Rio: A Transcontinental Journey of Bird Self-Discovery (Review and Giveaway!)

Hi 5 Minutes for Mom readers! Meet Christie O’ — the latest writer to join the 5m4m team!

Christie is a former news producer, turned freelance writer, runner, and, most importantly, mom to two! She writes at Average Moms Wear Capes, (because, yes we are all superheroes!) and we are thrilled have her writing for us here, covering fabulous assignments in NYC and LA, while we stay home and do the dirty work. Wait… what?!? Something’s wrong here…

Speaking of fabulous assignments, Christie’s first job for us was to board a plane and head to LA to cover the premiere of RIO. Nice gig!

Rio_PosterA new family movie is flying into theaters this weekend and it’s vibrant, colorful, and filled with star power and musical glory that’s guaranteed to make you dance in your seat – or at least guaranteed to make ME dance in my seat. Because I did!

I got a chance to fly out to see RIO (from the creators of the Ice Age series, Robots and that Joe’s Apartment cockroachy movie from the 90’s) for the star–studded movie premiere in Los Angeles, complete with blue carpet of course to match the star of the movie himself, a blue Macaw named, well, “Blu.”

And let me tell you, I’m a sucker for a good animated film, I mean who needs the kids around for a quiet afternoon of kids movies? Not me! (Is that weird?)

The cast of RIO overfloweth with big names: Oscar-nominees Jesse Eisenberg (from The Social Network) as the voice of “Blu” and the beautiful purpley bedazzly Anne Hathaway as his female blue Macaw counterpart, “Jewel.”


The cast also includes Oscar Winner Jamie Foxx, the Black Eyed Peas’, comedians George Lopez and Tracy Morgan, the beautiful Leslie Mann, egad the list goes on and on!

I’m not going to flutter around it; I loved RIO!

It was multi-dimensional and not just because of its wild 3D animation (which was great!), but because it takes you on a colorful soul-searching journey for one of life’s basic necessities: the ability to believe in yourself. That and there’s some adult humor that the kids won’t get (“Yipee Ki-Yay Monkey Man!” — only I don’t remember them saying “monkey man” in that other movie…I’m just sayin.)

The Story

RIO is a story about the last male blue Macaw named, “Blu” and his human best friend/slash/mom, “Linda” (voiced by Leslie Mann) who live in the quiet suburbs of Minnesota. Blu has a severe confidence problem: he doesn’t know how to fly and in fact, he’s sort of become a mama’s boy and has grown perfectly content with it with his feet firmly planted on the ground.

That all changes one day when a scientist named Tulio shows up at their door saying that he has the last female blue Macaw, he wants to save the species, and they all need to leave for Rio right away to save it!

Which means a little birdie va-va-va-voom! Something Blu is not sure he’s quite up for.


Eventually they go to Rio, and that’s where the adventure begins! Blu meets Jewel, things are anything but “va va va voom,” they get into some trouble when they meet up with an evil cockatoo named, “Nigel,” there’s chasing, there’s dancing, there are large men in tight gold, sequinned outfits that are way too small for them, this film has it all!

RIO is all about getting out of your own way and pushing expectations aside – of being in the moment and letting yourself fly,” sums up Anne Hathaway.

And that’s why I love it so much. Not to mention the beautiful, vivid brilliant colors that capture the feel and magic of Rio during Carnival (or what I would imagine it to be).

If the dialogue doesn’t draw in the kids (which it should – it’s funny and laced with that sort of “ick”-humor that kids love too), they’ll undoubtedly be dazzled by the beautiful colors and shiny objects at the very least.

The music

I LOVE this soundtrack! The eclectic drum beats, the music that moves you, all done in large part by and Taio Cruz, make you want to samba in your seat! Anne also happens to make her singing debut (I had no idea she could sing like that!) Jesse, however, also does some singing and he is no Anne (sorry Jesse). It’s really just a bunch of his monotone, yet humorous, deadpan-ness set to music but it’s still quite charming.

One of my favorite parts was walking by Jesse Eisenberg at the end of the film while he watched the credits; I wanted to lean over and nudge him with my elbow and congratulate him for a job well done (movie premiere etiquette?) but I was happy enough to have that moment to myself.

leslieThere’s a little bit of fighting in the film but definitely on a smaller scale than other animated films I’ve seen, so overall I think it’s just simply very fun and a hit for the whole family. In fact, RIO, which is a 20th Century FOX movie, is rated “G” and was just awarded the seal of approval by the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media! So go see it! You’ll enjoy it!

Want to WIN?

Would you and your family like to see the movie? To enter, leave us a comment about what kinds of movies you like to watch with your kids. Are you an animated fan — kids or no kids?

Our RIO prize pack includes:

  • A $50 Fandango gift card to see Rio
  • A Rio tee-shirt
  • And a Rio coloring book!

All you have to do is comment below! This giveaway ends on April 22nd, and we will announce the winner on April 23rd. Please see our site’s Terms and Conditions of Use.

I have got more RIO coverage to come — video with the stars on the “blue” carpet and an awesome roundtable discussion with RIO star, Leslie Mann, where we talk about stardom and parenthood (and you’ll find out if she has all the answers because I sure don’t!)

So stay tuned!

Disclosure: FOX paid my expenses to attend the press junket for Rio, but any opinions about the experience or the movie are completely my own.

Written by contributing editor, Christie O’ from Average Moms Wear Capes.


  1. says

    Love me some animated movies! I’d love to take the kids but movies in the theater are so expensive. Winning this would make it affordable for my family of 5!

  2. Joyanna Swartz says

    What an awesome experience! Sounds like a fun and exciting movie that adults and children will enjoy. Glad you where able to experience it :)

  3. Melanie Brock says

    Great Review Christie!!! We love these movies. But we don’t want to be entered in the prize pack, a family with kids should win. The movie sounds awesome and if we hadn’t planned on seeing it, we would now. And I never read reviews, but this one was so entertaining:)

  4. Diane says

    We love animated movies too but I must admit that we are throwbacks and use an old VCR to watch many of the older animated movies that are probably out on DVD already but it is less expensive for us to the VCR because we can get VCR tapes for 25 cents at a local thrift store here in town. We also can get really good animated movies, VCR or DVD’s, for free from the library. The most recent amimated movie we watched was Pocohontas. My girls can sit and watch all day long if I let them.

  5. says

    I love to watch animated movies…with or without the kiddo! My favorite all time animated movies are the Toy Story movies (all 3) but I’m a fan of MOST kid movies! Guess it’s a good thing I have a kiddo that loves movies!!

  6. says

    We’re definitely animated movie fans. I’ll watch them with or without kids, but of course it’s more fun with the kids! But we also like live action films, like Harry Potter, Wimpy Kid, and the Tooth Fairy!

  7. Melissa O. says

    Rio looks so cute! I could take all of my kids and I think we would enjoy it from my 13 year old to my three year old. I want to see it!

  8. says

    I love to watch movies with my 4 year old – she likes animated ones, so we usually watch those…though she loves the songs in old musicals, too! We haven’t been brave enough to take her to a movie theater though- this one sounds like it would hold her attention the whole time, so we may just have to give it a go!

  9. says

    We LOVE to go see movies as a family…it is one of the few ‘indulgences’ that we will allow ourselves because we all love to do it together!

  10. says

    We enjoy taking our young grandkids to to the theater but honestly…I would see Rio without them too!! ;D We’re very particular about what we let our grands view and Rio looks to be perfect for grandparents and grandchildren alike!!

  11. pam d. says

    I love the newer animation & how they pull the entire family into the story. It’s more fun for myself not to know the actors that are the character’s voices at the start, because I love trying to identify the voice! This one looks like a winner, even my older girls want to see this film.

  12. Mia says

    I bet the music in this movie is very good!!! Looks cute! Would love to take my son….(& his lil girlfriends) LOL

  13. says

    My son is all about going to the “big TV” to watch movies! This looks like a fun movie and would be perfect! Thanks for the chance!

  14. says

    My husband and I spent many a date at an animated movie before children. We like them – and now our daughter, who has been wanting to see Rio — does, too!

  15. Linda Henderson says

    My grandkids can’t wait to see this movie. Thank you for the great giveaway.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  16. Susan P. says

    We love watching animated movies, comedies, romantic comedies, suspense and Sci-fi as a family. My girls are older so we don’t have to worry about movie ratings any more. My 23 & 16 yr. old girls saw Toy Story 3 and loved it so we are still all about watching animated movies.

  17. Shelagh says

    I love to watch animated films with my kids and I even find myself watching them when they are not around, too. I would love to take them to see Rio!

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