In Rio de Janeiro, the macaw baby Blu is captured and smuggled to the United States of America. While driving through Moose Lake, the truck that is transporting Blu has a minor accident that drops the box where he is trapped. The girl Linda(Leslie Mann) finds the bird and raises him with love. Fifteen years later, Blu(Jesse Eisenberg) is a domesticated and intelligent bird that does not fly and lives a comfortable life with the bookshop owner Linda. Out of the blue, the clumsy Brazilian ornithologist Tulio(Rodrigo Santoro) visits Linda and explains that Blu is the last male of his species alive and he has a female called Jewel(Anne Hathaway) in Rio de Janeiro. He invites Linda to travel with Blu to Rio to mate with Jewel and save their species. Linda travels with Blu and Tulio to Rio and they leave Blue and Jewel in a large cage in the institute where Tulio works. While they are having dinner, smugglers break in the institute and steal Blue and Jewel to sell them for foreigners. Linda and Tulio look everywhere for Blu that is chained to Jewel and hidden in a slum. Meanwhile, Jewel and Blu escape from their captors and befriend a group of birds that help them to get rid off the chain. It is Carnival and the smugglers and the mean cockatoo Nigel do not intend to give up of Blu and Jewel and are chasing the birds through the crowded streets.