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This came out in 2011, but I didn't see it until 2015... or at least that was the plan. In September 2015, I saw a YouTube video about "Newt", which mentioned both Rio and Rango. Shortly after watching the YouTube video, I watched "Rango" for the first time. A week later (I think it was October), I started to watch a used copy of "Rio" I had just bought, but the DVD turned out to be too scratched. I managed to watch a bit of it, but then it stopped working, which was really annoying, because I was really enjoying it. And I already had some things in mind to say in my review, such as that Blu and Linda were awesomely adorkable together (and adorkably awesome). And that Linda is like so totally my type. Anyway, in January 2016, I got a new DVD that includes both "Rio" and Horton Hears a Who! So I'm finally getting to finish watching this movie, and complete my review.
So... it begins in Brazil, with a fun song and dance number (except it's performed by birds, so the "dance" is flying). Then the birds all get captured by smugglers. The scene then shifts to a truck driving through Minnesota, with crates of the smuggled birds. One crate falls off the truck, and is found by a young girl. It contains a blue macaw, which she decides to take care of. The movie flashes forward 15 years, and the girl, Linda Gunderson, is now all grown up, and owns a book store. Linda (voiced by Leslie Mann) and the macaw, whom she named Tyler Blu Gunderson (Jesse Eisenberg), are best friends. Blu is a very clever bird, who can understand English, and even read. (It's kind of weird that animals in this movie understand whatever language the local humans speak, and theoretically speak that language themselves, except that humans just hear them making animal sounds.) Anyway, one day an ornithologist named Tulio shows up at Linda's book store, looking for Blu. I'm not really sure how he knew Blu was there; probably Linda had shared pictures and stuff about him online, or something, I'm guessing. Tulio tells her that he (or the group he works for) had recently found what is believed to be the last female macaw of its kind, and Blu is believed to be the last male. So he wants them to mate, in order to prevent the species from going extinct. This means Linda and Blu would have to go to Rio de Janeiro, where the other macaw is being kept. At first Linda refuses, but before long she decides it would be best. However, the other macaw, Jewel (Anne Hathaway), has no interest in Blu. She doesn't trust humans, and she just wants to escape. But before she can, she and Blu are both stolen. (This is about where the first DVD stopped working.)
The birds were stolen by a homeless kid named Fernando, who delivers them to a smuggler named Marcel. Marcel also has a couple of bumbling assistants, as well as a villainous (and much more competent) cockatoo named Nigel. When Fernando realizes the birds may be in danger (rather than going to good homes, as Marcel told him), he decides to help. Linda and Tulio have been searching for the birds, and distributing fliers. So Fernando tells them he knows where the birds are, and offers to take them to the birds. Meanwhile, Blu and Jewel manage to escape. However, they're chained together, and further hampered by the fact that Blu never learned to fly. But they get some help from a few other birds: Rafael (George Lopez), Pedro (will.i.am), and Nico (Jamie Foxx). They take them to find someone named Luiz, who turns out to be a bulldog (Tracy Morgan), who helps free them from the chain. All this time, Nigel continues to search for the escaped macaws, as do Linda and Tulio. (Fernando was forced to rejoin Marcel's group.) And um... it's all complicated by the fact that Carnival is going on. And Nigel gets a group of marmosets to look for the birds. And of course, Blu and Jewel slowly begin to fall in love, even though they come from very different worlds. (Jewel wants to return to the jungle, and Blu wants to find Linda and return to Minnesota.)
I don't want to spoil any more details of the movie, but of course it has a happy ending, after a great deal of craziness. It really is terribly funny, and there are some good songs, and I liked all the characters. And did I mention that Linda is my type? (J/K, I know I mentioned it. I wanted to mention it again. Just because.) So, yeah, it was just a really fun movie, and I'm so glad I finally saw the whole thing. (Oh, I also wanted to say there were probably at least a couple of things in the film that made me feel like it should maybe have a bit stronger than a "G" rating.)
Followed by Rio 2.