Blu (Jesse Eissenberg) is a blue macaw that lives with Linda (Leslie Mann) in a remote town in Minnesotta, far from its natural habitat. Did I mention that he can’t fly? But Blu is the one that Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) had been looking for. Blue macaws are in danger of extinction and Blu must accompany Tulio to Rio de Janeiro to meet with Jewel (Anne Hathaway), another blue macaw. Once in Brazil, Blu and Jewel are stolen in what is to become the beginning of their adventure in search of Linda and give Blu the courage to finally fly.
Rio is a movie that I had some expectations built right before the film was released in theaters. It has the classic friendship and love story that kids tend to really enjoy. Rio is fresh, lively and enjoyable. From the first minute viewers will instantly get sucked in by the music and the soul of the movie.
The story itself has a lot of sticky situations that not only are meant to provide some entertainment it seems that some of them are meant to give a grander view of the surroundings. However, as much as I wanted to fully enjoy the film there are some issues with the plot itself. I mean I didn’t dislike the film, but I did find some things about the story and the way the film evolves that I just cannot overlook. I am sure the younger viewers will be happy to see all the flashy things on the screen and let’s face it the majority of parents won’t either. For example the score is well ok, but I would have rather picked a selection of good samba tunes than getting a bunch of hip-hop and pop mixes in the film. I feel this takes away from the authenticity that Rio tries to portray when Blu is in Brazil.
The story continues to be shaky all the way until the end. There was a love story between Tulio and Linda that was just started and left at that just a mere mention. I guess the boiling point comes at the end when the makers just simply decide to cut the story short and put a musical moment to end the film. Just like that it was over, which felt somewhat incomplete. As the voice overs is concerned I thought they were decent and nothing to rave about. Jesse Eissenberg as Blu didn’t quite fit, but they made it work. As for the rest of the cast it was a hit or miss.
Rio arrives on Blu-ray with a MPEG4-AVC encode framed at 1.85:1 aspect ratio. No surprises with the quality in this title really. The palette is vibrant and rich in colors. Reds, greens, blues, yellows, etc. are all vividly displayed on the screen from the very first minute of the movie. Being an animated film in today’s world will only mean that it should be a splendor when watching and Rio does not disappoint. It is rich in detail from the beaches to the streets of carnival, Rio looks phenomenal. I can’t stress enough how good this film looks and it could easily become demo material.
Rio arrives on Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS- HD Master Audio lossless track. Rio’s samba tunes have never sounded better. The entire film is filled with catchy samba tunes that are delightfully reproduced by the speakers. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout. LFE output is very balanced and clear. The rears are used efficiently, however, I didn’t find them to be used in a better way. The sound design is great for the music, but the effects can be a hit or miss. This doesn’t affect the way I feel about the track as it sounds fantastic for the most part.
Boom Boom Tish Tish: The Sound of Brazil – See how the music in Rio came to be. All inside this featurette.
Saving the Species: One Voice at a Time – A featurette providing a look at the voices behind the characters.
The Making of Hot Wings – See the atmosphere when Jamie Foxx and Will.i.am are in the studio.
Explore the World of Rio – See the sights of Rio by the click of your remote.
Carnival Dance-o-Rama – Pick up some new dance moves guided by the characters of the movie.
The Real Rios – See how the filmmakers got their inspiration to bring the animation from the real Rio de Janeiro.
Rio de Jam-eiro Jukebox – You can skip to any musical scene from the movie right from this menu item!
Postcards from Rio
Angry Birds Rio – Get a look at Angry Birds Rio edition.
Welcome to Rio Music Video
Telling the World Music Video
Rio was definitely not as bad as I might of made it seem above. It truly has a good amount of entertainment even though most of it seems to just be put together with the kids in mind and forgetting about the rest. The story could have been better, but oh well perhaps another time. Technically Rio looks and sounds amazing. Visually is a colorful animated film that will just simply win you over. The sound is great too, the samba tunes sound great and it really gives the film life. I would recommend to pick up the film if you are a fan of animated films.