Prayer Focus
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Reviewed by: Raphael Vera

Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family
Family Animation Adventure Comedy 3D
1 hr. 36 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
April 15, 2011 (wide—3,800+ theaters)
DVD: August 2, 2011
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

ANXIETY, FEAR AND WORRY—What does the Bible say? Answer

tropical forest


EARTH’S ENVIRONMENT—Should Christians be concerned about the environment? Answer

What is man’s responsibility to the environment? Answer

The Rainforest: People, Animals and Facts
Learn about the rainforest by meeting some native peoples, seeing where and how they live, and more! A cross-cultural photo-rich journey that will leave you with a lasting impression.

favela (slum; shanty town)

POVERTY—What does the Bible say about the poor? Answer

poor in the Bible


birds in the Bible

endangered species and extinction


dogs; bulldog



macaw / toucan / canary / tanager / parrot / finch / cardinal / woodpecker / cockatoo


Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Christ The Redeemer monument


samba school

NUDITY—Why are humans supposed to wear clothes? Answer

Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
Featuring: Leslie MannLinda (voice)
Jesse EisenbergBlu (voice)
Jane LynchAlice (The Other Goose) (voice)
Jamie FoxxNico (voice)
Anne HathawayJewel (voice)
See all »
Director: Carlos Saldanha
Producer: Blue Sky Studios
Twentieth Century Fox Animation
Bruce Anderson … producer
John C. Donkin … producer
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

“1 out of every 8 Americans is afraid of flying. Most of them don’t have feathers.”

Sequel: “Rio 2” (2014)

In a rainforest just outside of beautiful Rio de Janeiro, the birds are having their own musical version of Rio’s world famous ‘Carnival,’ when their celebration is interrupted by smugglers who capture many of them, including a recently hatched blue Macaw.

The baby Macaw ends up in arctic Minnesota and into the care of Linda, a young girl who will become Blu’s best friend for life. Fifteen years later, a bird conservationist from Brazil, named Tulio, arrives to tell Linda (Leslie Mann) that Blu is the last male of his species and since he has found Jewel (Anne Hathaway), the last female blue Macaw, Linda must bring him back to Rio.

Once in Rio, the romance between Blu and Jewel is never given a chance, as they are quickly targeted by local bird smugglers who plan on making a fortune with them. In their attempt to evade the smugglers and get back to where they belong, Blu, who never learned to fly, and the free-spirited Jewel will befriend an ever growing cast of bird characters including a Toucan named Rafael (George Lopez), Pedro ( and Nico (Jamie Foxx).

The makers of the “Ice Age” franchise have created another exciting and fun-filled entry for families, but it is not without some slightly objectionable content.

areas of concern

Language—Minor. Posteriors are jokingly referred to as “butts” and tushies”. There is some innuendo when a dog, caught in the dance frenzy of Carnival, starts shaking to the music and announces he can now get his ‘freak on’. At one point Linda squawks in bird language her anger, but just as quickly apologizes for cursing, unintelligibly done, as it was—a refreshing response from a positively portrayed character.

Violence—Moderate. Comic violence is frequent, including a bird’s off camera collision with a propeller (non-fatal), the chief villain knocking his henchmen around, clawing attacks from the villains ‘angry bird’ partner-in-crime, Nigel, and a big fight between monkeys and birds, which includes the requisite groin injury to one of the monkey’s ‘family jewels’.

Sex—Minor. There is one scene involving Blu and Jewel that allows for misinterpretation. While Blu is choking, Jewel tries to help him from behind by performing an avian version of the Heimlich maneuver.

Being as the setting is in Rio de Janeiro, there are plenty of women in bikinis and Carnival attire, similar in exposure, but not nearly as revealing as some of what is actually seen in Rio. The Brazilians love the Samba, and this is reflected in repeated displays of people wiggling, which may offend some parents. At one point Blu and Eva are bouncing off people’s umbrellas on the beach and end up bouncing off a woman’s bikini clad backside as well. A security guard whisks off his uniform to reveal his gaudy gold carnival outfit and begins dancing.

Male/Female Role Modeling—When we first meet the Toucan Rafael, he is having a lot of trouble controlling his kids, until he mentions calling in their Mom. The kids immediately stop, as they fear her discipline, as does Rafael. Tulio brags about knowing how to ride a motorcycle, but it becomes quickly apparent he cannot. Meanwhile, Linda takes to it like Evel Knievel based only on her snow mobile experience. This is standard fare in Hollywood to showcase men as frail and subservient against the backdrop of more capable women. This studio often gives into politically correct gender stereotypes, and, though “Rio” was subtler than some of Blue Sky’s other efforts, it was still present.


Rafael tries to explain that the reason why Blu can’t fly is because he is going about it all wrong. “Flying is not what you think up here,” as he knocks on his head, “it’s what you feel here,” as he points to his heart.

Later, when Rafael is seen heading back to the Jungle, Blu is surprised and asks him why, since he knows he loves Carnival. He replies, “I do. But I love my family much more. And that’s a choice I made with this [heart], not this [head].”

His advice in both instances is reminiscent of what the Word of God tells us.

“…store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding” Proverbs 2:2.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5.

Nigel is the evil hench-bird that works with the smugglers to get the Macaws back. He first gains entry to the conservatory by appearing to be a gentle, injured bird. Explaining in song why he is a villain he speaks of how he was once a star, but was replaced and now is, “…a bird murderer, ghastly and like an abandoned school, with no principle[s].” Looking right at our heroes he adds, “I will make you ugly, too!”

Villains like these often make clear reference to the characteristics of Satan that are throughout the Bible.

“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light2 Corinthians 11:14.

“I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” Luke 10:18.

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” 1 Peter 5:8.

Blu and Jewel are chained together for a good part of the movie, and since she can fly, but Blu can’t, they are forced instead to run ‘in-step’ to escape Nigel. This is a minor nod to the need for prospective couples to be equally yoked.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14.

Jewel desperately needs to be unchained from Blu, so she can fly again, and as she says, “Flying is freedom and not having to rely on anyone!” This is the chorus we often hear from people in the world who wish to ‘go it alone’ and have no need for God, because it will hamper their ‘freedom’.

If we want to understand what true freedom is, all about the New Testament details the benefits of what a relationship with Jesus Christ will bring us.

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal lifeRomans 6:22.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” John 8:32

And perhaps just as importantly for many people concerned over the times we live in now, we are reminded to:

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’” Hebrews 13:5.

“Rio” is a wonderful, colorful spectacle, made more-so in 3D, and at times a hilarious film for families of all ages to enjoy together, and I do recommend it. “Rio” could have earned its ‘G’ rating with some very minor tweaks. As it is, it should have been rated “PG” and may merit family discussion based on the age of your children.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Minor

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—Moral Review: I went and saw this movie tonight, and I say it’s fairly okay. It’s definitely much more appropriate than some movies out there. My major concern would be perhaps the skimpy dressing of some of the characters (which are very minor) and some innuendos, and a suggestive action when the two blue parrots first meet (In fact, they are fighting) but those barely make up 1% of the film, in my opinion.

Of course, one of the parrots (the villain) could be scary for younger audiences. The violence consists of mostly pecking and biting (no blood), and one scene which may be disturbing in which the villain parrot picks up a monkey and drops him from several hundred feet in the air in order to threaten him. (He is caught before hitting the ground.)

Production Review: There are quite a few 3D movies in which you feel does not need the 3D at all. This is not one of them. Considering that most objects on screen are airborne or moving at high speeds, it does make it worth it. Most 3D movies I notice give you more of a “looking through a window feel” rather than items coming right at you. The animation was good, sound was good, and the storyline was your average children’s story.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Veryan, age 21 (Canada)
Positive—I thought this movie was much cuter then the reviews on this site gave credit for. I am very surprised it was a G movie, with the way the woman was dressed at the end. I was concerned it was going to be throughout, but it was only at the end, when she was dressed for the parade, in a bikini in 6-inch heals. The graphics were incredible, as well as the colors, definitely a good movie for 3-D. Overall, I thought it was a cute movie and well done, except the clothing at the end.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Samantha, age 36 (USA)
Positive—The images in this movie are not beyond what anyone would see at the beach or swimming pool. The human body was made by our all knowing Creator, God. There is nothing in this movie to be embarrassed about. Children understand that it takes two, both male and female, to procreate the species, without having to explain the details. And this movie does NOT go into details in any way. Innocent minds do not infer these things.

Enjoy the beautiful colors and dance numbers and romance of the movie. The male characters are shown to be strong in many ways both by valuing their family (the toucan) and by being leading experts in their fields (the ornithologist). The portion where Linda is good at driving the motorcycle does not emasculate the man, only shows that people have different talents. It’s good for young children to see that everyone individually can be good at different things. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
Brandy, age 36 (USA)
Positive—I think “Rio” was a very fun and enjoyable movie, for the most part. While the animal mating stuff was not needed, I am not offended too much by it, since they are animals (animals don’t get married in churches like people do). A lot of the violence was very slapstick and goofy, and it’s “Light vs. Dark” for the most part (Blu vs. Nigel). The poachers evidently meet justice from the authorities and their actions are never applauded. An orphan regrets helping some criminals and even helps the good guys near the end. While Jewel starts off as mean to Blu, she soon matures into a friend and even a mate.

The uncalled for parts: Linda dresses immodestly at one point as a disguise (thankfully it does not get TOO out-of-place), a few bikini clad women are shown (but never dwelled on), and Karnival is a plot-point. On the latter-most part, Karnival appears to be a goofy costume thing in the movie, rather than the Mardi Gras type of carnival it is in real life; while I consider this a positive, people who don’t know about it in real life might get the wrong impression.

Overall, a good movie for anyone 10 and up; the animal romance is a bit much for younger audiences.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Peter, age 22 (USA)
Neutral—I went and saw this movie tonight with my family. I would definitely have given this movie at least a PG rating, instead of G. The movie is very colorful, the animation is done very well and many scenes looked very lifelike. The movie had a great breathtaking cinematic aspect that would best be enjoyed on a large screen.

I really liked the main female character, who came across very caring, considerate, modest and conservative (something that seems almost unheard of in movies these days). Unfortunately, the movie played up some raunchy aspects that I wish had not been present that would have made it rate much higher. There was definitely a theme of sex running through the movie, in lyrics the birds sang, comments they made along the way, in the attire worn by many of the characters, and, of course, the connection with the Rio parade.

There is a place for sex, but I truly grow tired of it having to be in so many kids movies and always portrayed in raunchy ways.

I’m not sure I would recommend this to another Christian family to go watch, as much as I loved the animation and the visual aspects of the movie, and it probably won’t be one we will buy for our home movie collection when it comes out on DVD. It’s sad… something done so well in so many areas, tarnished by a need to throw bits of garbage in here and there.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Mike, age 42 (USA)
Neutral—I wasn’t impressed, the movie wasn’t terribly entertaining, and I, like others, agree with the comments already. For parents of young children, give it a pass, it doesn’t have the innocence that I think is necessary for G rated movies.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 2
Ryan, age 35 (Canada)
Neutral—I watched this movie with my husband and 3 children under 12. My husband and I kept looking at each other with disappointment over what we were watching. We had high expectations, especially considering it had a “G” rating. I was very surprised and again disappointed. I understand they were trying to make it accurate to where the movie took place, but much of it was unnecessary… for example, how the women were dressed. This is supposed to be a children’s movie, and so cutting out the cleavage really shouldn’t be an issue. Of course, the sexual innuendos and other such nonsense just really shouldn’t have a place in children’s movies at all, and yet we continue to tolerate it and support it and therefore, based on supply and demand the inappropriate children’s movies continue to be produced. See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
K, age 32 (Canada)
Neutral—I am writing this for parents with children younger than 10 that think this is a rated G movie. G movies to me are more like “Winnie the Pooh.” This movie has a bit of a scary theme, because birds are caught in Rio and taken against their will by the “bad guys,” one being another bird and sold to people in the US. The parts that I would think would be scary to the little guys is the birds are scared in the cages and the mean bird is tormenting them while they are there. The big bird also eats dinner which is cooked chicken, and he is called a cannibal by the human character.

There is a theme of sexuality, but that is only because these 2 blue birds are the last of their kind, and the humans are hoping they will pair so their species doesn’t die out. It isn’t offensive to me, but I don’t know how parents of younger children would feel. My daughter, who is 14, loved the movie. And I liked the movie, it had some funny parts and did have a happy ending. I just thought some of the scary parts were unnecessary and did not deserve the rating of G.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
Bethany, age 39 (USA)
Neutral—We took our 7 and 5 year old to see this movie tonight, expecting it to be harmless entertainment since it was rated G. I was very surprised by some of the content, and feel this movie should have been rated PG. There was some mild language (idiot, stupid), pop culture references and lingo, and lots of sexual innuendo that I was a bit embarrassed by. We are pretty conservative in what we have allowed our children to watch up until this point, and I usually don’t go see things in the theater without first reading a review on here, but we were spontaneous tonight and I learned my lesson.

Artistically, the movie was entertaining, had an interesting plot, and above average graphics. It was made by the same producers who made “Ice Age,” which we have not seen because I felt the moral content was not appropriate for my children. “Ice Age” is rated PG, and I think this movie should have been, as well. In addition, some of the previews shown before the movie were terrible! Not what I would have expected for a G movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Aria, age 38 (USA)
Negative—This was just not a good movie. The story line is very simple—get two birds of a feather together, end of story. There were a couple of points that made me laugh. As an earlier review stated, this should have been rated PG for the language used. Also, I am a mother of two boys, 4 and 6, and the way women are dressed and portrayed in movies is important to me. So, when for 1/3 of the movie the main character runs around in something as little as a skimpy bikini and as flashy as a bright blinking light, it made me very uncomfortable. Also, I did not like one of the solo songs the bird played by Wil.I.Am sang. It was too much for any child to hear.

…I, too, felt spontaneous and just went to see this movie without waiting for the review. Lesson learned.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Mary Jackson, age 33 (USA)
Negative—See “Yogi Bear” instead. The review of this movie is excellent. It covers all the points with clarity.

But I am offended by the movie because a proper, classic and good children’s movie could have been made. Instead, some script consultant was dreaming up how sex could be brought into the movie by making it that the two blue macaws had to mate. I can see that a lot of inappropriate material was cut out, but it should not have been on the storyboards to begin with. There could have been any number of plot devices to get the Minnesotans to Brazil, but no—it had to be sex.

The animation is outstanding. The ongoing ludicrous attempts to pander to LGBT and feminist activists by making heterosexual men incompetent and weak, and women strong and decisive, is also offensive. If this is to be done, it should be done in adult movies, rather than fed as poison to children. The Ten Commandments enjoin us to honour our parents—this approach is one to denigrate fathers.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Blue, age 52 (Australia)
Negative—Took my 9, 8, and 5 year old boys to see this tonight. For almost fifteen minutes of the movie, my boys had to turn their eyes away, so that they weren’t staring at some very immodest images. We won’t be watching this again, but it did provide for some good conversations on guarding our hearts and minds.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
Michelle, age 36 (USA)
Negative—I watched this with my grandkids. I frankly thought picking Carnival for a setting was about like picking Mardi Gras. I do not approve of movies made around themes that are, in my opinion, not what Christians ought to be going to in real life. The fact you are not seeing much more than you see at the beach—or whereever in real life—is to me a sad commentary on finding the gray area. There was heart in the movie and caring. But I am afraid it didn’t help my opinion. What was interesting was watching my grandkids: 13, 11, 9, 7, 6, and 3 look at me when they saw something they didn’t think was so hot. We talked about it, afterward. My thinking-maybe kids are more on the ball than we adults are. Kids gave it a 2.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
Jo, age 60 (USA)
Negative—First, while I don’t think the language in this film is bad, I can’t agree with what another reviewer said. “Idiot” is most certainly a bad word. It may not be a cuss word, but it IS a bad word. I cannot agree with those who think that the clothing is only what you would see at the beach. Personally, I don’t like what is seen at the beach, waterparks, etc. I don’t believe it is appropriate to see so much of a person that is not your spouse. Yes, God created beautiful bodies, and they are to be enjoyed, but not by just anyone. We shouldn’t be walking down the beach in a bikini, while those of the opposite sex stare and “appreciate” our bodies. Ladies, men are very, very visual creatures, and it doesn’t take much for a man to give more appreciation than there should be. Men, ladies aren’t as visually motivated, but men’s clothing can help foster the same type of reaction, though probably to a lesser degree.

The Bible is very clear about modesty of dress. Clothing these days is meant to accentuate parts that really shoudn’t be. So going into a movie where this type of dress is applauded, where a woman’s derriere is shown as plump enough to bounce off of, where Tulio is quite clearly shown lusting after Linda in her skimpy outfit, where a very annoying (to me) villain bird is boasting about having had plenty of women, and the theme revolves around getting two birds to mate, and it is apparently funny to have Blu mistake what Jewel is saying for a sexual advance, to me shows the increasing desensitization that Hollywood is having on us. See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
Amy, age 35 (USA)
Comments from young people
Neutral—I am a 17 year old girl who went to see this film with my parents and 15 year old brother. The movie was well made, featuring great voices and stunning quality, however I was disgusted by the extremely immodest clothing displayed throughout the film. The last scene in particular was disturbing, when Linda is wearing a very skimpy bikini.

There were several innuendos that I found to be inappropriate, and the music selection was nothing a Christian should listen to. I understand that this film accurately portrayed the high level of decadence in Rio de Janeiro (and at it’s annual carnival), but do we need to see it in a child’s film (or at all)?

I saw the film in 3D the very day it came to theaters—as I said the quality was amazing, and the plot was charming. But I will not sacrifice Christian morals for “the lust of the eyes”. It’s a one-time see for me! Also, I would definitely agree with the other commenters… this film should have been given a PG, rating rather than G.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Haylee, age 17 (USA)
Positive—I think people overreacted to this movie. First of all, idiot is not a bad word. Second of all, if you think idiot is a bad word, then you do not know what some children will hear at school. Thirdly, I do agree with the fact that people were wearing bikinis in the movie, but isn’t that what you see when you go to the beach nowadays—even some Christians wear bikinis. I thought this movie was hilarious, and I’m a sixteen year old. It was fun to watch in the theatres, and I watched it again with my whole family. A GREAT family movie for ages 7 and up. I guess it could’ve been rated PG, but then people would think the movie was worse in morality when it’s not.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
Sandy Hanna, age 16 (Canada)
Positive—I loved “Rio”! It reminded me a bit of that awesome owl movie: “”Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole!'” This movie had grand morals and nothing offensive. I didn’t really find it offensive! Although, I did find a couple of humourus jokes, that are a bit inappropriate, I think, but this film is still GOOD! :…I loved “Rio,” and I’m hoping to watch it again and again… . And again! Great film!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
Andre, age 15 (Canada)