Rio tells the story of Blu, a socially awkward blue macaw so sheltered that he doesn't even know how to fly. One day Blu's owner is approached by a bird expert from Rio de Janeiro, and the film's main dramatic quest is posed: getting Blu laid. Seriously, the whole film revolves around Blu's ability to get some feathery poontang from a fellow blue macaw named Jewel.
And she's all like, "Who will save your soul ... if you won't save your own?"
As it turns out, Blu is the last male member of his species, and this is an attempt to prevent the blue macaws from going extinct. Blu being the last dude on Earth, however, isn't a compelling enough reason for his date, because he's Jesse Eisenberg and she's Anne Hathaway. Eventually Blu mans up and learns to fly, saving the day from vicious bird smugglers and impressing Jewel into spreading her legs for him ... or, you know, however that works.
Later, we see that their mating was successful, meaning that their species is saved ... right?
No bird sex is actually depicted, so you can take this off your Netflix queue.
They Forgot to Mention ...
Nope, they're all doomed anyway. The plot of Rio is actually pretty similar to the real-life story of a blue (or (Spix's) macaw named Presley, who was discovered in Colorado in 2002 and was also taken to Brazil to help save his species with his dong. The end of the story, however, isn't as happy as the DreamWorks version.
For one thing, there was little choreography involved.
Remember how we mentioned that Blu was the last male blue macaw? Yeah, nature simply does not like that. Even if there's more than one female, every new macaw from then on will still be a descendant of the same guy, which will be devastating for their genes. Inbreeding causes serious health problems in the population and has caused species to go extinct in the past -- some types of felines, for example, essentially bred themselves into dead ends. In other words, all that boning was for nothing.
In reality, there are somewhere around 80 blue macaws in the world, and even that appears to be way too few to save them. Most are related to each other, leading to all the problems mentioned above -- so when Presley was discovered in 2002 and found to be genetically diverse, scientists were hopeful that he could help mix up those genes a little. However, Presley's first batch of eggs turned out to be infertile, so his partner was taken away from him and no further attempts to mate him were made.
Scientists make the worst wingmen.
If the scientist in Rio had mentioned that by "saving the species" he meant "producing a few more generations of sick, genetically doomed birds," Blu's owner probably wouldn't have bothered. Sadly, this also means "Let's repopulate the species" is no longer a valid come-on in apocalyptic situation (sorry, everyone).
For more reasons children's movies should come with R ratings, check out 6 Classic Kids Shows Secretly Set in Nightmarish Universes and 9 Traumatizing Moments from Classic Kids Movies.
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