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Posted on April 9, 2011
A José Carioca for our times? Blu the macaw, voiced by Jesse Eisenberg. Rio Production year: 2011 Country: USA Cert (UK): U Runtime: 95 mins Directors: Carlos Saldanha Cast: Anne Hathaway, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Jane Lynch, Jemaine Clement, Jesse Eisenberg, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro, Wanda Sykes, Will.i.am More on this film
During the second world war the Disney studio created an animated parrot called José Carioca, a street-wise, cigar-chomping citizen of Rio de Janeiro, to further the cause of President Roosevelt’s Good Neighbour policy towards Latin America by appearing in a series of movies and comic books, most famously The Three Caballeros, which had its world premiere in Mexico City in 1944. A very similar bird is to be found in the 3D Rio, a Brazilian blue macaw named Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) who accidentally falls into the hands of a bespectacled bookshop assistant in Minnesota.
She’s persuaded to bring Blu to Rio to mate with Jewel (Anne Hathaway), the only other surviving blue macaw, and some mildly diverting fun is had when they’re abducted by precious-bird thieves on the eve of the annual carnival. Blu is a likable character if a trifle too complacently domesticated, the film is the work of the people who made the Ice Age pictures, its writer-director, Carlos Saldanha, is a native of Rio, and children should enjoy it.