Subsequently outperformed by the 2014 sequel, Rio has soared into a viable franchise for Brazilian film-maker Carlos Saldanha and the Blue Sky animation studios. Nigh-on irresistible if you like birds and samba, this dazzlingly colourful, mischievous musical adventure quickly migrates from small-town Minnesota to the carnival atmosphere of Brazil’s capital. Jesse Eisenberg adds a nasal inflection to the voice of domesticated, flightless macaw Blu, whose adoptive owner returns him to Rio in order to mate with the aviary-incarcerated Jewel (Anne Hathaway) – he’s the last male of the species. The head-spinning action involves rare-bird smugglers, a flight to freedom and assorted non-humans including a samba- loving canary (Jamie Foxx), a salivating bulldog (30 Rock’s Tracy Morgan) and a villainous cockatoo (Jemaine Clement). It’s fast and furious, with songs by will.i.am and Brazilian veteran Sergio Mendes.
For more of today’s free-to-air films, see our TV listings