Rio 2



Catchy music and just a few predators in fun sequel.
Popular with kidsParents recommend
  • Review Date: April 11, 2014
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 101 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Young viewers will learn environmental lessons about the importance of wild birds, keeping the rainforest safe from logging companies that destroy natural habitats, and information about various parts of Brazil shown in an entertaining musical sequence.

Positive messages

Plenty of positive messages, both environmental and personal. The story teaches kids the importance of the Amazon and keeping wildlife habitats safe from destruction and stresses the necessity of a close family and a home where you can be yourself. The movie also encourages viewers not to judge others by superficial differences, because characters who seem dangerous might not be and might actually be a friend or ally.

Positive role models

Blu and Jewel are wonderful parents who teach their children different sets of skills -- both an appreciation for the domestic world and their wild habitat. The kids are all smart, active, and curious juvenile birds. Linda and Tulio have the birds' and the Amazon's preservation in mind. Eduardo and Roberto are brave leaders who want to keep their blue macaw community safe. Gabi's obsession with Nigel (to the point that she's willing to help him poison and kill if she has to) is funny but also borderline disturbing.

Violence & scariness

Nigel has a one-track plan to poison and kill Blu. His beloved poisonous frog companion is always willing to donate her poison for the cause. The blue and red macaws threaten one another and engage in a winner takes all "turf war" that turns out to just be an aggressive game of soccer. In an extended scene, loggers fight the birds with cranes and other construction vehicles, while the birds peck and descend on them. The loggers also tie up Linda and Tulio and leave them to the elements. Lots of physical comedy and a sequence in which animals keep getting eaten/killed (albeit comically) by predators in the Amazon (but later those same animals are shown miraculously fine). The bad guys are creepy looking and mean.

Sexy stuff

Blu and Jewel are married, as are Linda and Tulio. They're affectionate and kiss a couple of times. Jewel's childhood sweetheart Roberto is called "sexy" and "hot" and preens around her, making Blu jealous by singing, dancing, and saying things like "If anything happens to you, I'll take care of your family." Gabi the poisonous frog sings a slightly creepy love song about wishing she could be with her love, Nigel.


Insults like "idiot" and "stupid."


Rio has merchandise tie-ins to video games, apparel, and stuffed toys. One of the macaw kids listens to music on her iPod.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults are shown with champagne glasses.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Rio 2, the sequel to 2011's hit animated adventure Rio, is another colorful, musical tribute to the natural beauty of Brazil, this time in the Amazon. Although the human threats are less scary here than in the original movie, there are now potentially frightening scenes of wild Amazon predators (jaguars, crocodiles, etc.) swallowing their prey. It's portrayed comically, but it may still upset some kids. Nigel, the vain villain from the original, is back, now with a poisonous frog sidekick who's more than willing to do his bidding. Still, despite the predator-prey scenes, this is a lively musical adventure that's perfect for families who enjoyed the first Rio.

What's the story?

In RIO 2, rare blue macaw lovebirds Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) are now married with three juvenile birds of their own, living in the bird sanctuary established by their married human friends Linda (Leslie Mann) and Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro). During a trip to the Amazon, Linda and Tulio discover that there are more blue macaws living in a remote cluster of Brazil nut trees deep in the rainforest. When news gets out about their discovery, Jewel decides that her overly domesticated family needs to go to the Amazon and find out about their roots -- and, as it turns out, her father, Eduardo (Andy Garcia), and old boyfriend, Roberto (Bruno Mars), are the leaders of the flock. Blu has a tough time acclimating to his new wild environment, but even more trouble is brewing: A greedy logging CEO and Blu's old nemesis, Nigel (Jemaine Clement), are both set to destroy the macaws and their habitat.

Is it any good?


Director Carlos Saldanha continues his visual love letter to his home country of Brazil with a second adventure exploring the natural beauty of his native land. The plot of Rio 2 may not be as thorough or exciting as the original, but moving the adventure to the Amazon adds even more colors and animals to a franchise that differentiated itself with its detail to landscapes and location. And thanks to spectacular singers like Mars, Kristin Chenoweth (as Gabi the hilarious poisonous frog), and Janelle Monae joining, Clement, and Hathaway, the music is once again fabulously memorable.

Rio's "fish out of water" plot line for Blu already felt played out by the time the original movie was over, so it's a bit of a drag to see him still struggling to fit in with his wild(er) mate Jewel's idea of home. And Fernando, the orphaned boy who played such a prominent role in the original, is only seen once in this installment. But even though it's not quite as singular as its predecessor, Rio 2 is still a fun and thoughtful sequel that will make families leave the theater happy and ready to samba, learn capoeira, and adopt a capybara.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the way Blu's family is presented in Rio 2. What about Blu seems similar to how dads are often depicted in movies and on TV? Do Jewel or the kids fit into any stereotypes -- or challenge them?

  • What makes animal adventures so appealing? Why do filmmakers -- and families -- gravitate toward movies that have animals as their main characters?

  • What did you learn about Brazil, especially the geography and culture? Does the movie make you want to listen to Brazilian music or to learn more about Brazil, wild birds, the Amazon, or any other wild animals?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 11, 2014
DVD release date:July 15, 2014
Cast:Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Leslie Mann
Director:Carlos Saldanha
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Brothers and sisters, Wild animals
Run time:101 minutes
MPAA rating:G

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byJD Dad April 13, 2014

A kid's movie for kids

My 7 year old really enjoyed this film. Every potentially frightening situation was well set up to give kids an emotional out. The family values were exceptional and I would recommend it to any parent of a 6 year old and up. I will wait to show it to my five year old on the small screen.
What other families should know
Great role models
Parent Written byboys3familymovies August 11, 2014

Hyper-sexualized frog was disturbing

Enjoyed the movie except for the frog who moved in human-like sexual poses and sang a perverted song. Also, the main dance moves for several characters are shaking their rear ends in the camera's face. I think it would have been better if these things were left out.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 10 years old June 8, 2014

Funny But...

I went to see it and it was a little funny but the first one is way better. Also one character was so obviously hitting on Jewel which is not a good lesson for little kids. So don't waste your money, just wait until it's in your local library system.
What other families should know
Great messages


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