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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Adventure > CGI > Comedy > Birds > Rio 2 (2014/20th Century Fox Blu-ray w/DVD)

Rio 2 (2014/20th Century Fox Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: A/B Sound: A/B Extras: B+ Film: C+

Rio 2 is not the worst animated film I have seen but certainly not the best. Blue Sky Animation has come a long way from the first Ice Age film and has achieved a much more polished look to their characters and detail that rivals Pixar. The story here feels like a mish mash of several other films. There are sprinkles of Meet The Parents, Avatar, The Jungle Book, and others. The musical numbers are probably the worst part of the experience, at least they were for me, as many of the songs play off of existing ones in popular culture and the original ones not too memorable. The messages behind the film will probably go over most kids' heads but will hit the adults - touching upon racism, environmentalism, and the power of friendship. The stunning voice cast consists of Jesse Eisenburg, Anne Hathaway, Will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Leslie Mann, Tracey Morgan, and the last film for writer Don Rhymer (who wrote the first Rio and episodes of The Hogan Family and Coach).

Welcome to the Jungle of fun! Blu and Jewel enjoy life in Rio with their 3 kids, the oldest and music-loving Carla, book smart Bia, and the youngest and mischievous Tiago. Meanwhile, Blu's former owner, Linda Gunderson and her ornithologist husband, Tulio are on an expedition in the Amazon and eventually discover a quick-flying spix's macaw that loses one of its feathers. When word gets out about this through television, Jewel believes that they should go to the Amazon to help find the blue macaws. While the kids are ecstatic, Blu is uncertain, but is pressured into going along. Rafael, Nico and Pedro decide to come along. Luiz attempts to follow, but fails. Blu brings a fanny pack full of supplies, one of which he uses mostly is a GPS, much to Jewel's displeasure.

Meanwhile, the leader of a group that is in a line of illegal logging named Big Boss, discovers Linda and Tulio's expedition to find the macaws and orders his henchmen to hunt them down to avoid disruptions to their work. Also, Blu and Jewel's old enemy, Nigel the cockatoo, has survived the plane crash from the first film, but is now unable to fly and is working as a fortune teller/con artist. When he sees Blu and his family flying overhead of him, he wastes no time deciding to go after them in revenge. He enlists two minions to help him in his plans; a silent anteater named Charlie and a poison dart frog named Gabi, the latter of which is in love with Nigel. Blu and his family use a boat to get toward the jungle (with Nigel's first plan of revenge being inadvertently foiled by Charlie), and when they arrive, they discover a flock of blue macaws that are hiding in a secret paradise land. From here the action unfolds and Jewel is reunited with her Father, the villainous loggers and the birds have a face off, and Jewel and Blu must choose whether they should return to the home land or start a new live in the Amazon.

The 1080p high definition transfer on the disc is a huge highlight - capturing incredible textures and colors without a single flaw. The original widescreen aspect ratio is 2.40:1 on the disc and looks great on your HDTV. The powerful English DTS-HD MA 7.1 track is equally as impressive. Also on the disc is English Descriptive Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1. The standard definition looks fine for the format but is no match for the Blu-ray featuring a lossy English Dolby Digital 5.1 track and the various language tracks available on the Blu-ray. The Ultraviolet copy looks great on a small portable device or tablet as well but again doesn't match the Blu-ray transfer.

Fox really packed on the extras on this disc that leave little to be desired. Of course, they are geared towards the younger crowd. Special Features are a Rio Refresher, Deleted Scene, Boom, Shake, Snap: The Local Sounds of Brazil, Birds and Beats: The Singing Talents of Rio 2, Nigel the Shakespearean Cockatoo and Friends…Music, Dance, Sing-Along Machine, You Be The Judge Auditions, What is Love Lyric Video by Janelle Monoe, Still Gallery, and the teaser short for upcoming film Almost Home that played before Rio 2 in theaters.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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