Opening 7 Apr 2011
Writing credits: Carlos Saldanha, Earl Richey Jones, Todd Jones, Don Rhymer, Joshua Sternin
Principal actors: Leslie Mann, Jesse Eisenberg, Wanda Sykes, Jane Lynch, Rodrigo Santoro
Rio is a new film produced by Blue Sky and Twentieth Century Fox animation studios, directed by Carlos Saldanha. Blu (voice from David Kross) is a bird that doesn’t know he can fly; as a baby he was taken to a northern country where he fell into the hands of Linda; since then, they have been an inseparable pair. Through Linda, who runs his library, scientist Tulio meets Blu and tries to save Blu’s species from extinction. Not without hesitation, Blu and Linda travel to Brazil to beautiful Rio de Janeiro. Jewel (voice from Johanna Klum), the last female of her species, is a freedom-loving bird. When Tulio and Linda leave Blu and Jewel alone, the birds are stolen with the sinister help of Nigel, a carnivorous cockatoo. He, with the help of three others with no morals, incarcerate the unique birds for dear money. Blu feels less of an urge to escape than Jewel does, but, in the end, they finally do with the help of Raphael (Roberto Blanco), a toucan. Others involved in the suspenseful escape are birds Nico and Pedro and the ever-present Nigel. Their ultimate liberator is a dog, which shares Blu’s longing for flying.
The film takes us into a real cultural experience: a trip on motorbike through little streets that tell a story of misery combined with the exuberant luxury of carnival, beautiful elaborate dresses, amazing dancers, decorated cars, etc. The humans are secondary and not much help in finding the endangered species; however they do their best, one must love them for having their hearts in the right place. There is vast visual stimulation, comedy parts, action and even a fight against monkeys. Most important, in order to save his loved one, Blu will have to believe in himself. (Amanda Watts)