The film was based on a true story of a Spix's macaw named Elvis, living in the United States. His owner agreed to let Elvis join the captive breeding program to help preserve his species.
This film has been cited as a reason why Pixar cancelled a film they were making with a similar story: "Newt".
When Nigel is recruiting the Marmosets for help, he threatens three monkeys after he tosses the main one in the sky. One monkey has his hands over his eyes, another over his ears, and another over his mouth. (See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil).
During production, Jesse Eisenberg was still working on The Social Network (2010). To compensate for time, he agreed to provide Blu's dialogue on weekends, admitting that it diverted him away from the mindset of his nearly-joyless Social Network character.
When Blu tells Jewel to check his math to verify that his plan to break their chain will work, a patch of sand is shown where Blu has scratched in the equation "f=G (m1 x m2 / R^2)". This is the formula for calculating the gravitational attraction between two bodies and can apply both literally to the rock and chain/Earth, as well as figuratively to Blu and Jewel.
Director Carlos Saldanha (himself a resident of Rio) first came up with the concept in 1995. Originally, it was about a penguin washing up on the beaches of the Brazilian city, but when he learned of the production of two penguin-related animation features - Happy Feet (2006) and Surf's Up (2007) - he was forced to radically re-write his screenplay.
The crew visited Rio de Janeiro, and also consulted with an expert on macaws at the Bronx Zoo.
When Linda and Tulio were dressed up in macaw costumes to walk in the parade, Tulio looks in the mirror and goes "Cyanopsitta Spixii!", the scientific name for the Spix's macaw.
The film lost out at the Academy Awards for Best Original Song to The Muppets (2011). This was the first time only two songs were nominated in the category, instead of the usual three or five. This lack of nominees in this particular category attracted widespread criticism, and led to a full slate of five nominees the following year.
Right before Blu and Jewel's escape from the smugglers hideout, it is possible to see that the soccer game on television is a match between traditional rivals Brazil and Argentina. This plausibly explains why everybody seems to be so obsessed in following the game - especially because the movie seems to indicate that the match is being held in the Maracanã Stadium, in Rio De Janeiro.
Linda and Blu live in Moose Lake, which is an actual small town in northern Minnesota.
Oreo created a Special Edition version of their cookies, with blue icing to tie-in with the release of the film.
Initially, Carlos Saldanha chose Neil Patrick Harris to voice Blu, but Harris had other commitments during production, so he left the project altogether, leaving Saldanha's second choice Jesse Eisenberg to take on the role immediately.
The creation of Angry Birds Rio (2011) marked the first time that an existing game was specifically adapted to accommodate the release of a film.
Nico and Pedro were named after two of the film's music department crew, while Rafael was named after the film's storyboard artist, Rafael Zentil.
20th Century Fox were initially rather annoyed when the MPAA slapped the film with a PG rating for "mild off-color humor". The studio resubmitted the movie to acquire a G rating instead.
During Rafael's first on-screen appearance, he starts addressing a few of his children by their names Manoela and Sofia. These names happen to belong to Carlos Saldanha's real-life kids.
Story art reveals that Nigel had a metal or robotic talon in early versions of the story.
When Blu is trying to fly, and is reading the fundamentals of flight by Ludwig and Trebetzkoy, those happen to be the last names of two of the four programmers of Blue Sky Studios Rendering software.
At the samba club fight, Jewel pulls the chain on her leg and hits Mauro between his legs. In great pain he expels two gems from his mouth, an adult joke referring to the "family jewels".
When Tulio first sees Blu in the store window, he says "arara!" which is Portuguese for "macaw."
The small turquoise-and-black, blue-and-black, and red-and-black birds seen in some parts of the film (such as Nigel's song "Pretty Bird") are honeycreepers.
When Blu, Jewel, and the rest of the gang fight the monkeys, there is a picture of Red the Angry Bird. When Rafael the toucan hits a monkey with his beak, the bird appears on the box.
This is the first Blue Sky Studios film to be produced in a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio; all of that company's previous films were produced in 1.85:1.
The movie was said to have been the reason for Disney and Pixar's "Newt" project, which had the same plot of having the lead character, who is of a rare species, having to mate with the female of his kind. John Lassetter, one of Pixar's senior heads, hinted, although not explicitly stated, that this was the case.
The song that Rafael starts singing after he says he remembers what was playing when he first laid eyes on Eva is "The Girl from Ipanema".
Nigel's full name is Cocks Nigel Cockatoo, Tulio's full name is Tulio Monteiro, and Blu's full name is Tyler Blu Gunderson.
Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway originally starred together in the short-lived sitcom Get Real (1999). There they played siblings. In this movie they play love interests.
This film, along with Ice Age (2002), Horton Hears a Who! (2008), and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) are the only four Blue Sky films to be nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Animated Film. What they all also have in common is that none of them won. Ice Age lost to Spirited Away (2002) (This was also the case at the 75th Academy Awards), Horton Hears a Who! lost to Kung Fu Panda (2008) and WALL-E (2008), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs lost to Monsters Vs. Aliens (2009) and How to Train Your Dragon (2010), and this film lost to Puss In Boots (2011).
The third computer-animated's musical film, after Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (2002) and Tangled (2010).
Jeffery Garcia's fourth animated film after Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius (2001), Barnyard (2006), and Happy Feet (2006).
The second film to star Jeffrey Garcia and Wanda Sykes together after Barnyard (2006).