USA Today published a sneak peak at Blue Sky Studio’s upcoming animation film Rio 2. A while ago we were given a teaser trailer for the film; however, that didn’t provide anything substantial about the film’s plot and characters. So now we’re in for a real South American treat.
Rio 2 will continue the story our favorite rare macaw couple Blu and Jewel as they adjust to their new life in a rare-bird reserve in Rio de Janeiro. However, the happy feathered couple has expended their family and have three full grown children named Carla, Bia, and Tiago. Blu still has his domesticated quirks from his old life, such as his insistence of making pancakes for breakfast, but for the most part, the family lives a very idyllic happy life.
All of this goes out the window when Jewel discovers that her long-lost father and old clan are still alive, living deep within the Amazon rainforest. Their habitat is under attack and Jewel must help save her former home and family. The problem is her father, Eduardo, doesn’t trust human and won’t accept Blu, the formerly domesticated bird who he sees as a threat. Another problem: Jewel’s ex-boyfriend Roberto is still on the scene and is trying to still up some jealousy for Blu. Blu, of course, gets paranoid, even though the majority of the re-kindled sparks between Jewel and Roberto are just in his head.
Oh, that’s not all. The nefarious cockatoo villain, Nigel, has returned and is set on getting revenge on the Blu and his family. To help carry forth his vindictive plan, Nigel enlists the help of a non-speaking anteater named Charlie and a poisonous frog named Gabi.
- Blu (Jesse Eisenberg): The awkward blue macaw returns, but this time, he has a wife and kids to protect. While he now lives as a “wild” parrot in the preserve, he’s still stuck on some of his old domesticated quirks from being a house parrot.
- Jewel (Anne Hathaway): The confident blue macaw not only has a husband and kids to take care of, but she also has to save her father and old clan.
- Carla (Rachel Crow): The oldest, music-loving child.
- Bia (Amandla Stenberg): The middle child who is a braniac.
- Tiago (Pierce Gagnon): The youngest bird of the family who is also the only boy.
- Eduardo (Andy Garcia): Jewel’s long-lost father who has been living deep in the Amazon with the rest of his blue macaw clan. He doesn’t trust humans, even if their intentions are pure. As a result, he rejects Blu and won’t give him the time of day.
- Roberto (Bruno Mars): Jewel’s ex-boyfriend who is set on re-kindling some feelings between him and Jewel.
- Nigel (Jemaine Clement): This evil cockatoo returns to get revenge on Blu and his family. He will stop at nothing and recruits the help of Charlie and Gabi to help him infiltrate the reserve and rainforest and do some “fowl damage on the clan.”
- Charlie: A non-speaking anteater who is helping Nigel getting his revenge on the parrot family.
- Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth): A poisonous frog who is infatuated with Nigel. According to Chenoweth, “Have you ever been in love before? Have you ever done something in the name of love you maybe wished you hadn’t? That’s my little Gabi.”
- Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro): The good-looking wildlife preservationist, who works at the Rio de Janeiro bird reserve.
- Linda (Leslie Mann): Blu’s former owner, who has moved from her comfy home in Minnosota to the Brazilian aviary reserve to be closer to both Blu and Tulio.
It would be a huge miss having Chenoweth in your film and not feature her in a musical number. So, much like the first film, Rio 2 will have a featured song (hopefully, giving the studio another Oscar nomination). This song will be sung by Nigel and Gabi, allowing Chenowethe and Clement to sing together. Personally, as someone who adores everything the great Cheno does, I can’t wait to hear what this song ends up sounding like.
The stills look spectacular. The bright, vibrant world of Brazil is still in full force in this film. It will be interesting to see how the visuals have been improved upon and even changed for this new film. Either way, the photos are eye candy. I particularly love the one of Jewel and Roberto, and the design of Gabi the frog.
Personally, I’m pretty pumped for this film. I rather surprisingly enjoyed Rio and enjoyed the change in scenery. While it was a big win for Blue Sky Studios, I hope that this installment keeps the franchise fresh and that they don’t kill the good thing they have going here Ice Age style.
Rio 2 hits theaters April 11, 2014.