Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Movie Review: RIO

Amazing Movie Review: RIO is a Knock-out Animation!


Perry Chen at RIO press screening (photo by Zhu Shen)




(4 out of 5 starfish)



By Perry S. Chen, Amazing Movie Review Columnist

What a relief! After four months of mediocre animations to finally have a great animated film! Rio is a superb film with rich characters, dazzling visuals, lively music, great humor, and an interesting story with many twists and turns in the plot. The film is created by the same team that made The Ice Age, and opened nationwide on April 15, 2011, rated G.

Blu, a domesticated, mild-tempered male blue macaw, is one of the last two birds of his species left in the world. Rio tells the story of how Blu and his owner Linda (a young woman who works at a Minnesota bookstore) go to Rio so that Blue can meet the last female blue macaw named Jewel, and preserve the species from extinction.  Along the way, a vicious bird named Nigel and his cruel poacher owner are out to get them.

I noticed that Rio’s opening is very similar to Up, because it shows the characters when they are young, and includes lovely sequences of images without dialogue, indicating the passing of time in both films.  The opening scene is one of my favorites.  It dazzles you with multi-colored birds in the Brazilian forest, dancing to lively, energetic samba music.

I love the rich characters, especially Blu and Jewel.  Jewel is assertive, bossy, always making it clear to Blu who’s the boss.  Blu, the submissive male, goes along with it because all his life, he relied on a female to provide and care for him.  I like how the film shows Blu, my favorite character, gradually gaining courage and becoming a protector and hero at the end.

I give Rio 4 starfish, it’s “Perrific!” There are some minor flaws.  When baby Blu was found by Linda as a young girl, she fed him milk in a bottle. That is not very realistic because parrots cannot metabolize lactose. The same thing goes for the hot chocolate that he drank later in the film. Just like how chocolate can kill dogs and cats, it is dangerous to parrots, too.

I would recommend this film to ages 10 and up because of mild references to bird reproduction, as the film is about reuniting the last male and female of the blue macaw species.

Rio is about greed, corruption in the illegal animal trade; but also about rivalry, love, and trust.

Love can give you wings to fly.

Copyright 2011, by Perry S. Chen


Perry S. Chen is an 11-year-old award-winning film critic, artist, entertainment personality, filmmaker and animator. He writes movie reviews for the San Diego Union Tribune, Animation World Network, Amazing Kids!, and his own website Perry’s Previews ( Connect with him on Facebook: