Blu (Full name "Tyler Blu Gunderson") is the main protagonist of Rio and Rio 2. He is the last male blue macaw to ever exist since Marcel and the smugglers he leads made the rest of them go extinct. For this, he was raised by a girl named Linda Gunderson in Moose Lake, Minnesota, for fifteen years. While he is able to do stunts as transportation (as revealed on a set of rings and on a hut in the jungle), drink from a cup, dunk things, read, use a pencil, and has the intelligence of a human, he cannot fly. It isn't until the end that he is actually a hero, nor is it until then that he has gained his flight.
Blu is first shown as a newborn chick, dancing along to the first half of "Real in Rio". He then begins trying to fly as the other birds are being smuggled, but then falls from the tree. He eventually gets captured on a plane too. As a truck in snowy Minnesota is being driven with them, the door to the back of the truck opens and the crate with the blue macaw chick inside it falls out. He is then found by a juvenile Linda Gunderson who raises him and names him Blu (full name: Tyler Blu Gunderson). She threw him birthday parties of his own, took him to a spelling bee, and even to her high school promenade. He then begins their daily routine at Linda's home and business place, Blu Macaw Book Store. He gets out a box of cereal and helps her make toast. He is then tricked into taking his vitamins, which he knows is good for him (as Linda uses the cereal box to get him to open his mouth). He then takes a toy police car and slides down the banister onto Linda's shoulder. He then opens the book store. Linda gives him some hot chocolate with marshmallows and chocolate chip cookies (Factual error: Chocolate is toxic for macaws). He is then ridiculed by two Canda Geese named Alice and Chloe who are both then scared off by an ornothologist named Tulio Monteiro. Tulio tells Linda that Blu is special; in fact, he is the last male of his kind. Tulio invites Linda and Blu to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to meet with a recently-discovered female named Jewel. Tulio tells her that it could be their last chance and that if they don't do it, his whole species will go extinct. Linda comforts Blu, as even she doesn't want to be doing this, but she wanted the species to be saved.
On the way to Tulio's aviary, Blu is met by a red-crested cardinal named Pedro and a yellow canary named Nico, one of whom mistakes sunscreen (that Linda had put on Blu's beak) for pigeon doo-doo. They give him advice on how to interact with a girl. Blu then meets a "sick" Cockatoo named Nigel and tells him to get well soon, only to be glanced at sinisterly. He is then put in a cage where a Portuguese-speaking Jewel is. She attacks him and then realizes he is an "American". When Jewel asks him if he is ready (to escape), he thinks she meant to ask if he was ready to kiss, so he tries, much to her dismay. Tulio then turns on Lionel Richie's Academy-Award winning song "Say You, Say Me" (from "White Nights"), but Jewel attacks him, and Tulio and Linda leave them alone, assuming it worked on getting them to mate. Moments later, after Nigel attacks Sylvio, he lets an impoverished orphan named Fernando in the aviary to capture Blu and Jewel. As they are being carried to a trio of poachers, the two birds play dead. As soon as Marcel, the head smuggler, finds out the birds are "dead", Jewel bites him and flies, but is later angry that Blu didn't follow him and doesn't know why. Blu and Jewel then get their feet chained up together by Marcel. They are then locked up with other captive birds. Much later, as Jewel is trying to get out, Blu unlocks it. It embarrasses him and Jewel for her to find out he can't fly. They then run away from Nigel and the poachers until they enter the jungle, much to Blu's dismay. He dislikes it because of the food chain, such as when a firefly is eaten by a frog, which is eaten by a snake, which Jewel says is the reason birds stay in the trees, and not on the ground. Blu picks a man-made hut, which he uses tricks to "drag her butt up". He denies the need for flying, but then is told that flying is freedom and not having to rely on anyone else. He then gets some sleep.
The next morning, Blu and Jewel both attempt to break the chain using a pulley, a rope and a boulder, but it doesn't work. They are then attacked by juvenile toucans, and then meet their father Rafael. It isn't until after his mate, Eva, allows him to take them to his friend Luiz, that Blu reveals that he cannot fly. On their way, Rafael tries to teach him to fly, by hinting out that flying is what you feel in your heart. They attempt, only to have a fall, but fortunately, they land on a hang glider. As Blu attempts to fly (but doesn't feel the rhythm in his heart), he and Jewel fall, only to land on another glider, and for Blu to accidentally get his beak through another. They then keep falling and have accidents on the beach. They then catch a truck full of guavas.
On the way, the two birds go to a samba club, where they party (as a distraction while waiting for the next trolley to Luiz's garage, as Luiz himself had already taken the previous one), only to be interrupted by marmosets, who are trying to get Blu and Jewel to come with them under Nigel's orders. They fight with the other birds on their side against the monkeys. The Roseate spoon-bill bird, Kipo (though his name isn't revealed in any dialogue or the captions, except as "Bird" in the latter), gives the two a lift and puts them onto a trolley when they find it (though a chain of the monkeys stops them, and Nico has to use his bottle-cap hat as a boomerang to hit the one monkey grabbing the macaws), with Rafael, Nico and Pedro following.
Later, riding on the trolley, when Rafael tells him to tell Jewel she has beautiful eyes, simply because he didn't know that the "You have beautiful eyes" was just a quote he should tell Jewel, he tells her that he (Blu) has beautiful eyes. This doesn't work well on Jewel. When Rafael tells him what he meant, Blu attempts to say it. Then he attempts to tell her how he feels (as Rafael told him), only to choke on a blossom petal and spoil the moment.
Later, after Blu and Jewel are in Luiz's garage (after finding out he is a drooly bulldog, something Jewel has against dogs), he attempts to cut the chain using a buzz saw, only for things to go wrong. However, when Luiz catches the chain in his mouth, drool lubricates over the macaws' feet, unchaining them. Blu is thrilled, but is upset that they are now parting. When Rafael tells the macaws to be completely honest with each other, Blu gets into an argument, and even claims to hate samba, much to the others' dismay (especially the sorrow of Nico). He gets angry and leaves.
As Jewel is leaving in tears, Blu gets upset when Rafael "follows him" (Because he isn't taking the direction to the biggest of all parties in the world known as Carnival). Blu finds out that although Rafael does love carnival, he is going home instead because he loves his family more, a choice he made not in his head, but in his heart. Nico and Pedro then warn Blu of Nigel abducting Jewel and taking her to the parade. The male heroes set off to rescue Jewel at Carnival, only to get captured themselves (by Nigel).
Still in the smugglers' plane, Blu hooks a bungie cord to the top of the cage he is in with one end, and hooks the other end to a fire extinguisher. He bumps the cage until it opens. He then frees Jewel, and they free the other birds, and he opens the shaft. Hesitant, he doesn't fly with Jewel, who then encourages him that they'll figure it out together. Nigel then catches Blu by the throat, much to Jewel's anger. After Nigel causes a cage to fall on Jewel's wing (taking away her ability to fly), Blu angrily puts his pain and fears aside and hooks the fire extinguisher to Nigel's leg and blasts him out, causing him to then get his feathers plucked off. Blu attempts to save Jewel, but first, he has to jump off because he couldn't keep her from falling. As he is jumping off the plane, he remembers why he feared flying: he fell out of his tree when he was a chick. He catches Jewel, who tells him he is crazy. He tells her he won't let her go and reminds her that they are "chained-to-each-other birds" (though their chain is not on anymore). Jewel then kisses him, awakening the rhythm of his heart and gaining his ability to fly, much to the joy of Jewel, and at last, of Linda (once Fernando, having been a double agent, points it out). He tells Linda and Tulio that Jewel's wing is injured. Once Tulio offers to let him see her wing, he then encourages her to trust him to heal her.
And Tulio did heal her wing, and he, Linda and Fernando organize a sanctuary to protect the jungle from smugglers. Finally, now both macaws are able to fly, and they both raise three chicks of their own, celebrating with their bird friends, and all five blue macaws fly with Nico, Pedro, Linda and Tulio (the latter two are hang-gliding), and (unawaredly) Luiz.
A few years after the first film, Blu, Jewel, and their three children , Carla, Bia, and Tiago live the perfect domesticated life in the magical city that is Rio de Janeiro. Blu remains as domesticated as ever and he is reveling in the conveniences of modern life. A perfect day for him is making pancakes for Jewel and their three kids and plopping on the couch to watch a soccer game. He is definitely in his comfort zone, living large and like a human. However, Jewel is concerned that the children are becoming more like humans than birds, and that they may never know how to be birds. When Linda and Tulio discover there might be more Spix's macaws deep in the Amazon, Blu reluctantly agrees to go on a short trip to help find them. Blu tells his buddies of his travel plans, but Nico, Pedro, and Luiz warn him of the myriad dangers that could lie ahead in the wild. But the ever-positive Rafael encourages Blu, reminding him that “a happy wife means a happy life!"
Blu thought the city of Rio was wild, but he didn't experience the true meaning of wild until he traveled to the Amazon. He's a little reluctant to make the journey and not comfortable with it, but he’ll do it for the good of his family. After all, what could go wrong on a family vacation?
Before they can begin their journey, Blu has to prepare himself and his family for the journey. To do this, Blu enlists the help of a GPS device, much to Jewel's frustration, to help them navigate across Brazil.
When they arrive in Manaus, they hitch a ride on a riverboat and take a much-needed break from flying. During the ride down the Amazon, Jewel notices Blu is still indecisive about the adventure. She decides to cheer him up by thanking him for coming along.
Upon their arrival at Blu's programmed destination, Blu and Jewel meet the locals at the Amazon sanctuary, where they discover, to everyone’s shock, especially Jewel’s, that the leader of the lost flock of Blue Macaws is Jewel’s dad, Eduardo.
Initially grateful that Blu has brought Jewel back into Eduardo’s life, the stern patriarch quickly becomes a disapproving father-in-law. Eduardo is very strict with Blu and is unhappy that he has so many ties to humans and human things, like his ever-present fanny pack and GPS system.
As the family settles into this exciting new world, Blu finds his learning curve to be a steep one. He is unable to handle even the most simple and important tasks, like building a nest and foraging for food. Blu not only feels out of place in the jungle, he feels out of place with this entire flock of birds who share his DNA, but none of his lifestyle choices.
If meeting a critical father-in-law weren’t enough, Blu must also contend with Jewel’s childhood friend Roberto. Blu feels not only threatened by Roberto, but is frustrated because Roberto seems like the perfect guy.
To Blu, the Amazon really feels like the most exotic or foreign place it could for a bird from Minnesota via Rio.
Meanwhile, unknown to Blu, Jewel and their friends, their old enemy Nigel (who actually survived the plane's destruction, but has been rendered flightless as a result) is plotting revenge on them with his minions, Gabi the frog and Charlie the anteater.
After an arduous "training session" with Eduardo, Blu expresses his worries to Rafael, Pedro and Nico, who tell him to calm down. As they are talking, a masked Nigel walks past them. Due to him being in disguise, Blu does not recognize his old nemesis, and Nigel, right now a little too into his new act, passes Blu without even noticing him.
Blu tries to make Jewel happy fearing that she's going to leave him, so he searches around the jungle for a Brazil nut (her favorite) for her. But he accidentally steps into the Red Macaw Tribe's territory. Not happy about this, Felipe, the head of the tribe, sets off a bet to decide who keeps the entire Brazil nut grove. Both tribes head to the Pit of Doom for a decisive soccer match. Blu ends up in the game and although he did quite well, trying to prove himself for the tribe, he ends up scoring for the other team, much to everyone's disappointment. Blu then tells Jewel he doesn't belong in the Amazon and wants to go home, but Jewel tries to reason with him that maybe the Amazon is home, not Rio. They both then have an argument, and Jewel then tells him that he has to figure what he wants to do and to start thinking about them instead of himself. He then leaves with his fanny pack and GPS heading towards Linda and Tulio's camp.
Blu flies to Linda and Tulio's camp in the jungle, but only to say goodbye, because he has decided to stay with his family in the Amazon. However, he is followed by Roberto, who now thinks he's a traitor. They're both surprised to see a logging harvester destroying the jungle. Blu saves Roberto, who is frozen in fear of the humans. After seeing Roberto panicking, Blu slaps him across the face, telling him to "snap out of it" and to warn the tribe while he finds Linda and Tulio. Blu manages to find Linda and Tulio and untie them from a tree before coming across the loggers and their destruction of the Jungle.
Blu later returns to the tribe to hear that Jewel won't leave without him, and he touches his beak with her's as they reunite. Blu then convinces the entire tribe that his knowledge of humans is, for once, useful to them, and together they decide to fight. Blu, Jewel, Eduardo, and all the other blue macaws then attack the loggers (Eduardo allowing Blu to take the lead), quickly gaining the upper hand. Eventually, the Scarlet Macaw tribe and the other animals come to help them fight the loggers. When all seems well, Blu spots Big Boss, the head logger, setting some dynamite to blow up the tress. Blu grabs the dynamite and flies it upwards. However, as he does so, a masked Nigel pursues and attacks him, revealing himself to Blu just as the dynamite explodes. However, both Blu and Nigel survive the explosion, and end up tangled in vines, upside down and unconscious. When they both regain consciousness, Nigel attacks Blu and they have a feather fight. Gabi tries to shoot Blu with a dart that has her poison on it, but it accidentally hits Nigel. Blu rejoins his family, and Nigel gives a death speech before seemingly dying. Gabi, saddened by Nigel's "death," drinks some her own poison and seemingly dies. However, it is revealed by Bia that Gabi is not poisonous at all. Nigel, still alive, charges toward Blu and his family in one last attempt for vengeance. Blu shields Bia and Tiago with his wings looking on with worry and fear, but Gabi grabs Nigel so they can be together. Blu then looks at Jewel before shrugging his shoulders and flying away with his family.
In the end, Blu, Jewel, and their family and friends all celebrate together and Blu decides he might feel at home in the Amazon after all, but they're going to spend summers back in Rio.