Story

Rio is about the adventures of a bird called Blu (Jesse Eisenberg). As a baby bird, he lives happily in the South American rainforest. But he’s captured by bird smugglers and taken to Minnesota. There he falls out of a truck and is rescued by a little girl called Linda (Sofia Scarpa Saldanha). Linda takes good care of him, and over the years they develop a strong bond.

The grown-up Linda (Anne Hathaway) owns a little bookshop where Blu is her constant companion. One day Dr Barbosa (Gracinha Leporance) walks into her shop. He’s an ornithologist from Rio and is looking for Blu. Apparently Blu is the last surviving male blue macaw, and Dr Barbosa has the last female one. He’s hoping that if they’re put together, they’ll mate and save the species.

Reluctantly, Linda and Blu travel to Dr Barbosa’s bird rescue centre in Rio. There Blu gets to meet his new partner, Jewel. They don’t get on well to start with, because Jewel sees Blu as just a pampered pet. Everything changes, however, when they’re kidnapped by bird smugglers. Another adventure begins.

Themes

Cruelty to animals; separation from family

Violence

This movie has some violence. For example:

  • When Blu is put in a cage with Jewel, she attacks him.
  • Blu and Jewel are kidnapped from the bird rescue shelter. They’re shoved into a cage and terrorised by Nigel, a nasty parrot. Nigel also terrorises the other birds in the cages by snapping at them and pushing their cages.
  • Nigel bullies the monkeys into doing what he wants by picking one up and dropping him. He catches him at the last minute, but then threatens to drop him again.
  • Nigel grabs a little bird and squeezes it to get information. The bird is clearly very scared.
  • Nigel grabs Jewel, carries her off by the legs, and puts her in a cage.
  • The smugglers are constantly hitting each other. The leader is threatening.
  • At one point, the captured birds escape from a plane flown by the smugglers. Nigel ends up in one of the propellers.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb younger children in this age group. For example:

  • Baby Blu falls out of a tree and is captured. He squawks sadly and looks very scared when he’s by himself in a box.
  • The little boy who steals Blu and Jewel and takes them to the smugglers has no family. He sits by himself in a makeshift house of sheet metal and tins and looks very lonely.

From 8-13

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.

Over 13

Nothing of concern

Sexual references

This movie has some sexual references. For example:

  • Blu and Jewel are left together in the hope that they will mate and have babies. Other characters talk about giving them some privacy.
  • Blu is advised on how to ‘get the girl’ throughout the movie.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

This movie has some use of substances. For example, Linda and Dr Barbosa drink wine with their meal.

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie has some sexual activity. For example, the two parrots kiss.

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

This movie has some very mild coarse language and put-downs.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Rio is a movie that most children will probably enjoy. Children under 6 could be disturbed by scenes with violence or threats to people and animals.

The main message from this movie is the importance of being loyal and never giving up when you love someone or something. Linda shows these qualities in her search for Blu.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include trust, love and loyalty.

The other thing you could talk about is how to sort out conflicts. Many of the conflicts in the movie are sorted out with physical fighting. You could talk about other ways to sort out problems and arguments.