The Crew Flocks to Miami!
Rio 2 has made its international and domestic debut, breaking Brazil’s record for the best opening weekend of the year. However, little does the world know that Rio 2 has been setting international records even before the film’s release!
The World Premiere of Rio 2 in Miami Beach, which crewmembers were able to attend, kicked off with Director Carlos Saldanha and a flock of samba dancers eager to set the Guinness World Record for the Largest Samba Dance. Record guidelines required that all dancers had to be clothed traditionally and had to dance to choreographed moves (no freestyling allowed!) for at least five minutes. The historic 256 dancers were then awarded after a Guinness World Records adjudicator verified that all procedures were followed correctly.
For those of you who think it ended there- think again! The five record-breaking minutes that jump-started the premiere at Miami’s iconic Fontainebleau Hotel, lead way to an incredible evening of Brazilian inspired grandeur. From the food, Carnaval costumes and drinks, to the live music and appearances by Rio 2 talent, which included Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Rodrigo Santoro, Andy Garcia, Kristin Chenoweth, Jemaine Clement, Tracy Morgan and Jake T. Austin, it was no wonder Rachel Crow (Carla) said in an interview, “I’ve never been to a party this fun.. EVER!” 
The night continued to pick up momentum when Janelle Monaé took the stage with her hit single from the Rio 2 soundtrack ‘What is Love’. On the outdoor stage, Blue Macaws danced on the backdrop screen as a live band with a horn section and back up singers accompanied Janelle’s performance. By this time the sun had gone down, allowing colorful lights to illuminate the stage as if Nigel himself was singing ‘I Will Survive!’
As the night progressed more incredible performances went down from Ester Dean, Carlinhos Brown, Sergio Mendes, Andy Garcia and Jamie Foxx, whom had no problem getting the crowd fired up in between acts.
According to Director Carlos Saldanha’s Assistant, Shanna Robalino, “My favorite part of the night was definitely when Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown and Andy Garcia performed together as we all celebrated the world premiere of our movie - it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience! I must say though,” says Robalino, who’s been working at Blue Sky for four years this October, “my most memorable moment was when Jemaine Clement photobombed me!”
As the spectacular celebration came to an end, many of the Blue Sky crewmembers got the opportunity to mingle with Rio 2 talent and capture an end of the night photo with our infamous conquering cockatoo, Jemaine Clement (check it out above!).
According to Blue Sky Studios’ COO/EVP, Brian Keane, “Celebrating at that type of event with so many Blue Sky crewmembers that worked so hard on the film was great. It’s a great way for the crew to meet the talent (voices) of their characters and for the talent to meet and admire the people who created them. To watch them enjoy the film together is an amazing thing.”
The opportunity to attend such an event was highly appreciated by the crew, who praised the company culture and generosity in allowing them to experience such a night.
"By allowing crew members to attend the Miami Premiere, it made me feel more motivated,” says Human Resource Assistant, Lucy Manos. “The fact that they allowed all walks of the company to attend made us feel so proud and appreciated. The best part was that I got to know a lot of the crew and talent on a personal level. Because of this trip, I am even more excited to be a part of BSS!”
Robalino was another crewmember that felt connected to the crew and talent throughout the night.
“Everyone was just so happy to be together in Miami to celebrate the amazing work that was done on Rio 2,” says Robalino. “Whether you were a voice on the movie, an animator, a lighter, a PA or involved in any other department- everyone was just so excited to be together to reflect on what was achieved.”
In addition to the celebration, Rio 2, along with talent Jamie Foxx and Andy Garcia, were the first ‘Blue Stars’ inaugurated into Miami’s Walk of Fame. On top of that, Director Carlos Saldanha was honored at Cinemacon in Las Vegas with the International Filmmaker of the Year Award.
We expect to keep the celebration alive the next few months as Rio 2 plays in theaters around the world; the same celebration that helped us kick off the World Premiere of Rio 2 last month down in Miami.
“There was so much joy in partying with the people who worked so hard on the movie,” says Rio 2 Producer John Donkin. “The level of enthusiasm was incredible and everyone was charged. The music, the event setting, it was such a nice night- the spirits were high.”