saturday Night Live. During production, Mars offered his own personal touches that better shaped his character's physical appearance, personality, and voice.
Rio 2 received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 47% based on reviews from 114 critics, with an average rating of 5.42/10. The site's consensus reads: "Like most sequels, Rio 2 takes its predecessor's basic template and tries to make it bigger—which means it's even busier, more colorful, and ultimately more exhausting for viewers outside the youthful target demographic." Another review aggregation website, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 49 out of 100 based on 34 reviews, which indicates mixed or average reviews.