|Blu, Jewel and Rafael in a scene from Rio|
Following the phenomenal success of “Ice Age” series, all roads beat to the tune of “Rio” this coming April in theaters as it sets off the summer’s heat with unparalleled 3D animation, heartwarming story and all-new original music from icons will.i.am and Jamie Foxx.
Blue Sky Studios known for its tour de force animation films with helming director Carlos Saldanha, opens up another world in “Rio” so vibrant yet so timely relevant when rare bird species especially the blue Macaws face extinction from animal smuggling across the globe.
Jesse Eisenberg who came to mainstream prominence via “The Social Network” success lends voice to Blu, the last of two blue Macaws hot on the trail of smugglers for his highly valued price. Blu who has been transported when he was just newly hatched from the jungles of Brazil was transported to Minnesota, USA – was accidentally found and adopted by a very studious girl named Linda (Leslie Mann). Growing up together for fifteen years, Blu is accustomed to a very domesticated life and has depended on Linda’s care all his life. But when Linda found out that Blu is actually the last of his kind together with another female blue Macaw known as Jewel (Anne Hathaway) living in Brazil – they set out on a journey to try to save Blu’s kind.
Arriving at Rio de Janeiro, Blu and Jewel hit it off on broken notes the first time. But when circumstances threw them to depend on each other with a bunch of street-smart birds and a bulldog, they finally chained up to fight against the forces including an evil cockatoo named Nigel (Jemaine Clement) that endanger their species. Along the exciting journey around Brazil, Blu found out his inner strength he never knew and started soaring before he could even began flying.
Carlos Saldanha, who also helmed the “Ice Age” series brings “Rio” as his homage to his hometown in Brazil. Though a current resident of New York, Saldanha’s passionate advocate for Rio De Janeiro is very palpable in the movie.
“I have always been inspired by my city, the place where I grew up, so I started with that in my head. It's such a great backdrop, such a photogenic place to shoot, with a colorful and vibrant cultural energy that combines well with animation. I think the essence of Rio is a city of contrasts; the vibe is always alive. Because it's a beach town, you always have that carefree feeling. It's a little looser and more relaxed. But it’s a big city with a lot of problems. It's almost like planting a little bit of New York in the middle of a beach town. I wanted them to be able to capture the contrasts and elements that make the city unique. There are only a few cities in the world that have that combination of an urban, vibrant city connected so close to the beach, to the mountains and and to nature in general. That to me is the essence of Rio: you see the super high mountains right next to the beach and the ocean. The concrete jungle meets the real jungle,” shares Saldanha.
“Rio” is in 2D and 3D formats from 20th Century Fox and distributed by Warner Bros.