"Courage Takes Flight"

Content: +1 Discernment required for young children.

Rent or Buy:


What You Need To Know:

RIO is a colorful animated comedy about Blu, a cockatoo stolen from his native homeland of Rio de Janeiro when he was a newborn. Blu has found a good home in an apartment with Linda, a sheltered woman in Minnesota. A scientist informs Linda that Blu is the last male of his species. He wants them to go back to Rio so Blu can mate with a female bird named Jewel. Blu and Jewel don’t get along, however. Making matters worse, some thieves steal the two birds and chain them together. While Linda searches the streets of Rio for her lost pet, Blu and Jewel get into all sorts of misadventures when they escape their captors.

RIO is a funny, action-filled animated comedy with fun characters and enjoyable twists and turns. Sometimes, the story gets convoluted with too many characters and too many themes, but it’s still an enjoyable experience. RIO has a strong moral worldview with some overt references to Jesus in the famous mountaintop statue overlooking the city. The only caveat for RIO is some cartoon violence and some pagan references to Rio de Janeiro’s carnival street party.


(BB, CC, Ro, Pa, V, N, A, M) Strong, mostly moral worldview with themes of heroism, friendship, sacrifice, courage, and thieves receive justice for their crimes, with strong Christian content including an allegory of God’s pursuit of lost people where an owner pursues her pet after the pet is lost and Rio de Janeiro's famous “Christ, Our Redeemer” statue is featured and seen in background throughout the movie, mixed with some elements of Romanticism, as well as some mild pagan elements in depiction of Rio's annual Carnivale party; no foul language but one substitutionary curse word (“heck”) and bird “squawks,” then apologizes for cursing; cautionary violence includes birds being captured by smugglers, other comedic and animated violence such birds wrestling, slapping, punching and brawling with a gang of nefarious monkeys, evil villain bird eats a piece of chicken and person refers to him as a cannibal, evil villain bird chokes other birds, bullies monkeys, bites, claws, another bird's wing is broken in fight sequence and bird gets caught in airplane propeller, mayhem and crashes depicted during various chase sequences; no sex although plot point revolves around attempting to get two birds to mate and birds kiss; women in Rio scantily clad in mid-riff-baring outfits and dancing around for Carnivale, man dances around in skin-tight gold underwear and tanktop and bird bounces off woman's bikini-clad rear-end, upper male nudity and woman dances in bikini outfit; wine seen as couple has dinner; no smoking or drugs; and, lying, blackmail, threats, breaking and entering, smuggling, theft, greed, bribery, teasing, bullying, and orphan boy works with smugglers for money although he turns to helping the heroes.

More Detail:

RIO is an animated comedy about Blu, a cockatoo who was stolen from his native homeland of Rio de Janeiro when he was a newborn. Having grown up as a pet, Blu has become very sheltered and domesticated, never even learning to fly.

After a horrible kidnapping experience by smugglers when he was young, Blu was fortunate enough to be found be a good owner, Linda. Since then, Blu has a good life. Linda’s small Minnesota apartment is his kingdom. In that tiny, sheltered place, Blu rules the roost.

One day, a Brazilian scientist comes to Linda’s door and tells her they would like to take Blu back to Brazil because Blu is the last male bird of his particular species and the scientist needs Blu to mate with a female of his species before that breed of cockatoo is extinct. Linda, much like Blu, is very sheltered and fears the larger world, but decides to go with Blu to Brazil so he can mate with this other bird.

Once they arrive, Blu is put into a cage with Jewel, the last female of their kind. The two birds do not hit it off, especially as Jewel learns Blu is just a domestic pet who cannot even fly. That night, smugglers break into the aviary, chain Blu and Jewel together by the feet and steal them.

While Linda tirelessly searches the streets of Rio for her lost bird, Blu and Jewel manage to break free of the smugglers. Chained together, Blu and Jewel must outwit the smugglers and their villainous cockatoo who are hot on their trail.

RIO is a fun, action-filled animated comedy with some fun characters and enjoyable twists and turns. Sometimes, the story gets convoluted with too many characters and too many themes, but it is still an enjoyable experience. That said, this movie has some cautionary thematic elements, especially for younger children. The movie deals with some mature themes that younger children may not necessarily understand or may find disturbing, and it also has some action sequences that may be somewhat frightening for younger viewers.

However, the movie contains a strong moral worldview with elements of heroism, courage, friendship, and sacrifice as well as a mild allegory of God’s pursuit for his lost children as Linda searches for Blu, her lost bird. Also, Rio’s fabulous mountaintop statue of “Christ, Our Redeemer” is overtly displayed throughout the movie. There are, however, some elements of Romanticism with mild pagan elements regarding Rio’s famous annual carnival. Older children, teenagers and adults will enjoy RIO, but MOVIEGUIDE recommends mild caution for younger children.