RIO 2 DVD (2014)
SYNOPSIS: Welcome to the jungle of...fun! The cast of the animated hit comedy Rio returns- along with a new flock of all-star voice talent including Bruno Mars, Kristen Chenoweth and more in this high-flying sequel for the whole family. The party continues when Blu, Jewel and their three kids take a walk on the wild side and embark on a colorful, comical, music-filled journey through the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit into his new surroundings, he goes beak-to-beak with the villainous Nigel and meets the most fearsome adversary of all- his father-in-law!
Part of the success of the original Rio was the Brazilian influenced musical soundtrack and setting. The sixth feature from Blue Sky was such a brilliant mix of song-and-dance and adventure that a sequel about the two blue macaws was announced shortly.
Three years later, Rio 2 unfortunately falls into the same trap as what many sequels do – repetitive and formulaic.
The family friendly follow-up has Jewel (Anne Hathaway) who is now married to Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) travelling to Amazon with their three children to look for their fellow blue macaws after Linda (Leslie Mann) and her ornithologist husband, Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) stumbled onto one. Danger awaits them as Nigel (Jemaine Clement) the evil cockatoo plots his revenge at the same time, the Big Boss of an illegal logging operation is out to get Linda and Tulio out of their way.
Despite a number of subplots, Rio 2 feels lighter than any of the macaws’ feather liked a demanding father-in-law (voiced by Andy Garcia) nearly threatens the marriage of Blu and Jewel or the appearance of Jewel’s childhood friend/boyfriend, Roberto (Bruno Mars) hardly adds to the storyline. Though there’s talk of protecting Mother Nature and the importance of family, it’s too clunky at times to effectively bring these messages across to the children.
But the many swooping, wildly choreographed musical numbers easily let you forget the flaws plus the animation is so good to look at. There’s an Amazon version of American Idols with plenty of side gags that will keep you giggling while will.i.am and Jamie Foxx continues to provide the laughs as Blu’s sidekicks, Pedro and Nico. It’s hard not to miss the music tracks especially with Jemaine Clement and Kristin Chenoweth contributing their version of “I Will Survive” and Bruno Mars singing “Welcome Back”.
There’s already swirling rumours that director Carlos Saldanha and Fox is planning for a third outing. Let’s hope it will not turn into another exhausting Ice Age franchise.
Rio Refresher is a 3 minutes recap of the original Rio.
The animators at Blue Sky shows us how the various characters at the Amazon is animated in Nigel the Shakespearean Cockatoo and Friends.
Nigel is shown singing in various languages such as Italian, Portuguese, Korean and Mandarin etc in "I Will Survive" Multi-Language Sequence
The other extras include a MV: "What Is Love" by Janelle Monae, Still Gallery and a Protect the Macaws eco-message from WWF.
Animation is top notch especially the colours which are bright and shimmering courtesy of the numerous exotic looking bird characters. Sound effects and music are often engaging and the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack bustles with activity from all direction.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee