Jamie Foxx just starred in Pixar’s acclaimed Soul – which is nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars – and another of the actor’s animated movies will soon be coming to Disney Plus, too. The streaming platform has been slowly adding Disney-compatible films from 20th Century Fox’s back catalog since its launch and one of the next ones to find its way onto the service will be 2011’s Rio, a Brazilian-American animation from Ice Age creators Blue Sky Studios.
Rio stars Jesse Eisenberg as Blu, a macaw from Rio de Janeiro who’s raised in Minnesota by a young girl after he’s smuggled out of the country. But when an ornithologist discovers he’s the last male of his species, Blu is returned to his native city to mate with the last surviving female – the fiercely independent Jewel (Anne Hathaway). Along the way, he meets a range of colorful animal characters including Foxx’s samba-loving canary Nico. The terrific voice cast also includes Tracy Morgan, Jemaine Clement and Leslie Mann.
It’s not one of the most celebrated movies on Blue Sky’s roster, but Rio made a lot of cash at the time – earning back $485 million globally off a $90 million budget – and received warm reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it sports a perfectly solid score of 72% and an almost equal audience score of 71%. The critics consensus reads: “This straightforward movie reaches great heights thanks to its colorful visual palette, catchy music, and funny vocal performances.” A sequel, Rio 2, reuniting the voice cast from the original, was released in 2014, though it didn’t fare quite as well.
Unfortunately for fans of their films, Blue Sky Studios was closed down by Disney following their Fox acquisition, but at least one of their more underrated efforts can soon be found on Disney Plus. Rio is due on the platform in the United States and Canada on Friday, April 16th.