Synopsis from IMDB
When Blu, a domesticated macaw from small-town Minnesota, meets the fiercely independent Jewel, he takes off on an adventure to Rio de Janeiro with this bird of his dreams.
This was such an enjoyable movie. It is so nice to see that Dreamworks Animation have been getting better and better with their films. Before the Shrek franchise, their films were more miss than hit for me. But I think every since the awesomeness of Kung Fu Panda, Dreamworks are keeping in with the style. That style being taking a page or two out of the Pixar handbook. This wasn't as great as a Pixar film or Kung Fu Panda, but it was sweet, fun and kept me smiling.
Rio is about a rare bird named Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg; The Social Network) who was taken out of his home after he just hatched. He tried to fly like the other birds, but he ended up falling and that is what had him captured. He was then driven through America and fell out of a truck where he was discovered by a girl named Linda (voiced by Leslie Mann; Funny People). Linda keeps Blu and raises him as her own. They were the best of friends. Linda then gets approached by Tulio (voiced by Rodrigo Santoro; 300) who wants to take Linda and Blu to Brazil. Blu is the last male of his kind and he has the other female, Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathaway; Alice in Wonderland), so they could to get it on before they are extinct. But certain bird smugglers find out about the birds and Blu and Jewel end up on the run. Literally, on the run because Blu is afraid to fly.
Most amazing things about this movie was the setting and the characters. I enjoyed all the characters in this movie. Some of my favorites were Nice and Pedro (Jamie Foxx and Will.I.Am) who were the first birds Blu met in the movie. They were lively and funny and musical. I loved the lead character, Linda. She reminded me of myself. A complete nerd who surrounds herself with book and would rather be in a bookstore than anywhere else. Tulio was the perfect nerdy, could-be boyfriend. Him and Linda were just too perfect together. I loved the bad bird, Nigel (Jermaine Clement), who was the ugliest bird ever, but he was a great bad guy. Jewel was also amazing. If she were an actual woman, I think she would scare me. But she was strong and independent and really helped Blu come out of his shell.
I loved the opening scene to the movie, it was so colorful and bright, made me want to go to Brazil just because. I also like that the film was set in Brazil. A lot of animated movies are very Americanized and it was nice to watch one that wasn't. It looked and felt authentic and the parade scene near the end was quite the sight. Kudos Dreamworks!
Overall this was quite a great film about with a very nice concept. I like the idea of a very domesticated bird finding his independence. I liked that Jesse Eisenberg was cast as Blu. Eisenberg's brand of smartass humor always comes through in every movie he plays in and that was no exception here. To be honest, he was the original reason why I wanted to see this in the first place. What can I say, he hasn't disappointed me. Cute movie with likable characters who weren't annoying and the movie a great ending that was too sweet.