Film A Week Week 14: Rio (2011) Guest Writer Jesus Figueroa of and


Jesus Figueroa is an Arts Editor for East Los Angeles College and contributor to Figueroa recently launched his own site,, that focus on the arts and entertainment with insight and delightful commentary. Follow him on Twitter @thisfunktional.

The colorful world of Rio Di Janeiro brings exciting celebrations. No celebration is more know than Carnival. Carnival attracts many people world wide and can bring people from all corners of the world. Along with the excitement and glamour that comes along with Carnival comes an underhanded side of Rio Di Janeiro that can get masked by all the colorful celebration. With an country that’s not as well off as others, Brazil, has a side to it that lies under the surface.

The animated comedy “Rio” puts one of the most colorful characters from Rio Di Janeiro in the middle of underground animal trafficking. Jesse Eisenberg voices main the blue macaw main character Blu who due to being smuggled out of Rio to the United States, accidentally dropped on a road in Moose lake, Minnesota and being raised by an over protective girl named Linda, voiced by Leslie Mann. Blu grows up to be a domesticated, intelligent bird who has never flown. Brazilian ornithologist Tulio, voiced by Rodrigo Santoro, visits Linda and explains that Blu is the last male blue macaw. Back in Rio a female blue macaw, named Jewel, voiced by Anne Hathaway, awaits him.


Linda is invited to bring Blu to Rio, so along with Jewel, they can save their species. They travel to Rio where Blu and Jewel meet in a large cage in the institute where Tulio works. Smugglers break in and steal the two blue macaws. Linda and Tulio look everywhere for Blu, who is chained to Jewel and hidden in a slum. Jewel and Blu end up escaping from their captors and befriend a group of birds that help them to get rid of their chains.It is Carnival and the group of smugglers and mean cockatoo, Nigel, do not intend to give up Blu and Jewel. They chase the birds through the crowded streets encountering few obstacles.


Blu and Jewel encounter monkeys that try and capture them. The long journey comes to an end and both macaws have come to learn more about each other and themselves in the process.


The film is completely adorable. Both macaws have their conflicting attitudes and bicker like an old married couple. It’s like they have been together for much too long. The emotion is definitely there but they way they express it towards each other comes through a bit on the aggressive side. Will.I.Am is one of the most interesting colorful characters in the film as Pedro and paired up along side Jaime Foxx as Nico the duo are spectacular and hilarious. Although they probably steal every scene their characters are in. The entire film is colorful, so colorful. It’s intense and quite bright. Even the night in this animated film seems too colorful to be dark. Linda, the librarian or nerd of the story seems to transform with just the change of outfit. Even though she always quite perky and cute for an animated character, she changes outfits and becomes a totally different character. At the end of the day, Rio is a delight from start to finish.

Next week, Online Editor of the East Los Angeles College Erik Luna will come in to cover the stopmotion feature that is as beautiful as it is terrifying to watch with Coraline.

Film A Week Week 15: Coroline (2007)

Saturday, April 20th


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