• Amazon Music Takes Flight in Rio 2

    "Rio 2" gets more awesome with its soundtrack.
  • Award-winning film composer John Powell, who wrote the score for the blockbuster adventure animation “Rio,” returns in “RIO 2” as does Brazilian music legend Sergio Mendes as executive music producer, with additional songs by fellow Brazilian phenomenon Carlinhos Brown.

    Brazilian-born director Carlos Saldanha returns to “Rio 2” where we now find Blu and Jewel along with their chicks Tiago, Bia and Carla settled domestically with their human pals Linda and Tulio.  Following the colossal success of “Rio,” Carlos Saldanha once again transports us to his home country in the sequel, but this time we discover a very different part of Brazil, as Blu’s family and friends enter the heart of the Amazon jungle.

    “Rio 2” delivers another captivating story revolving around two Blue Spix Macaws, Jewel (Oscar winning actress Anne Hathaway) and Blu (Oscar nominated Jesse Eisenberg) who are settled in the city with their three children. Blu is perfectly contented with city life. He is a domesticated bird who prefers pancakes to Brazil nuts and only learned to fly quite recently. Jewel, however, has a deep yearning to return to her roots and live in nature. She worries that her family has no concept of what it means to be wild and free.

    As the family settles into this exciting new world, Blu finds his learning curve to be a steep one.  He is unable to handle even the most simple and important tasks, like building a nest and foraging for food.

    “Rio 2” also features performances by Brazilian artists Barbatuques, UAKTI, and prominent Brazilian singer-songwriter and guitarist Milton Nascimento.  For Saldanha, the reunion of his “dream team visionary musical artists” – Powell, Mendes and Brown – was critical, but only the first step in capturing a Brazilian beat quite different from the one that captivated audiences in “Rio.”

    “For Rio 2, we wanted to explore other rhythms and percussion from the north and northeastern parts of the country.  I think we have a very sophisticated and fun soundtrack," Saldahna explains.

    Sergio Mendes, who along with Carlinhos Brown and Siedah Garrett, was nominated for an Oscar for the song “Real in Rio,” from the first film, says, “Brazilian music is very rich, with different rhythms and beats.  There is so much diversity.”

    “Rio 2” opens with a grand scene in which the birds we met in the first picture – and a flock of their friends – soar together in a rousing musical celebration, to the song “What is Love,” performed by Janelle Monáe, R&B/Pop star, songwriter and producer.

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    UAKTI lends its unique percussion beats to the Brazilian version of “It’s a Jungle Out There,” performed along with Philip Lawrence, written by Jean Yves “Jeeve” Ducornet and Michael Diskint, and produced by Philip Lawrence and Jean Yves “Jeeve” Ducornet and John Powell.

    “Don’t Go Away” is a lullaby that Jewel sings to her three offspring on their first night in their new home in the Amazon.  The music and lyrics is by Flávia Maia (member of Barbatuques), and Taura Stinson, respectively.  It is performed by Anne Hathaway.

    Another show-stopping musical moment comes with Jemaine/Nigel and Kristin/Gabi’s impromptu rendition of the classic Gloria Gaynor hit “I Will Survive,” during the Amazon auditions.  The parody lyrics are by Jemaine Clement and co-screenwriter Yoni Brenner.

    The final big musical moment, “Batucada Familia,” comes during an Amazon version of Carnaval.  It is performed by Carlinhos Brown, Siedah Garrett, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, Rachel Crow, Amy Heidemann, Andy Garcia and Rita Moreno; with music by Carlinhos Brown, Sergio Mendes and John Powell; lyrics by Carlinhos Brown and Siedah Garrett; and produced by John Powell, Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown.

    “RIO 2” is now showing in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. 

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