|“||You think too much! Flying is not what you think up here. It's what you feel in here.||„|
|~ Rafael's advice to Blu that the power of flight comes not from his head, but from his heart.|
Rafael is a major character of Rio and its sequel. He is voiced by George Lopez. He is Blu's mentor and one of his friends.
He is a Toco Toucan with black and white feathers, a red-yellow-and-black beak, brown eyes and blue feet. He lives in a tree in the rainforest with his mate, Eva, and 17 rambunctious chicks, and one egg that isn't hatched. He was once the King of Carnival. Although he loves Eva, his mate, he (like his kids) is scared of her because she is obviously demanding. She keeps him close to the nest. He wouldn't leave such familial bliss for any reason but to be helping some young birds in need... and maybe get the chance to visit Carnival once more. Rafael is friends with a bulldog named Luiz. He is the one who teaches Blu that flying is what you feel in your heart, and who gives Blu advice on romance. He loves Carnival, but he willingly sacrifices it because he loves his family more, which he decided not in his head, but in his heart.
Rafael is a suave and free-spirited sort of bird. He puts his family before himself (despite first appearing to be tired of his eighteen kids and terrified of his mate), loving them dearly. He follows his heart and not his mind, and is good at giving advice. Rafael is loyal and devoted to his family and friends, and seems to be a peace-maker, attempting to try and make everybody get along and make things run smoothly. Rafael is fond of carnival and celebrations, and is enthusiastic, encouraging others if they are hesitant or nervous about something. He is also wise and intelligent, and always looks on the bright side of life.
Rafael is first seen calling off his children from attacking Blu and Jewel, causing the excited kids to jump all over him instead. When Jewel asks, "Precious, aren't they?" Rafael answers, "Kids? Seventeen of them, and one on the way." He then catches two of them shaking their unhatched egg sibling, and commands them to stop. He then asks Blu and Jewel if they're headed for Carnival, calling them "lovebirds." After protesting the name and some awkward declarations of what they are, Blu is interrupted by one of the chicks pulling out some of his feathers, after which Rafael tells Blu he and Eva are having the said chick tested. When the two blue macaws ask for his help in removing the chain from around their legs, he offers to take them to see Luiz. When, for the second time, one of his children get in his eye, he asks them if they want him to call their mother, Eva. Fearfully, they tell him no and fly away. Eva comes and startles Rafael before hearing of his intentions. Although Eva is against the idea of Rafael taking Blu and Jewel to Luiz, thinking he is sneaking off to Carnival, Rafael manages to sweet-talk her into letting him go, recalling how they first met whilst singing their song 'The Girl from Ipanema', and complimenting her awful singing voice.
After learning that Blu can't fly, Rafael attempts an impromptu lesson, telling him that flying is about "feeling the rhythm of your heart." After Blu fails, Rafael leads him and Jewel into town, where they meet Nico and Pedro. But Nico and Pedro tell them that they have missed the trolley that will take them to Luiz. Then Nico, Pedro, and Rafael take them to a bird's Samba Club while they wait for the next trolley to Luiz.
At the club, Blu starts dancing. Rafael nudges him into dancing with Jewel, looking on proudly while they perform a beautiful duet. When the marmosets attack, Rafael attempts to settle things peacefully, but when that fails, a war is declared by Pedro and he joins in the fight, and takes out several of them.
On the trolley to Luiz's garage, Rafael plays matchmaker again, giving Blu romantic advice (which Blu misinterprets) while Nico sings mood-setting music. When Rafael tells him to tell Jewel how he feels, unfortunately, Blu ends up making mistakes and choking (literally, due to a blossom's petal landing in his beak while he is trying to explain) and failing due to his awkwardness.
The group meets with Luiz, a bulldog, and he tries to break the chain by using the Groove Cutter. Everything goes wrong, but in the end, they were released with Luiz's drool lubricating the chain. Rafael, Nico, and Pedro flew with Jewel inside then outside of Luiz's garage leaving Blu depressed. After Blu and Jewel have an argument and part ways, culminating in Blu saying that he hates samba, making Nico cry and Pedro saying that was too far. As a result, both Blu and Jewel leave angrily. While Nico and Pedro follow Jewel, Rafael goes after Blu, telling him that he is returning to his family instead of celebrating carnival and that the decision came from his heart, and not from his mind. When Nico and Pedro come back, they reveal that Nigel has captured Jewel, and, led by Blu, they mount a rescue. When Rafael, Nico, and Pedro find Jewel, they are captured along with Blu. After being loaded into the smugglers' plane, Blu manages to escape his cage, freeing the others, who all fly out of the plane to freedom.
In the final scene, Rafael is seen back in his tree home, singing and snuggling with his wife and children.
Rafael loves life, loves Rio and lives for Carnival. Now that he, Nico and Pedro are on the hunt for new musical artists, he can’t wait to get the audition process started. They’ve pretty much exhausted the talent base in Rio, but they think the Amazon and its thousands and thousands of creatures will have all types of talent and amazing performances.
When Nico, Pedro and Luiz have their doubts about Blu being up to the rigors of an expedition to the Amazon, the ever-positive Rafael encourages Blu, as Blu grows concerned that he's not bird enough for Jewel, Rafi's simple advice, "Happy wife, happy life," inspires Blu to try to embrace the wild and "bird up."
Always up for an adventure, especially when it involves getting a break from his family, Rafael is quick to join the trip to the Amazon once he realizes his buddy will probably need his help.
Rafael is first seen at the new year's celebrations, dancing with Eva. This surprises Blu and Jewel, as he was supposed to be babysitting their kids. Rafael then tells them he got Luiz to do it.
Some time later, Rafael, along with Nico and Pedro, judges Eva's Carnival audition. Although it was terrible, Rafael applauds it. Blu then arrives, informing them of his family's trip to the Amazon. Although Nico, Pedro and Luiz warn him of the dangers, Rafael tells Blu they are "highly exaggerated," and that he should go if it's important to Jewel. He then tells him, "Remember: happy wife, happy life." He, Nico and Pedro later join them on their trip, Rafael having promised Eva a spot on the Carnival show in exchange for letting him go.
Once the gang gets to the Amazon, they are brought to the home of the Spix's macaw tribe, where Rafael tries to calm a scared Blu, who is brandishing a spork. During the reunion between Jewel and Eduardo, Rafael encourages Blu to make himself known to Jewel's father. Rafael later tries to console Nico and Pedro, who had been informed by Eduardo that they couldn't take any of the Spix's macaw tribe back with them to Rio for Carnival, telling them they still have Eva (which does not comfort Pedro or Nico in any way whatsoever). The next morning, Carla takes charge, organizing auditions from the other jungle animals. Rafael comments that she has been "working", based by the number of contestants. The auditions are rather extreme, often frightening, shocking, or strange. A few are good, yet sometimes have their downsides. When a disguised Nigel tumbles on stage, Rafael thinks he looks "familiar". Nigel then performs "I Will Survive," impressing them.
When Blu expresses his fears about Jewel to them, Rafael reminds him of his earlier advice.
During the battle against the loggers, Rafael, along with Nico, Pedro, and Carla, drops turtles on the loggers heads. He is also seen applauding at Nigel and Gabi's "death" scene. When Nigel is unmasked, Rafael remarks to Nico and Pedro that he knew he looked familiar.
Finally, "Batucada Familia," Rafael is last seen cheering Eva on as she sings, and is shocked when a bunch of little birds tie her up in leaves.
- In a Western Union commercial, Rafael stated that he has a sister with five chicks.
- Like his children, he is afraid or scared of Eva.
- Rowan Atkinson, Billy Connolly, John Sparkes, Danny DeVito, Hugh Laurie, John Cleese, Samuel E. Wright, Eddie Murphy, and Chris Rock were considered for the role of Rafael.