In the animated film “Rio 2,” bird spouses Jewel (voiced by Oscar winner Anne Hathaway) and Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg), along with their three kids, leaving their domesticated life in that magical city for a journey to the Amazon. They encounter a menagerie of characters who are born to be wild, voiced by Andy Garcia, Oscar winner Rita Moreno, Bruno Mars and Kristin Chenoweth.
Other actors in the all-star voice cast of “Rio 2” include George Lopez, Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, will.i.am, Jemaine Clement, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Mann, Bruno Mars, Rodrigo Santoro, Janelle Monáe and Natalie Morales. Here is what these “Rio 2” co-stars said in an interview at the movie’s press junket in Miami.
What can you say about “Rio 2”?
Garcia: I play the patriarch of the blue birds in the Amazon: a guy by the name of Eduardo, who is Blu’s father. And that’s as much as I’d like to reveal, because everything else is a surprise.
Eisenberg: In this movie, they [Blu and Jewel] are married, they have three kids. And a big change for them, interrupting their quiet, private life, is that they discover there are more of their kind in the Amazon. Jewel convinces Blu that they should find these birds and meet their family.
Hathaway: My character Jewel, in the first film, she’s kind of had a bit of a rough go of it. She lost her family when she was very young and has been surviving on her own. She’s kind of developed a tough edge, a wall around herself. Maybe she’s turned her heart to ice a little bit, but Blu has unfrozen it. So at the end of the film, they’re in love and have kids.
The second film picks up where the first film left off. She’s got a happy life, but she does miss where she’s from. She does not want to see her kids grow up too domesticated, with too many human traits. She wants them to get back to their roots to figure out who they really are.
And so, when they hear that there may be more birds like them in the Amazon, they go off on this adventure. And when they arrive, they find out that the opposite of what she believed to be true is true, and her family is alive.
Foxx: I play Nico in this movie. I play a little yellow bird. I just love playing birds.
Lopez: I play Raphael, the leader of Carnival. I play the surveyor of all fun … and a good friend to Luiz [voiced by Tracy Morgan].
What makes the “Rio 2” sequel special?
Lopez: I think it starts with Carlos [Saldanha], the director. To have everybody come back, to have great characters, I think everybody who worked on this movie realizes how passionate he is about this, what it means to him, being from Brazil. And that’s infectious in all of us. We don’t want to do a bad job. And also, we know that he loves it so much. To see the first [“Rio” movie] succeed, you want this one to do as well or better than you expect it to.
Morgan: It’s good chemistry. When you see all these great artists and actors getting together, doing one thing, you can’t go wrong. It’s a great movie, great music, colorful and inspiring.
Besides your own character, who’s your favorite character in “Rio 2”?
Lopez: I like the little toad.
Foxx: I like Nigel.
Morgan: I like [Pedro, voiced by] Will.i.am. He’s funny.
For more info: "Rio 2" website