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"Flying is not what you think up here, it's what you feel in here."
Rafael, teaching Blu how to fly

Rio is Blue Sky Studios' sixth film with Twentieth Century Fox, originating from director Carlos Saldanha's inspiration from his native upbringing in Brazil. Released on April 15th, 2011 in North America.

Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) is a critically endangered Spix's Macaw (referred to as a "Blue Macaw") who never learned to fly, and lives as a pet with Linda Gunderson (Leslie Mann), owner of a small bookstore in wintry, serene Minnesota. However, after a visit from a ornithologist Tulio Monteiro (Rodrigo Santoro), Blu finds out that he is one of the last of his kind, and there is a female macaw named Jewel (Anne Hathaway) in South America. He is sent down as part of a captive breeding program, quickly kidnapped along with her by a group of smugglers, gets chained together with her, then they escape and go on an adventure in Rio de Janeiro. But as bad as the smugglers are—well, just the boss anyway—they are nothing compared to their nefarious cockatoo Nigel (Jemaine Clement), who is determined to find and recapture the two macaws and bring them back to the smugglers—and he'll do anything to accomplish his devious task.

Previews: Teaser, Trailer 1, Trailer 2, International Trailer

Received a surprising single 2012 Academy Award nomination for Best Song ("Real in Rio"). A sequel, Rio 2, was released in 2014.

A third film and spin-off series for Disney+, starring Nico the canary and Pedro the cardinal, have been announced to be in early development.

No relations to Rio -Rainbow Gate!- or the Duran Duran album.

Rio provides examples of:

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  • Abandoned Pet in a Box: Blu the macaw was discovered by Linda in a box on the side of the road.
  • Acrophobic Bird: Literal example in Blu, due to a traumatic incident where he fell out of his nest before he was old enough to fly. It's not that he is afraid of flying, per se... he just knows full well what will happen if he falls from a great height. Well lampshaded later in the jungle.
    Blu: Out here I'm just an hors d'oeuvres, a feathery spring roll!
    Jewel: That is why we stay in the trees, and not on the ground.
  • Adam and Eve Plot: The last male and female Spix's Macaw are brought together to mate, and end up in a wacky adventure together.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Blu is often ridiculed by the Canadian geese, Alice and Chloe for his acrophobia, as well as being a tame bird.
  • Alternate Animal Affection: Averted with the parrots kissing each other on their beaks a lot like humans. Parrots often gently bite each others' beaks, but they don't pucker up the way the birds in this movie do.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Many of the animal characters have their moment.
    • Blu's ability to open a birdcage from the inside comes as quite a surprise to Jewel, who was trying to break out by force. When Jewel is later captured by Nigel, Blu is briefly seen picking a lock with his claws to get Jewel out of the cage.
    • The marmosets know how to operate cellphones, send text messages, use digital cameras, etc. Although hilariously, the text message reads, "Ooo! Ooo! Aaa! Aaa! :(|)" Which is still understood quite specifically by its recipient.
  • Analogy Backfire: Lampshaded. Rafael refers to Jewel as "the Juliet to [Blu's] Romeo" — then quickly follows that up acknowledging that they both die at the end.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Cockatoos are smart, temperamental, bitey, very easily become neurotic and are loud. They rather routinely outsmart people trying to control them in Australia, where they are often considered a pest. Imagining one as a villain is not much of a stretch at all.
  • Animal Talk:
    • Zig-zagged in that animals of the same species have different languages — the Brazilian birds (like Jewel) can speak both Portuguese and English, while Blu, who was raised in the U.S.A, only speaks English. Other native Brazilian birds like Rafael, Nic and Pedro are never heard in anything but English. During one chase scene, Blu jokes about being bilingual after imitating a dog's bark to scare off a street cat. Which is ironic considering they can all talk to Luiz the bulldog. Notably, Polly Wants a Microphone is averted: despite being raised by a human, and perfectly understanding human talk, Blu cannot talk to humans, only to other animals and a voice activated GPS unit in the sequel. How the latter works is never addressed.
    • Subverted in one case: apparently chickens are too stupid to talk.
      Nigel: Get out of here, you putrid poultry!
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: "I'm not going to let you go! We're chained-to-each-other birds, remember?!"
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: At the end of the film, Linda bids Blu farewell and lets him fly off into the jungle to be with Jewel. Even if you're not factoring in natural predators and the fact that Blu is a very tame, people-oriented bird, Blu and Jewel are members of a critically endangered species, which would, logically, be high on the list for poachers.
  • Artistic License – Ornithology: For all their Shown Their Work moments, the team couldn't get everything right:
    • All of the parrots and toucans in the film are only three-toed; they lack the second backward-pointing toe in the zygodactyl foot.
    • The baby macaws seem conspicuously well-fledged given the (highly exaggerated) head:body ratio. This is probably just to make them cute for all audiences, rather than the ugly cute that only an avian enthusiast would love.
    • At one point, Blu implies that he is capable of "peeing". However, birds (with the exception of some ratites) cannot "pee" as such; liquid and solid wastes are excreted from the cloaca together.
    • Macaws, Conures, even non-parrot Toucans, they all have strange crest-like head feathers. Made doubly weird because the animators obviously knew how cockatoo crests work. Those head feathers were probably given to be like "hair", so the birds have more distinct appearances.
    • At one point, Blu is fed hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies. Problem? Chocolate is poisonous to birds.
    • In the opening scene, while Blu is in a nest inside a den (accurately for parrots), there is a family of yellow parrots who have a cup-shaped nest on a branch.
    • The blue-and-yellow macaws have their face covered in blue and yellow feathers, when it should be naked with white skin. They also lack black feathers which line the facial skin and cover the chin.
    • Played for Laughs in one scene: Blu shows off his sweaty "wingpit", at the same time noting that perspiration shouldn't be biologically possible.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: The parade float hijacked by Linda and Tulio is self propelled, as evident when Linda steps on the gas. In real life, floats that take part in the Sambodromo Parade are pushed by a crew, not self-propelled like other parade floats.
  • Artistic License – Linguistics: Blu and Jewel are referred to as "Blue Macaws" instead of Spix's Macaws. Somewhat justified by a common nickname for the Spix's: Little Blue Macaw (which is also the translated Portuguese name of the bird). They do manage to sneak the real name in at one point (see Bilingual Bonus above).
  • Auto-Tune: Faintly audible on Rafael's one line in the "Real in Rio" finale, indicating it was used for its original purpose — correcting pitch. Evidently, George Lopez can't carry a tune.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: Inverted. Early promo material said that the film was rated PG. Fox staff didn't want that, so they made a couple edits to get it down to G. One doesn't see too many G-rated films nowadays.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis:
    • Subverted when Blu makes his attempt to smash the chain with the boulder, but played straight twice towards the end of the film when he uses the fire extinguisher to "bust his cage open like a soda can", and then also uses it to dispose of Nigel.
    • Prior to this, the trope is subverted when Blu studies flying and then attempts to do so in the library, but panics at the last moment and ends up as a macaw Christmas tree. And throughout the film, his "thrust, lift, drag, weight" mantra always ends in him having a panic attack at the last moment. Rafael says it perfectly:
      Rafael: You think too much!
  • Babies Ever After: Blu and Jewel are shown with three chicks at the end of the first movie. Said chicks, now a little more grown, are given further characterization in the sequel.
  • Based on a True Story: There really was a Spix Macaw just like Blu. Unfortunately, his story didn't turn out quite so happily.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Blu and Jewel during the film. Despite the fact that the two are the last known members of their kind, the amount of shippers on deck, and the surprised and embarrassed looks on their faces whenever the two get extra close to each other, most of their interactions involve a lot of bickering and snarking, with them even physically fighting when they first meet (the latter mostly on Jewel's part, mostly because Blu made the moves on her too early). One of the promotional posters for the movie even show Blu and Jewel together with the header "Love at First Fight" on it. The belligerence part seems to die down after their dance at the samba club, though.
  • Belly-Scraping Flight: Linda and Tulio drive a Carnivale float onto the runway where the bird smugglers' plane is taking off. The plane gets into the air just in time, but its fuselage still destroys the upper part of the float. Later, Blu and an injured Jewel fall out of the plane over the bay, and Blu manages to get his wings out just in time to pull up — skimming Jewel's back across the water — before they hit the surface.
  • Beware the Cute Ones: The toucan babies, upon first meeting Blu and Jewel, act so cute and adorable that Jewel teases Blu to "be careful... they might snuggle you to death!" And then a few seconds later, one of the babies starts tearing out Blu's feathers while the other one does the same to Jewel and, well, it snowballs from there. And though he loves his family, even Rafael is not immune to this.
    Rafael: No no no, don't turn around; they can sense fear!
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: When the movie's overall conflict begins, Marcel and his Dragon-in-Chief Nigel serve as the main threat in each of two sides of the story (Linda & Tulio's and Blu & Jewel's, respectively) that branch out in the beginning and fuse back together near the end. While Marcel is the one who started the conflict and drives his side to some degree, he never interacts with Linda and Tulio whatsoever. Meanwhile, Nigel constantly goes after Blu, Jewel and their allies, and thus drives the overall plot to a further degree.
  • Big "NO!": The entire city of Rio lets out a collective one when Nigel's impact with a power transformer blacks out the city right as their soccer team is going for the final point during a major game.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Blink and you'll miss it, but after Tulio dresses in the macaw costume, he catches a glimpse of himself in a mirror and exclaims "Cyanopsitta spixii!" the scientific name of a Spix Macaw. For ornithologically-versed viewers, this one kind of transcends language. The word "Spix" sticks out quite clearly.
  • Bookends: The movie begins in the rainforest when Blu was a baby, and ends in the rainforest where Blu is now living with Jewel and their children. Both scenes even have the same samba being sung.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: After Blu and Jewel are freed from the chain, and he is angered when she points out it's not her fault he can't fly.
  • Butt-Monkey: Tiny. In the film, she is brutalized by Nigel into telling him where Blu and Jewel left.
  • Call-Back:
    • Blu: I'm gonna pop this cage open like a soda can!
    • Blu: I'm not gonna let you go! We're chained to each other birds, remember?
    • Linda: That's my big, brave boy.
    • Blu: Not cool, man! Not cool!
    • Blu: I'm not an ostrich! I'm not an ostrich!
    • "I'll take care of you." (said by Linda to Blu at the beginning of the film, and by Tulio to Jewel at the end)
  • Call of the Wild Blue Yonder: Pretty much the main plot. Blu is a macaw who has spent his whole life as a pet never learning to fly. When he gets stranded in Rio, he tries to learn how, and eventually does in order to save his true love from falling to her death.
  • The Capital of Brazil Is Buenos Aires: It helps that the director is Brazilian. However, an error did creep in where the "missing" poster for Blu is incorrectly phrased (the word "extensão" makes no sense in that context. The correct word would be "ramal").
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Nigel, complete with a Villain Song.
  • Carnivores Are Mean: Real-life cockatoos are omnivorous, and Nigel has no problem munching on a chicken leg or threatening to eat the smaller of the caged birds. There is no indication whatsoever if the heroic macaws (who are also omnivores in real life) would see canaries and red-crested cardinals as appetizers. However, in this case it's invoked, as Nigel actively uses this to frighten the other birds his owner has captured and is a Card-Carrying Villain.
  • Chekhov's Gun
    • More of a Chekhov's Affliction with Luiz's uncontrollable drooling, which lubes the cuffs and makes them slip clean (arguably) off of Blu and Jewel.
    • Chekhov's Song: Lionel Richie's Say You, Say Me.
  • Chekhov's Skill: As a "companion", Blu picked up an assortment of skills such as exceptional climbing (to get around his flightlessness), the ability to open latches, riding a skateboard, and imitation of a dog's bark. These skills come in handy later on.
  • Clingy Child: Several of Rafael's kids grab onto their father and a few even hang from his beak because they are so happy to see him.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Tulio sure likes to imitate birds.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Jewel's wing is injured just a few moments before falling out of a plane.
  • Costume Porn: Carnaval. Although the actual Carnaval is just about the same, if not even more extravagant.
  • Covers Always Lie: Despite what the main poster above shows, Blue never carries a suitcase with him. He also doesn’t wear a scarf, winter hat, or any ear muffs. To add on, Jewel does not have a flower on the side of her head.
  • Crossover: There is a Rio-themed adaptation of Angry Birds, of all things.
  • Cute Bookworm: Linda is a big reader who owns a bookstore. She is also quite attractive.
  • Dance of Romance: Blu and Jewel develop feelings for each other after their duet at the samba club (which culminates in the almost kissing...).
  • Dance Party Ending: The movie ends with most of the main cast dancing and singing to a reprise of "Real in Rio".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Blu, Jewel, and Linda.
  • Death Glare:
    • Tulio when he finds out who took Blu and Jewel.
    • From both sides at the start of the "Birds vs Monkeys" fight.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Jewel, at first, only cares about escaping into the wild and is aloof and/or hostile to pretty much everyone she meets. She get better as the movie progresses though.
  • Die or Fly: Rather literally, too, during the climax of the film. Jewel's wing is injured while they escape from the smuggler's plane and Blu has to save her.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: This interesting little exchange:
    Blu: Oh, no, no! It's not what you think. We're just uh... chained together.
    Nico: Hey, I'm not judging you.
    Pedro: Keep it spicy!
  • The Dog Bites Back: The marmosets mock Nigel after his comeuppance.
  • Don't Tell Mama: When Rafael's children are crazy he threatens to tell their mother, Eva. He even lampshades that she scares them all the time.
  • Downer Beginning: The beginning of the film has all the birds in Rio, including baby Blu, get captured by poachers and taken somewhere else. Blu was pretty lucky to have ended up in Minnesota, though, as Linda gave him nothing but warmth and affection from then up to the main events of the film.
  • The Dragon: Nigel.
    Nigel: I know I'm not a pretty birdy. [snap] MuaHAha!
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Nigel turns out to be more intelligent, competent, and menacing than his master.
  • Dub Name Change
    • In Brazilian Portuguese, Jewel is "Jade" to fit the Mouth Flaps better. In the sequel, Charlie is "Carlitos" (the nation's name for Charlie Chaplin's Tramp, making the Meaningful Name even clearer).
    • In the Russian dub, Blu is called Golubchik (literally "little dove", usually used as an old-timey endearing form of address to a little kid by a much older person), and Jewel is Zhemchuzhinka ("little pearl").
    • Nigel becomes "Pepillo" in Mexican Spanish, while Jewel is now "Perla".
    • Nigel becomes "Hector" in French; Jewel is also "Perla".
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Blu and Jewel have to go through a lot of grief to finally have their happy ending.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: Statue of Christ The Redeemer is prominently seen throughout the movie.
  • Electricity Knocks You Out: Nigel the Cockatoo chases the leads into the slums of Rio de Janeiro, where Nigel collides with an electrical transformer, botching his attempt to catch them and blacking out the whole city of Rio in the process including a stadium which held a soccer game that Armando and Tipa were watching. After regaining consciousness, Nigel heads back to the smugglers' hideout.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Nigel intimidates a tiny bird into removing a bit of chicken lodged in his beak, just so he can try to snap the poor thing's leg off.
  • Evil Laugh: Nigel lets out a rather annoying one at a few points in the movie.
  • Evil Poacher: The Big Bad, Marcel; while he is a Punch-Clock Villain who is only in it for the money, he specifically states that he is indifferent even if his clients intend to eat the birds. He is actually more realistic in this respect than most other examples.

  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Subverted when Nigel appears to have been shredded alive by the airplane's propellers at the end, but it's later revealed that he survived, only to have lost all of his feathers in the process.
  • Fanservice: All those dancers in revealing bird suits are quite eye-catching.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Nigel seems polite in his speech, but it merely adds to his horror factor.
  • Feather Fingers: Played straight with general wing gestures and Nico's use of his bottle-cap hat, although Blu, Jewel, and Nigel rely primarily on their feet when they actually need to manipulate objects. Subtle hand gestures such as pointing are also subbed in with the birds' feet — Blu's first meeting with Jewel is a prime example of this.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Blu's anti-samba rant makes everyone cringe. Nico even breaks down crying.
  • Fireworks of Love: When Tulio sees Linda dressed in the Spix Macaw Carnaval outfit, fireworks go off in the background.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Downplayed at first. Blu and Jewel become a lot less hostile towards each other after they escape the smugglers, but it isn't until their dance at the samba club that their conflict completely settles down and Blu and Jewel start being actual friends (who also happen to secretly be attracted to one another).
  • Fish out of Water: Blu, especially shown the first time he goes back to the jungle he was born in.
  • Flashback Cut:
    • Blu experiences a flashback to his early days in Rio while almost involuntarily dancing to the beat in "Hot Wings (I Wanna Party)".
    • As Blu jumps out of the plane to grab hold of Jewel, he remembers how he fell out of his nest.
  • Foreign Queasine: At the churrascaria — flambed chicken hearts. (Yes, that is a Brazilian delicacy). Interrupted by the call telling Tulio that Blu and Jewel have been kidnapped.
  • For the Evulz: Nigel's Villain Song has him list some things he does just for this. He also torments and terrifies the birds his owner has captured for fun.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: Blu (realist — the most analytical of the main group), Jewel (cynic — snarky and street smart), Rafael (optimist — emphasizes feelings over thoughts when dealing with problems), and Nico and Pedro (both apathetic — mostly act as support crew).
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Blu (melancholic — shy and nerdy), Jewel (choleric — aggressive and independent), Rafael (phlegmatic — calm and good-natured), Pedro (sanguine — loud and boisterous) and Nico (leukine — laid-back but also a big party lover).
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A snippet of the newspaper article on Nigel's fall from stardom can be read near the beginning of his song. It's basically just a Hurricane of Puns.
  • Freudian Excuse: Nigel says he is evil because his superstar life-style was taken from him by a prettier bird, making him jealous of all the other "pretty birdies". He takes out this bitterness by helping his owner capture attractive birds and adding to their misery and fear at every opportunity.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: When Blu is refusing to take his vitamins, Linda reveals that Blu is not actually his first name. "Tyler Blu Gunderson!"
  • Gas-Cylinder Rocket: Blu attaches Nigel's leg to a fire extinguisher, then sets it off, causing the cockatoo to be dragged out of the plane by the speeding canister.
  • Gaussian Girl: Jewel, repeatedly to Blu. It becomes a Running Gag when a point-of-view shot does the same for Tulio, once Linda dresses as a bird.
  • Glass Smack and Slide: On seing Blu inside the "Blue Macaw" Library, Tulio rushes toward him but slips on the snow, and ends up with his face comically smashed against the glass. And then he slips down with the expected sound.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Marcel is revealed to be wearing blue boxers with yellow ducks on them when he is seen parachuting to safety, his pants pulled down by the henchmen clinging to his legs.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The camera cuts away just before Nigel is sucked into the escape plane's propellers. However, in a mid-credits scene, he is still alive, albeit without his feathers.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Nigel's Villain Song reveals that part of the reason for his cruelty towards other birds is because he is jealous of their beauty (compared to his brutish appearance). This envy comes from being replaced as the star of a TV show by a far more attractive bird.
  • Groin Attack: Jewel gives one to Mauro with the chain holding her and Blu together.
  • Happily Adopted: Fernando in the ending.
  • Happily Married: Rafael may be a Henpecked Husband with his domineering wife Eva, but they do clearly love each other.
  • Hartman Hips: Almost universal for human females in this movie.
  • Hikikomori: Technically, Blu. Since he was picked up by Linda, he is almost never been outdoors, and has trouble socializing with other birds.
  • Helicopter Blender: An old-timey propeller plane in this case. Nigel is apparently killed in the rotating blades, but is shown to have survived at the end, only shaved of his feathers and humiliated by his former henchmen.
  • Henpecked Husband: Rafael the toucan, almost literally, by his Keel-Billed Toucan wife. Nonetheless he still does love her, willing to gladly sacrifice Carnaval to spend time with her.
  • Hero Stole My Bike:
    • Linda trades Tulio's jeep for a motorcycle (without his knowledge or permission).
    • After she gets really desperate, she steals a Carnaval float.
  • High-Altitude Interrogation: How Nigel "negotiates" with the monkey leader.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Eva, Rafael's wife, is shown to be a rather terrible singer, though Rafael seems to think otherwise, which Jewel acknowledges by snarkily saying "I guess love is deaf too". Ironically, Eva's voice actress, Bebel Gilberto, is actually a very talented singer in real life.
  • "I Am" Song: "Pretty Bird" serves as both this and a Villain Song for Nigel, as he explains his backstory and how delighted he is to be a villain.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Nigel particularly enjoys capturing and subduing Jewel, a lot.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: When we first see Jewel, she only wants to get out of the sanctuary she is being kept in and live a solitary life having nothing to do with anyone. Her Character Development has her grow out of this.
  • I Know Karate: At one point, a marmoset strikes several kung-fu poses, only to be swiftly taken down by Raphael's beak.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Nigel eats the meat of other birds — not terribly unusual for a cockatoo. However, it's all squick to the mooks, terror for the smaller captured birds — and he plays it up for all it's worth.
  • Improvised Lockpick: While Blu and his friends are attempting to free Jewel from Nigel's clutches, Blu briefly tries picking the lock on Jewel's cage with one of his talons.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    Jewel: I wouldn't expect a pet to understand.
    Blu: Did you just call me a pet?! For the record, I'm not a pet; I am a companion.
  • Instant Sedation: That chloroform-soaked rag Nigel used to incapacitate Sylvio the guard must be pretty powerful. Even sniffing the used rag for a second is enough to put both the guard and the cop he called out like a light.
  • Intellectual Animal: They can even talk to each other (but not the human cast).
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Apparently, one of the perks of stardom Nigel used to enjoy was the company of female macaws.
    • In a more subtle example, there is Rafael (a Toco toucan) and Eva (a keel-billed toucan.)
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: In the movie, Rio de Janeiro is preparing for the unavoidable Carnaval, though it is the right time of year for it, unlike most examples.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Stated by Nigel's Villain Song. "Oh, I know I'm not a pretty birdy … but I used to be quite the looker. A star."
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: When Rafi kisses Eva, their beaks are partially hidden and the camera cuts away briefly. (Getting two characters without lips to kiss is an animation challenge even when they don't have toucan beaks.)
  • Large Ham:
    • Jemaine Clement as Nigel, the evil white cockatoo.
    • And in the Brazilian dub he is voiced by Guilherme Briggs, who is pretty much the Norio Wakamoto of Brazilian voice acting.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After mocking Jewel's broken wing by saying there are now two "useless, flightless birds", Nigel loses most of his feathers, becoming a "useless, flightless bird" himself.
  • Last of His Kind: Jewel and Blu are the last of their kind until the end.
  • Le Parkour: The marmosets' movement style is based on this, while their fighting style is based on Capoeira.
  • Made of Iron:
    • Nigel survives flying face first into an electrical transformer box with enough force to knock out power to most of Rio de Janeiro with only a few burnt feathers. In the end, he survives being sucked into an airplane propeller, but loses nearly all his feathers in the process.
    • Jewel and Blu qualify too — their entire Chained Heat scene is dotted with extremely painful-looking accidents, but aside from some snarking they don't seem to mind.
  • Madness Mantra: The poor Military Macaw in the cage, spinning and repeating, "I'm a pretty bird!"
  • Meaningful Echo: "Don't worry, I'll take care of you."
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The movie starts out with Blu as a chick getting captured by poachers. He falls off the truck carrying him, and is found by a little Linda.
  • Monkey Morality Pose: It's easy to miss the marmosets' reaction when Nigel blackmails their leader — an image of the same scene is included during the closing credits.
  • Mood Whiplash: The entire opening scene, about three times. Seriously.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: There are more songs in the movie that are interrupted than are not. "Real in Rio", "Mas Que Nada", "Hot Wings (I Wanna Party)", "Fly Love" and "Funky Monkey" are all interrupted, and three of those five are non-comedic examples. The sequel manages to avoid this.
  • My Beloved Smother: While he never outright states it, Tulio does imply that it was Linda's doting that caused Blu to be so introverted and never learn to fly. In reality, the blame goes to a traumatic incident that happened when he was a chick.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The teaser trailer (which turned out to have just sampled a sequence directly from the film) made Rafael out to be a more prominent, important role than he actually is. Also, it made audiences think Blu is physically incapable of flight, when in fact he just needs more confidence.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: You know Marcel, if you'd paid Fernando what you promised him and/or taken him in, he might not have told the good guys what you were up to.
  • No Infantile Amnesia: Blu does remember the song the jungle birds sang, as well as his fall from the nest from when he was little (the latter memory being the reason he doesn't know how to fly).
  • "No. Just… No" Reaction: Nigel's song number.
    Blu: Not cool, man! Scary... but not cool!
  • Not Quite Dead: Nigel is seemingly killed when he ends up being hit by an airplane propeller, but turns out to still be alive at the end, only had most of his feathers sliced off in the process.
  • Not This One, That One: The smugglers plan to export exotic birds out of the country by hiding them in float for Carnival. The lead poacher Marcel leaves the float-making up to his two underlings, and when the appointed time arrives, he is pleased to spot a very well-made, bird-themed float. However, as it passes, he hears the voices of his underlings calling from the float just behind it, a very shoddy chicken-themed float.
  • Not Used to Freedom: Blu the parrot is let out of his cage. He greatly misses the cage and doesn't know how to stay safe.

  • Oh, Crap!: Nigel gets one of these before getting hit by the plane's propeller, after getting jetted out of the plane by a fire extinguisher that Blu attached to his leg.
  • Only You Can Repopulate My Race: Pretty much played straight. Blu mating with Jewel is the only way to save the species... except for two reasons. 1. Jewel is only interested in freedom and Blu just wants to go home, and 2. The two pretty much despise each other. At first, that is.
  • Opposites Attract: Blu and Jewel really couldn't be more different than each other if they tried. Blu is a rather cowardly house pet who can't fly, Jewel is a brave Action Girl from the wild who had to be taught to run properly by Blu when they can't fly. And yet they still end up happy mates.
  • Pale Females, Dark Males: Blu is just a tad darker than Jewel, just as Tiago is darker than his sisters. This trope is the case for many exotic birds in Real Life.
  • Playing Cyrano: Blu is trying to court Jewel but since he's never interacted that much with other birds and was raised in another country, he's incredibly awkward. Rafael, his friend, is The Charmer and decides to help Blu during a romantic ride he and Jewel end up having. Rafael tells Blu to compliment Jewel's eyes. However, Blu's nervousness makes him say "I have such pretty eyes" instead. Jewel is confused and Rafael does a Face Palm.
  • Playing Possum: Jewel and Blu try this to escape the Smugglers early in the film. Blu makes a Large Ham out of himself about it.
  • Police Are Useless: When trying to explain how Blu and Jewel were stolen, Sylvio the security guard demonstrates placing the chloroform-soaked rag over his mouth — and promptly faints. The policeman examines it by sniffing, only to faint too.
    Linda: We're doomed!
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Several tough guys, like Silvio the guard and Luiz the bulldog, love wearing silly costumes for Carnaval.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: When Blu — after proving a natural talent at samba dancing throughout the movie — finally loses it and goes off about how much he hates samba. This leads into his Heroic BSoD and causes Nico to completely break down.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Pedro is Red (literally), Nico is Blue (metaphorically). Seen especially clearly when they're both trying to give Blu advice on how to woo Jewel.
    • Also Jewel is Red (Wild) and Blu is Blue (Domesticated).
  • Scenery Porn: Rio de Janeiro and the surrounding forests are gorgeous. The forest and the surrounding city, really. The City is surrounded by smaller towns, pastures and farm lands. The forest seen in the movie is the Tijuca National Park, a urban park (the biggest urban park in the world) in the middle of the city.
  • Serious Business: Soccer to the people of Rio. When Nigel accidentally causes a blackout the entire city gives a Big "NO!". Very much Truth in Television.
  • Sexy Whatever Outfit: Since this is Carnaval, some sexy outfits are to be expected. Linda puts on a sexy bird-themed outfit. Tulio's outfit could also fit this.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Linda in the Carnaval outfit.
  • Shipper on Deck: Rafael, Nico and Pedro constantly try to pair Blu and Jewel, Rafael even commenting that Blu's the Romeo and Jewel's the Juliet.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Nico, Pedro and Fafael escape with the other birds in the climax on the plane just before Nigel attacks Blu and Jewel.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Die Hard of all things. Twice, even: "Yippie-ki-yay, monkey-man!" Nigel apparently was the star performer in Fly Hard.
    • Nico throws his bottle cap as if it was a mighty shield. It even comes back to his wingtip after stunning a monkey.
    • After interrogating it for Blu and Jewel's destination, Nigel hurls a small, round bird into a pile of boxes and crates. Keep in mind the crossover release of Angry Birds Rio.
    • Upon entering the bird clinic, a small round red bird with heavily dark eyes — almost perfect for the iconic main bird of Angry Birds — flies across the screen, followed shortly by three smaller round blue birds all together.
    • Another one to the Paulie Shore movie In the Army Now, with Blu's "spider on my back" being uncannily similar to the scorpion scene, except in the jungle and done by birds with a different arachnid.
    • When Tulio attempts to ride the motorcycle and fails, take a look just underneath the graffiti that says "Re!" You'll see the safe house emblem from Left 4 Dead.
    • After nearly getting killed for the twelve-millionth time in the past ten minutes, Jewel saying that "I'm gonna chew through my own leg soon if this [chain] doesn't come off" brings to mind 127 Hours.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Jewel is an almost perfectly modeled Spix's Macaw, down to the iris color — see for yourself; Blu looks a touch more like a scaled down Hyacinth macaw. The Spix's Macaw is also now extinct in the wild, and there is an active captive breeding program to increase their numbers.
    • A few other birds (Red-Crested Cardinal, Toco Toucan) are based on birds common around Rio. The Spix's Macaw was also found around there.
    • At one point, Nigel is seen eating bird meat, something real cockatoo sometimes do.
    • That football match that keeps the citizens of Rio glued to their TVs is, judging by the flags shown for a second, between Brazil and Argentina — one of the great rivalries.
  • Silly Simian: The pickpocket marmosets. They are nefarious, but still very amusing. Though they at first refuse to work for Nigel, he drops their leader from several hundred feet, only saving him when they agree to work for him.
  • Smug Snake: Nigel is extremely fond of himself and regards everyone but his master as complete morons. (...Sometimes he is correct.)
  • Something Else Also Rises:
    • When Tulio first sees Linda in the (surprisingly revealing) macaw costume she is wearing for the parade, fireworks start going off in the distance behind him.
    • Blu's reaction to being kissed by Jewel is to extend his wings erect.
  • Spiteful Spit: Jewel does this to one of the marmosets when they attack the avian samba club. Subverted after that that Blu tries to do the same too, but fails miserably.
    Blu: [with drool clinging stubbornly to his beak] That, uh, was meant for you.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • When Marcel tells his goons to feed Nigel, they decide by playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, saying: "Rock, paper, scissors, shoot!" Then later on when deciding who should take the last parachute, the goons go "Rock, paper, scissors..." then Marcel cuts in saying: "Chute!" as he gets it for himself.
    • Rafael, Nico and Pedro make it their job to set the mood for Blu and Jewel. What are guys like that normally called? Wingmen.
  • Surrounded by Idiots:
    • Marcel is infuriated by his goons' stupidity and remarks that Nigel the cockatoo is ten times more intelligent than both of them combined. Nothing we see contradicts this assumption.
    • Nigel feels this way about the marmosets after the birds beat the tar out of them. So he decides to do it himself.
  • Swiss-Cheese Security: In real life, Carnival is such as big event you can't bypass security to the sambadrome bleachers, much less the street of the parade. And yet the villains' badly done parade car is able to run behind the real ones: the protagonists smuggling in at least had the excuse of them being able to blend with real dancers due to the costumes).
  • The Team: Blu, at the start, is a Non-Action Guy with shades of being The Smart Guy by being able to pick locks and having nerdy intelligence. He Takes a Level in Badass and upgrades to The Hero to rescue Jewel at the end. Jewel the Action Girl of the film and thus The Hero. But Nigel ultimately forces her into being a Badass in Distress, and forces Blu to don The Hero mantle. Rafael the Toco Toucan is The Lancer. The Red-Crested Cardinal, Pedro, is The Big Guy. Nico the canary is The Smart Guy. He gets to strut his stuff in the underground avian Samba club, and trying to play matchmaker between Blu and Jewel. Luiz the bulldog is the Team Pet. Carla, Bia and Tiago, in the sequel, are collectively the Tagalong Kid.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Blu and Jewel have this for the first half of the film. Their relationship get better after their Dance of Romance though.
  • Tempting Fate: When Linda and Blu first arrive in Rio and see everyone dressed up in flashy costumes for Carnaval, Tulio tells her "Come tomorrow night, everyone will be dressed like that." Linda laughs and says "Not me!"
  • Those Two Guys:
    • Pedro the cardinal and Nico the canary.
    • Marcel's two incompetent goons, Tipa and Armando, who also fit Fat and Skinny.
  • Together in Death: Blu jumping out of the plane after Jewel invokes a touch of this. He doesn't appear to have any kind of plan in mind for rescuing her, and his last-minute flying abilities take them both by surprise.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Blu's badassery progresses throughout the movie.
    • Linda, who goes from a timid bookstore owner to a woman willing to steal a Carnaval float and drive it into an oncoming plane, and Tulio, who actively aids Linda in her exploits.
  • Toothy Bird: Averted. The birds are perfectly expressive with their beaks. Somewhat Lampshaded: Blu still make a point of brushing his beak. It is an important ritual for his human companion, so he does it too.
  • Trail of Bread Crumbs: Fernando leaves a trail of pieces of cloth from Marcel's chicken float for Linda and Tulio to follow.
  • Triumphant Reprise: "Real in Rio", while an upbeat song about life, love and fun, is brutally cut short when the birds are taken by the smugglers. "Real in Rio (Reprise)" is another upbeat song about life, love and fun, and this time it comes with a happy ending.
  • Truth in Television:
    • We get a few bird facts shoved in by Blu. (Also see Shown Their Work above).
    • Linda is unable to visit home on the grounds that she'd have no one to take care of Blu, and the general impression we're left with is that her life completely and utterly revolves around him. It cannot be stressed enough how much Truth in Television this invokes.
  • Tsundere: Jewel seems this way at first, but it turns out to be her reaction to a stressful situation — not her normal personality.
  • Tuft of Head Fur: both macaws and toucans are designed with a crest of feathers on their head that varies in size and shape, to give the individual characters more distinct appearances. Taken to the extreme with Roberto in the sequel, whose crest makes him look like a Long-Haired Pretty Boy with Non-Mammalian Hair.
  • Tutti Frutti Hat: Luiz sports a fruit-covered hat throughout the first film. Justified, as the films take place in, well, Rio.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The film was based on a case where a Spix Macaw was found as a pet in Colorado and later was introduced into a breeding program.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: It's a pretty typical CGI family comedy — with a psychotic, genuinely frightening cockatoo as one of the villains.
  • Villainous Breakdown: It's what led Nigel to being a villain in the first place. After losing his star status to a "pretty parakeet", he went bad to the point that he tortures other birds For the Evulz.
  • Villain Song: Nigel gets one called "Pretty Bird". He states he used to be rather beautiful until he got replaced and is now a Card-Carrying Villain.
  • Weaponized Headgear: Nico uses the bottle cap he wears on his head like a boomerang to knock out some marmosets clinging to Blu and Jewel (as they were sent by Nigel to capture them) so that they can escape from them with Kipo carrying them both as they are chained together and Blu does not know how to fly.
  • Within Arm's Reach: When Blu is being choked by Nigel, he uses his foot to attach a fire extinguisher to his foot and pull the pin, sending Nigel flying out of the plane.


Video Example(s):


Blu Has Beautiful Eyes

Blu is trying to court Jewel but since he's never interacted that much with other birds and was raised in another country, he's incredibly awkward. Rafael, his friend, is The Charmer and decides to help Blu during a romantic ride he and Jewel end up having. Rafael tells Blu to compliment Jewel's eyes. However, Blu's nervousness as well as misunderstanding what Rafael said makes him say "I have beautiful eyes" instead much to the confusion of Jewel and Rafael correcting him by specifying he meant Jewel's eyes leading to Blu awkwardly correcting himself on what he said though Jewel finds his awkward attempt to correct himself endearing.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / PlayingCyrano

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