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Rio (Blu-ray Review)

22 Jul, 2011 By: Angelique Flores

Street 8/2/11
Box Office $141.9 million
$29.99 DVD, $34.98 two-DVD set, $39.99 Blu-ray/DVD combo pack
Rated ‘G.’
Voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Leslie Mann, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, Jemaine Clement, Rodrigo Santoro, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, Jane Lynch, Wanda Sykes.

Rio is no doubt a party town, and Brazilian director Carlos Saldanha (Robots, the “Ice Age” films) shows the love for his hometown with this animated movie set in the fun and festive city.

Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) is a macaw living a staid, domesticated life with his owner Linda (Leslie Mann) in Minnesota. He was kidnapped as a baby from the jungle in Rio and sold on the black market. Scientist Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) comes over from Rio and convinces Linda to bring Blu there to mate with the only other living macaw, Jewel (Anne Hathaway). After being birdnapped by some smugglers, their adventures ensue with the colorful — literally and figuratively — characters that help and hinder them along the way.

Helping director Saldanha bring in the Brazilian flavor are Santoro and Brazilian singer Bebel Gilberto to voice two of the characters, some legendary Brazilian artists behind the music and Brazilian animators. The real city of Rio and the catchy Brazilian music in the movie are the focus of the disc’s most in-depth extras and most worthy of note.

The featurettes “The Making of ‘Hot Wings,’” and “Boom-Boom Tish Tish: The Sounds of Rio” reveal the details about the film’s score and musical numbers, as well as the musical heavyweights it such as the legendary musician Sergio Mendes and respected percussionist Carlinhos Brown as well as will.i.am and Jamie Foxx.

“Explore the World of Rio” offers interesting pictures, facts, videos and clips with the director and crew about Rio. “Saving the Species: One Voice at a Time” is a making-of that is a little bit of a lovefest, but it gives an informative and entertaining look behind the scenes, from the animators dancing and making faces in order to get the animation more life-like to the cast talking about their animated counterparts.

The disc also takes advantage of the popular Angry Birds game with an Angry Birds Rio trailer of the angry birds being smuggled into Rio, a mash up with the angry birds and the code to download new levels of the game.

There’s also a “Rio de JAM-eiro Jukebox” with all the musical numbers from the film, a music video for Taio Cruz’ “Telling the World” and the featurette “The Real Rio” about Rio and filmmakers’ successful effort to give the film an authentic Brazilian flavor and capture the city for the movie.

The Blu-ray also has the featurette “Postcards from Rio,” Live Lookup by IMDb and exclusive levels of Angry Birds Rio.

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