Rafael is a truly romantic Toco Toucan with twenty-one kids and was the life of party in his day. He serves as one of the three tritagonists of Rio and Rio 2, the other two being Nico and Pedro. Once known as "The King of Carnival", this Toco Toucan now has his 21 kids and a wife who keeps him close to the nest. He would never leave such familial bliss except maybe to help some young birds who are in need...and the opportunity to visit Carnival one more time! George Lopez did his voice.
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, probably thinking she asked, "How many of them?", 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". Before they can answer, one of the chicks rips off some of Blu's feathers, after which Rafael tells Blu he and Eva are having him, the 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 (a bulldog). 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. 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, using memories of how they first met, and complimenting her awful singing voice. He managed to convince her.
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 bird's samba 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, taking down several of them.
On the trolley to Luiz's garage, Rafael plays matchmaker again, giving Blu romantic advice (which Blu misinterprets) while Nico sang 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 it) and failing due to his somewhat shyness.
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' 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. 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 came back, they then learned that Nigel has captured Jewel, and mount a rescue. When Rafael, Nico and Pedro found Jewel, they were 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 her. 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 they get 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.
During "Batucada Familia", he cheers Eva on as she sings, and is shocked when a bunch of little birds tie her up in leaves.
Rafael is a toco toucan who's slightly plump with black feathers and a white underside. He has blue eyelids with orange facial markings around his eyes. He has brown eyes and blue feet. His beak is yellow with a red stripe on top and black markings on the tip.
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. He loves samba and Carnival, but always put his family first as he told Blu he was going home until they were told that Jewel was snatched by Nigel and taken to the parade.
Blu:Rafael is friendly towards Blu (as if he was his own son, which can be presumed when he says, "That's my boy."), offering him to teach him how to fly, and assisting him in "wooing" Jewel. However, it doesn't work so well; Blu said to Jewel "I have beautiful eyes" instead of telling her "You have beautiful eyes", as Rafael suggested. Rafael often offers Blu words of wisdom and advice.
In Rio 2, Rafael suggests that Blu agree to taking the family to the Amazon if it would make Jewel happy, adding "Happy wife, happy life." He even decided to join them, telling Blu he has his back.
Jewel:Rafael is just as friendly towards Jewel as he is to Blu, though he teases her slightly by often referring to her and Blu as "lovebirds".
Nico and Pedro:Nico and Pedro are old friends/amigos of Rafael's from his younger days. Rafael refers to them as "family" and enlists their help in "setting the mood" for Blu and Jewel during their trolley ride. He also sends them after Jewel following her and Blu's argument.
In Rio 2, the three hold auditions for Carnival, in both Rio and the Amazon.
Eva:Though Rafael loves Eva deeply, he is a little bit scared of her, likely because she is really demanding. But she knows when to trust him. They met in Carnival when the song, "The Girl From Ipanema", was playing. Rafael is a great fan of her singing, even thought most people don't like it (causing Jewel to joke "I guess love is deaf too").
In Rio 2, he applauds her Carnival audition, despite it being terrible. At the end of the movie, he asks her to sing once more. He enjoys listening to her, but gets surprised to see Nico and Pedro wrap her around with leaves preventing her to perform.
Nigel:Rafael had no on-screen interactions with Nigel, although he was overpowered and captured by him off-screen. In Rio 2, he is the only one out of himself, Nico and Pedro to realize that the disguised Nigel looks familiar. When Nigel is unmasked, Rafael remarks, "I told you I knew him from somewhere."
Luiz:Luiz is another old friend/amigo of Rafael's, whom he easily convinced to cut the chain off Blu and Jewel's legs, even after Jewel insulted him, due to his drooling problems.
Bia, Carla, and Tiago:Rafael cares for all of Blu and Jewel's kids, offering to babysit for them (although he later got Luiz to do it for him). Of all of them, he, Nico and Pedro are closest to Carla. Carla helps them judge the auditions, and the four are seen fighting together during the battle with the loggers, dropping turtles into the fight.
- Smooth talking
- Sweet talking
- He is a Toco Toucan who has a red, yellow and black beak, black and white feathers and blue feet.
- He is one of the three tritagonist of the film.
- Like his children, he is a afraid/scared to "death" of their mother.
- He is known as "The King of Carnival", as mentioned by Nico.
- Rafael is voiced by George Lopez, a film actor who also voices characters in Beverly Hills Chihuahua 1, 2 & 3, Marmaduke, and stars in his own TV shows & Reno 911.
- It is likely that Rafael is named after one of the director's children, Rafael Saldanha, while one of his children is named after Carlos Saldanha himself. He may also have been named after the film's storyboard artists, Rafael Zentil.
- During the final song of the movie, Rafael and Eva are seen with three of their chicks. These chicks must be newborn because they look exactly like their other chicks from earlier in the movie. This means that Rafael and Eva had three more chicks after their eighteen other chicks grew up.
- One promotional image for Rafael depicted him wearing goggles, though he never actually wore any in the film.
- His commenting of hiding from his eighteen kids during the Rio: Snakes Alive! novel which gives a suggestion to the novel's time frame between the movies.