Rio is about a young bird captured from the wild. Blu (Eisenberg) is a domesticated Spix Macaw living thousands of miles from his homeland, Brazil. When his human owner Linda (Mann) discovers that he is the last male of his kind, they head south to Rio de Janeiro to meet the only other female. But it's far from love at first sight between the socially-awkward, flight-challenged Blu and the fiercely independent, high-flying female, Jewel (Hathaway). Shortly after Blu's arrival, the two rare birds are captured by greedy animal smugglers and find themselves lost in the Brazilian rain forest. Unexpectedly thrown together, they embark on a hilarious and clumsy adventure where they learn about friendship, love, courage, and spreading one's wings to fly. (Gary Reber)
Special features include a deleted scene (SD 01:29); three featurettes: Saving The Species: One Voice At A Time (HD 24:49), The Making Of Hot Wings (HD 08:02), and Voom-Boom Tish-Tish: the Sounds Of Rio (HD 13:30); a clever Carnival Dance-O-Rama dance with exercise; a music video (HD 01:37); the "Taio Cruz" music video (HD 01:54); Rio De Jam-Eiro Jukebox (HD 08:34); create a video Postcard From Rio interactive feature; The Real Rio featurette (HD 09:31); the theatrical trailer; BD-Live functionality; and a digital copy.
The 1080p MVC picture is terrific, with gorgeously rendered CGI 3-D animated imagery The color palette is sweeping in hues and dynamic intensities. Hues are rich and vivid, with a stunningly natural depiction. The range of bird creatures is colorful and engaging. Saturated colors pop with exceptional richness and vitality, especially impressive in the vibrant multi-colored climactic Carnival scene. Contrast is exemplary with deep, solid blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Resolution is impeccable, with incredible detail throughout. In particular, the rendering of bird feathers is impressive, along with a spectrum of textures that are visual treats. This is an absolutely state-of-the-art animated presentation that is a pure delight. The sense of depth perception is amazing, while always depicting a natural perspective. The 3-D effect adds so much more to the characterizations and the flow of the movie. The dance scenes are mesmerizing, with an exceptional feeling of dimension. Occasional negative parallax moments enhance the visual dramatics with out-of-screen antics. But overall, the visuals are pronounced with depth and dimension. There is virtually no crosstalk ghosting artifacts apparent, for a glitch-free 3-D experience. As with the 3-D version, the 2-D version is as impeccable, though, less preferred. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is wonderful, especially with respect to Sergio Mendes' musical contributions, along with other collaborators in the John Powell samba-influenced score. Instrumental timbre is distinctive, and the orchestral and Brazilian rhythm span the soundstage deep into the surrounds, for an impressive enveloping soundfield experience. The sound is dynamic and often lyrical. Percussion instruments pulsate throughout. The music pulsates and propels the action from a multicity of direction and intensity, with an impressive natural rhythmic presence. The music was mixed by Shawn Murphy. Atmospherics and sound effects are perfectly complementary throughout and are directionalized. Deep bass is respectfully supportive as well, with solid .1 LFE engagement, even during certain musical selections. Dialogue sounds perfectly natural and integrated spatially, to enhance the sense of animated realism. This is a spectacularly well-presented sound design and is energetic, rhythmic, lyrical, and dynamic, all wrapped in a wonderful holosonic® presentation. Fidelity is exemplary, and the overall experience is one that audiophiles will approve and appreciate. (Gary Reber)