Rio 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Like most computer animated affairs, this one looked terrific.
Sharpness was excellent. At all times, the movie exhibited virtually flawless definition, without a hint of softness on display. No signs of jaggies or moiré effects materialized, and edge enhancement didn’t appear. I also failed to discern any print flaws in this clear presentation.
With most of the action set in tropical jungles, one would anticipate a dynamic palette, and that’s what one would get. The colors were vibrant and bright at all times, as they showed eye-popping vivacity. Blacks were deep and tight, while shadows appeared smooth and well-defined. This was an absolutely killer image.
While not as strong, the film’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 worked fine for the movie. The soundfield tended to focus on the front speakers, though the rear channels kicked to life at times. These occurred mostly during the occasional action scenes; we got good movement for vehicles and all the bird flight on display. Otherwise, the nearly omnipresent music showed nice stereo dimensionality, and the track gave us a positive sense of place and involvement.
Audio quality was fine. Speech seemed concise and crisp, while music offered good range and clarity. Effects were also accurate and full, as they represented different elements well. I thought the track lacked the scope to be more than a “B”, but it seemed more than adequate for the story.
Like the Blu-ray for the first film, Rio 2 comes with a long roster of extras but not much substance. To catch us up on the 2011 flick, Rio Refresher provides a three-minute, 21-second recap. It collects shots from the original to act as a Cliff’s Notes version of the movie. It acts as a decent way to remind us what happened in that tale.
One Deleted Scene runs 39 seconds. Called “Practice”, it shows Nigel as he learns about a change in events. It’s insubstantial but I’ll take any added Nigel I can get.
Next comes the 19-minute, 28-second Boom, Shake, Snap: The Local Sounds of Brazil. It includes comments from director Carlos Saldanha, executive music producer Sergio Mendes, and musicians Fernando Barba, Artur Andres Ribeiro and Renato Epstein. We get some notes about the music as well as performance clips. We learn a reasonable amount about the movie’s Brazilian tunes here.
With Birds and Beats: The Singing Talents of Rio 2, we find a 10-minute, 19-second piece with notes from Saldanha, musician Janelle Monae, and actors will.i.am, Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx, Rachel Crow, Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Jemaine Clement, Kristin Chenoweth, Amy Heidemann, and Andy Garcia. We find info about cast, characters and performances. Some decent notes emerge but the piece seems pretty fluffy much of the time.
Nigel the Shakespearean Cockatoo and Friends goes for seven minutes, 17 seconds and offers remarks from Saldanha, Clement, lead animators Lluis Llobera, Matthew J. Nunn, Yuehchih Eric Lin, Richard A. Fournier, and James Young Jackson. This one looks a bit at characters and how they came to the screen. Like “Birds”, the piece has its moments but it lacks much depth.
Under Music, Dance, Sing-Along Machine, we find three different elements. “Music Machine” lets you skip to any of the movie’s 10 musical scenes – or watch them in a long sequence via “Play All”. “Dance-Along” means you can “dance along with the song by following the character cutouts in the corner of your screen”, while “Sing-Along” delivers the usual Karaoke experience. All are insubstantial but potentially fun additions.
You Be the Judge provides three “auditions” from the movie’s talent show try-outs. These fill a total of one minute, 49 seconds and feature tapir, monkey and turtle. These turn into another minor but enjoyable bonus, though I find it odd that they all end with the same gag from the judges.
From Janelle Monae, we find a music video for “What Is Love”. This combines movie characters with the song’s lyrics; Monae herself never appears. It’s an abbreviated piece without much merit.
After this we get a still gallery. It includes 31 examples of art such as design paintings and set blueprints. Though short, the collection offers good material.
A staple of animated releases, we find a multi-language sequence for “I Will Survive”. It offers parts of the song crooned in German, Italian, Hindi, French, Chinese (Mandarin), Portuguese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. Since the Blu-ray’s language options already provide some of these, they become redundant, but the others add a little bonus.
The disc opens with ads for Peanuts, The Book of Life, Almost Home, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and Dragons: Riders of Berk. We get two trailers for Rio 2 as well.
A DVD copy of Rio 2 comes as part of the package. It includes none of the Blu-ray’s extras.
While it doesn’t dazzle, Rio 2 offers a definite improvement over the original flick. Looser, funnier and more likable, it delivers an enjoyable experience much of the time. The Blu-ray boasts excellent visuals along with good audio and a passable set of supplements. I find Rio 2 to end up as a reasonably fun piece of work.