Blu-ray: RIO (2011)
Whatever your opinion of the film is, there is no doubt the quality of this Blu-ray release. I liked the film in its theatrical release, but this AVC encoded 1080p transfer made me appreciate it a bit more. The vibrant color palette just radiates. The picture is gorgeous with detail and no signs anywhere of digital compression issues of any sort. You can make out the individual feathers on these CG birds. No aliasing, even in lively action sequences in lush jungles, was witnessed by me. I was thoroughly impressed.
The picture quality is matched by the soundtrack. The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack puts the viewer on an audio tour of Rio whether it’s the subtle ambience of the jungle or the lively music and crowds of Carnivale. Sound moves across the soundscape precisely. All the audio elements are balanced perfectly. Dialogue is clear, the music is sensational and the sound effects are natural when they need to be and dynamic when that is call for. Again I was thoroughly impressed.
The most impressive special feature was “Saving the Species: One Voice at a Time.” The actors talk about what they brought to their characters and director Carlos Saldanha gives his thoughts behind the casting choices. But the most intriguing part is talking with the animators about how they took the voice performances and created the characters from them. Each animator have a different approach to creating their characters’ performance.
“The Real Rio” takes viewers along with the filmmakers for a tour of Rio, giving a nice perspective on the real life locations that inspired the film. A good companion is the interactive “Explore the World of Rio” feature that gives facts, video and photos of the key real life locations used in the film. Saldanha talks about why he felt they were important elements to include in a film about the culture of Rio.
“The Making of Hot Wings” delves into the musical collaboration between Will.I.Am and Jamie Foxx for the film. Interesting, if a bit standard. The better look at the music of the film comes in the minidoc “Boom Boom Tish Tish: The Sound of Brazil.” It talks with Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown, Saldanha and others about the rich history of Brazilian music and what they wanted to bring to the film. More music is covered in the “Welcome to Rio” and “Telling the World” music videos, as well as the “Rio de Jam-eiro Jukebox,” which allows users to jump directly to the musical numbers in the film.
“Carnival Dance-o- Rama” shows users dance steps based on the moves of the characters. “Postcards from Rio” allows fans to create their own custom postcards. There is also Angry Birds Rio content, the trailer and BD-Live extras.