'Rio 2': The animated sequel brings viewers back to the bird world

'Rio 2' stars Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, and Jemaine Clement.

Paul Sancya/AP
'Rio 2' stars Bruno Mars.

Blue Sky Studios struck gold once with their 2002 film “Ice Age,” which was followed by three sequels, the most recent released in 2012.

Now the animation studio has produced its first non-“Ice Age” sequel with the film “Rio 2,” which is a follow-up to the 2011 film “Rio.” Like the first movie, “Rio 2” follows birds Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway), who met and fell in love in the first film. Now Blu and Jewel are traveling with their children from their home in Rio de Janeiro to the Amazon. 

Other actors returning for the sequel include Flight of the Conchords member Jemaine Clement, who voices Blu and Jewel’s enemy Nigel, a cockatoo; “The Other Woman” actress Leslie Mann, who voices the part of Linda, Blu’s owner; “300: Rise of an Empire” actor Rodrigo Santoro as Linda’s husband Tulio; and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” actor Jamie Foxx.

Singer Bruno Mars, among other actors, is joining the cast for the sequel and Mars is also lending a song to the film’s soundtrack. "Rio" earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song for the song "Real in Rio."

Eisenberg recently spoke with Collider about his work on the film.

“I think the new story they have is really cute and funny,” he said. “They allow me to bring my own sense of humor to it.”

The actor, who recently starred in the 2013 film “Now You See Me,” said it was an adjustment for him to learn how far to take his acting when he is only using his voice to express emotions. 

“Because it’s not a visual medium for the actor, you can push it a little bit,” Eisenberg said of voicing a character for an animated feature. “You can be a little bigger and do a little more as an actor.”

“Rio 2” is in theaters now.

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