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Short takes

Parental guidance recommended under 6 (Disturbing scenes).

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Rio
  • a review of Rio completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 7 April 2011.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Parental guidance recommended due to disturbing scenes
Children 6 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Rio
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length: 96 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Rio is a story about the adventures of a bird called Blu (Jesse Eisenberg). As a baby bird while happily living in the South American rainforest, he is captured by bird smugglers and taken to Minnesota. There he falls out of a truck and is rescued by a little girl called Linda (Sofia Scarpa Saldanha). Linda takes good care of him and over the years the two develop a strong bond.

The adult Linda (Anne Hathaway) owns a little bookshop where Blu is her constant companion. One day Dr Barbosa (Gracinha Leporance) walks into her shop. He is an ornithologist from Rio and is looking for Blu. Apparently Blu is the last surviving male blue macaw and Dr Barbosa has the last female one. He is hoping that if they are put together they will mate and save the species.

Linda and Blu reluctantly travel to Dr Barbosa’s bird rescue centre in Rio. There Blu gets to meet his new partner Jewel but they don’t get on at all well to start with, as Jewel sees Blu as just a pampered pet. Everything changes, however, when they are kidnapped by bird smugglers and another adventure begins.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Cruelty to animals; Separation from family

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • When Blu is put in a cage with Jewel she attacks him
  • Blu and Jewel are kidnapped from the bird rescue shelter. They are shoved into a cage and terrorised by Nigel, a nasty parrot. Nigel also terrorises the other birds in the cages by snapping at them and pushing their cages.
  • Nigel bullies the monkeys into doing what he wants by picking one up and dropping him, catching him at the last minute and threatening to drop him again.
  • Nigel grabs a little bird and squeezes it to get information. The bird is clearly very scared
  • Jewel is grabbed by Nigel, carried off by the legs and put in a cage
  • The smugglers are constantly hitting each other and the leader is threatening.
  • At one point, the captured birds escape from a plane flown by the smugglers. Nigel ends up in one of the propellers.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children in this age group, including the following:

  • Baby Blu falls out of a tree and is captured. He squawks sadly and looks very scared when he is by himself in a box.
  • The little boy who steals Blu and Jewel to deliver them to the smugglers has no family. He sits by himself in a makeshift house of sheet metal and tins and looks very lonely and forlorn.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing of concern

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

Nothing of concern

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Blu and Jewell are left together in the hope that they will mate and produce babies, so there is some reference to giving them some privacy.
  • Some innuendo as Blu is advised on how to ‘get the girl’ throughout the film

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • The two parrots kiss.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Linda and Dr Barbosa drink wine together with their meal

Coarse language

Mild language such as “butt” and putdowns such as “idiot”

In a nutshell

Rio is a movie that is likely to be enjoyed by most children, although children under 6 could be disturbed by scenes in which there is violence or people and animals are threatened. The main message from the film is the importance of loyalty and perseverance in caring for those you love, as shown by Linda in her search for Blu.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:  

  • trust
  • love
  • loyalty

Many of the conflict situations were sorted out with physical fighting so parents may also wish to discuss alternative ways in which these conflicts could have been resolved.