At the start of Rio 2 domesticated blue macaw Blu, his wife Jewel and three kids leave their computers, iPods and busy city life in Rio de Janeiro to get back to basics and research their heritage in the Amazon rainforest. Thinking they’re the only blue macaws left in the world, they find others like them and soon Jewel wants to stay while Blu yearns for the comfortable life he’s always known.
The characters in Rio 2 are as colorful as the setting. Upbeat musical numbers will have the audiences laughing if not dancing. While Blu still plays the affable, clumsy guy like in the original, this time it’s just not as funny for the head of a household.
Kid Focused Grades for Rio 2:
Compelling story line- B
There are several interesting plot lines at once. The family travels to, and acclimates to, life in the rainforest. Blu has his own internal and external struggles. The rainforest animals try to defend their habitat from loggers. Since many American school children study the rainforest today they will enjoy seeing it in action on the big screen.
Strong message- B-
Viewers will identify with the theme of why it’s important to retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life to recharge every once in a while. The complexities of the rainforest are shown. Blu lives by the motto: “Happy wife, happy life,” though she doesn’t seem to reciprocate.
Leading character is a role model- C
Blu is a kind, generous leading character, but he’s a doormat. He’s humiliated throughout the film and depicted as a weak father and husband. His kids don’t respect him. Jewel’s childhood boyfriend openly flirts with her in front of Blu. There are plenty more examples of this throughout Rio 2. When I said so to my sixth grade son afterwards, he immediately said, “Yeah, I noticed that everyone, even his kids always made fun of him.”
Sexual or adult content – A-
The villain, cockatoo Nigel, has a poisonous frog sidekick and she is obsessed with him. Bruno Mars’s character flirts openly with Jewel, who is married.
Language and Violence- B
A few bullying words like “stupid” and “idiot” are said, which is surprising because of its G-rating. There are some scenes when rainforest animals prey on smaller creatures, which could be frightening to young viewers.
Suited for the whole family- A-
Rio 2 is for kids 5 and older.
Overall Kid Focused Grade for Rio 2: B
Rated G, Running Time: 1 hour 40 minutes