One of our favorite family movie premieres so far this year certainly is Rio 2 from Blue Sky Studios & 20th Century Fox which opens nationwide on April 11th. Since our blog platform is all about helping parents guide their children through the tween and teen years with a cultural twist, we certainly appreciated the movie’s ‘go back to your roots’ themes and family-oriented storyline.
We enjoyed the press interviews with the full cast. It was a treat to meet two well-loved hombres among the Latino community, George Lopez and Andy Garcia- who both play great roles in the new film. Following the actual movie premiere we had the added benefit of meeting the ever-charming Kristin Chenoweth who was so awesome with our girls- stopping to pose for a quick photo and talking with me following the interviews. She’s so genuine!
See our first meet-up with Kristen Chenoweth: https://lostweens.com/activities/rio-2-is-a-party-for-the-entire-family-giveaway.html
There are three themes that really resonated with us as parents and the tweens themselves: the idea of finding your roots while you still love your family and current location, the fantastic music and the environmental message. As we were dancing our way out of the movie premiere the first thing the tweens said to us was ‘can we download the music?!’. Considering that the music is all based on samba and Latina American rhythms according to the film’s Executive Movie Producer Sergio Mendes, we were ecstatic that our American-born kids were exposed to it and loved it instantly. The music ignited a full discussion regarding various musical rhythms, the origins of Brazilian music and the various sounds and dances that come from Latin America. My piano-playing daughter even told her music instructor about the theme song “What is Love” by the lovely Janelle Monaé and other selections.
The environmental message is one true to our hearts. In our homes we’re heavy recyclers. Katherine has a composting area and I collect all things plastic, metal and aluminum at parties while annoying the hosts most of the time! Today’s parents may not be pushing the importance of environmental messages with their kids because they assume they’re hearing it in school. The movie very vividly connects the loss of Blu & Jewel’s colony to the ongoing deforestation of the Amazon but in a kid-friendly, visually appealing way. We loved it and the kids certainly took notice as we discussed it right after the movie.
During the press session we asked Director Carlos Saldahna why it was important for him to share his love of his homeland Brazil with global audiences and he shared these insights that “the message of the Amazon was essential, we had to include it,” he said.
Check out this interview:
It also was great to hear directly from Anne Hathaway, who is the voice of central-figure Jewel, talking about how she grew up with a friend who was Brazilian and the movie-making process took her back to her childhood. Culture and connecting with your own family history and roots took center stage in Rio 2 and each of the actors touched on why that was important to them in some way. It was a very unique experience they each shared. Director Saldahna spoke beautifully of Anne, describing that she cared deeply about the project and its message.
It is always fun to see older kids enjoy a fun, animated movie- we all become young kids again. We hope you and your familia enjoy Rio 2 as much as we did. Please be sure to share your insights with us! Rio 2 opens nationwide on April 11th.
Vamos vê-lo no Rio! (We’ll see you in Rio!)
As a mother of twin tweens in 2011 and an active Girl Scout Troop leader, Cristy realized there was a need to develop bilingual digital content and foster a community facing the challenges of raising kids after first grade. That year she founded and remains co-Publisher of Los Tweens & Teens, to support multicultural parents and mentors with content related to raising Gen Z- tweens & teens ages 7-18. Through the Los Tweens & Teens LIVE events such as Teens & Me – the growing team aims to provide our community with essential resources from chats with therapists to battle anxiety and bullying, to understanding social media and technology.
A New Jersey native of Cuban decent, Cristy is a board member of Amigos For Kids – a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing child abuse in the South Florida community. She is a teenage cancer survivor and speaks nationally at conferences and volunteers with cancer-awareness organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of South Florida.