‘Rio’ is a great animated, family film
In this publicity image released by 20th Century Fox, animated characters, from left, Raphael, voiced by George Lopez, Blu, voiced by Jesse Eisenberg, and Jewel, voiced by Anne Hathaway, are shown in a scene from "Rio." (AP Photo/20th Century Fox) Blue Sky Studios

Blu (voice of Jesse Eisenberg, also known as Mark Zuckerberg from "The Social Network"), a very rare Macaw bird, is discovered accidentally by a girl named Linda. He was being transported from Rio de Janeiro and somehow ended up in Minnesota. Linda vowed that she would always take good care of him, and she kept her promise; 15 years went by, and Linda and Blu were inseparable.

Linda (voice of Leslie Mann, also known as Scarlett O'Donnell from "17Again"), took such good care of Blu that he was beyond domesticated. He could do anything, from reading books that Linda had at her bookstore to unlocking doors. He could do all things a bird could do except fly. Life was good. Linda and Blu had their routine each day and were loving life.

Then one day, a man named Tulio (voice of Rodrigo Santoro, also known as Karl in "Love Actually"), came into Linda's bookstore and had some news that would change Blu's and Linda's lives forever. He informed Linda that there was another Macaw in Rio de Janeiro that was a female, and that if Blu and Linda did not go back with him immediately to Rio it could mean the end of Blu's species forever. Linda was not comfortable with the idea because of how much of a "house pet" Blu had become, and him being able to be out in the open in Rio de Janeiro made her uneasy. Tulio assured her that they would be in an enclosed, safe environment at his bird clinic so Linda eventually caved in. They left for Rio on an unforgettable adventure of their lifetime.

Upon arriving in Rio, Blu meets the other Macaw, named Jewel (voice of Anne Hathaway, also known as Emma Allan in "Bride Wars"), who is the total opposite of Blu. While Blu likes having his mirror in his cage and being locked in a safe environment all the time, Jewel likes to be free and not caged up. During their first encounter with each other, poachers break into the animal clinic that they are at and take Blu and Jewel away. Blu and Jewel are chained together but manage to break away from the poachers. However, they have more obstacles they will have to overcome than just being chained together when one of them doesn't know how to fly.

This is a great animated film to take the whole family to that is full of adventure, laughs, life lessons, musical numbers and some very entertaining new friends that Blu and Jewel make along the way. Additional voices include Jamie Foxx (as Nico), Will.i.am (as Pedro), Wanda Sykes (as Chloe), George Lopez (as Rafael) and Tracy Morgan (as Luiz).

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School.

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