The animated movie Rio has recently come out in many different countries around the world. It is the latest movie from Blue Sky Studios, which also made the Ice Age trilogy, and as in those three movies, the main characters are talking animals – this time two macaws (a kind of parrot) named Blu and Jewel.

            The story begins with Blu living in the house of his owner, Linda, who runs a bookstore in Minnesota, in the north of the United States. Though born in Brazil, Blu was taken to the US by tropical bird smugglers when he was very young, and is comfortable in his quiet life with Linda. He is a rather anxious bird who doesn’t like new experiences very much and has never learned to fly.

           One day, Linda meets a bird expert named Tulio who tells her that Blu is one of a very rare species. In fact, he is so rare that there is only one other macaw of the same kind anywhere in the world: a female named Jewel who lives in the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Tulio persuades Linda to take Blu to Rio, because getting him to meet Jewel is the only way of stopping their species from becoming extinct.

            The rest of the movie tells the story of the relationship between Blu and Jewel (which doesn’t start well: she dislikes him at first) and the adventures they have in Rio, as well as the human relationship between Linda and Tulio.

            At first, Blu finds Rio quite scary, but might his new experiences there change his personality? Could he even learn to fly? Blu again faces danger from bird smugglers, who capture him and Jewel, but the story is mostly very happy, with lots of jokes, music, and dancing. Rio is also beautiful to look at, with many of the characters being colorful Brazilian birds (plus some other animals) and with the mountains, forests, and beaches of Rio in the background.

            As with many other animations in recent years, the voices of some of the characters, including Blu and Jewel, are those of famous actors and musicians. Blu’s voice is that of Jesse Eisenberg (who played Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, in The Social Network) and Jewel’s is that of Anne Hathaway (who has starred in movies such as The Devil Wears Prada and Alice in Wonderland).

Here are some simple definitions for words that appear in the text. Find the words they refer to and fill in the blanks.

1.   e _ _ e _ t (noun): someone who knows a lot about a subject

2.   _ tu _ _ _ (noun): a room or rooms where people record music, a TV/radio program, or a movie

3.   s _ _ g _ _ e _ (noun): someone who secretly and illegally takes people, animals, or things into or out of a country, especially as a way of making money

4.   _ _ x _ o _ _ (adjective): worried because you think something bad might happen

5.   An animal or plant that doesn’t exist anymore is _ x _ _ n _ _ (adjective).

6.   c _ a _ _ _ _ e _ (noun): a person (or, as in Rio, an animal) in a book, play, movie, etc.

7.   d _ _ l _ _ _ (verb): to not like someone or something

8.   v _ i _ _ (noun): the sounds someone makes when they speak

9.   _ _ a _ y (adjective): making you feel frightened

10. c _ p _ _ _ e (verb): to catch someone so that they become your prisoner

11. r _ _ (verb): to control and organize something such as a business, organization, or event

12. _ dv _ _ _ u _ _ (noun): an exciting, unusual, and sometimes dangerous thing that you do, or that happens to you

13. The day when a new book or movie c _ _ _ _    o _ t (phrasal verb) is the first day you can buy it or see it.

14. b _ _ k _ r _ _ _ _ (noun): the part of a picture that is behind the main people or things in it

15. _ pec _ _ _ (noun): a group of animals or plants that are the same, and that are able to produce young animals or plants together

Related websites: Just take a look yourselves!

Lots of reviews of the movie from the website Rotten Tomatoes

From the National Geographic website, facts about macaws, including an audio clip of their call.


1. expert 2. studio 3. smuggler 4. anxious 5. extinct 6. character
7. dislike 8. voice 9. scary 10. capture 11. run 12. adventure
13. comes out 14. background 15. species


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