RIO


Viewed – 10 February 2012  DVD

It would be easy to pass off many animated movies these days as simply more of the same, and although this likable entry has the same old themes, such as believing in yourself, fish out of water etc, it has enough comedy, lush visuals and all round ‘fun’ to make it worth your while.  Blu is a rare breed Macaw, who having been captured by poachers as a baby, soon becomes the pet of a young girl.  Over fifteen years they become inseparable.  Then one day a wildlife expert spots Blu and offers to take him and his owner to Brazil where he knows about a female Macaw, and if they hit it off, it could mean the saving of the species.  That is until a band of ruthless smugglers intervene.

From the guys behind the Ice Age movies, this is a vibrant and instantly enjoyable movie.  The voice acting, whilst nothing special adds personality, with Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway delivering the goods as the two Macaws.  The relationship between Blu and his owner is pretty much the same as that seen in other movies such as Bolt, and as a story, it’s fairly predictable.  Thankfully the gag factor is more hit than miss and the increasingly entertaining situations (with a memorable carnival chase) mean it never gets tiresome, and support characters like a rapping bird voiced brilliantly by The Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.AM. and a salivating bulldog, brought more than a few giggles my way.  The Rio de Janeiro setting is also gorgeous and enhances the whole movie, meaning that all in all – this is one to see.

Verdict:  4 /5

BOLT


Viewed – 24 June 2009  Blu-ray

Anyone who reads this blog regularly should know I have a soft spot for animated movies, especially those from Disney studio Pixar.  This entry, although not from Pixar themselves, has the involvement of John Toy Story Lassiter as executive producer, and it shows … as this is a thoroughly entertaining and a dazzling treat for any fan of well made movies.

bolt

Bolt is a TV show dog who believes he has super powers as the shows producers keep him in a Truman Show world of action, bad guys and hidden cameras, and its not until he accidentally gets transported to the other side of America does he discover the real world and the real dangers.  Teaming up with a street-wise cat by the name of Mittens and a hamster in a ball called Rhino who just happens to be Bolt’s biggest fan, Bolt must journey across the states and some how find a way back home.  Yeah I know, it’s Buzz Lightyear all over again, but hell – it worked then, why not now?

Fit to bursting with adrenalin fueled action and some stunning imagery, not to mention faultless animation, this zips along beautifully, is heart-warming, feel good and surprisingly, laugh-out-loud funny thanks to the scene stealing hamster Rhino.  As you can guess I thoroughly enjoyed it, and even the involvement of that manufactured pain-in-the-ass Miley Cyrus can’t ruin this movie’s unmistakable charm.  Oh, and John Travolta is great as Bolt even if at first I didn’t realise it was his voice!

As a Blu-ray, it should go without saying that this is a stunning representation of the format, with the vivid colours and attention to detail really impressing.  The movie is also presented in DTS-HD Master Audio and this is also a joy to the ears, with the action sequences particularly standing out.  Extras are sparse for a film that has obviously had a lot of work put into it, with brief featurettes about the voice cast and the directors, but very little light shed on the actual animation process.  And nobody needs a video duet between Travolta & Cyrus.  There  is a mildly diverting game included where you guide bolt with the remote, and the set also comes with the DVD version, which although not as stunning as the blu-ray, still looks the biz.

Verdict:  5 /5