BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEW: Ice Age - Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Manny, Sid and Diego make new friends and the herd hits home video...
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What's not been said about the heart-felt, touching and down-right hilarious Ice Age series? It's fun for the whole family and now, thanks to Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox, fans have another film to add to their home libraries: Ice Age - Dawn of the Dinosaurs. All of the fan favorite characters are back - including Manny, Sid and Diego as well as the fan-favorite Scrat. Now, these mainstays are joined by a number of newcomers, including the soon-to-be popular Buck.
Following the adventures - and misadventures - of the herd's last tale, this new film finds the friends trekking to the center of the earth where they discover...gasp...dinosaurs. While the plot has a decent pace and the action is both fun and entertaining, the payoff sadly isn't as grand as it was in the first (or second) Ice Age films.
The emotional attachment fans - and especially kids - have to the main characters will be overshadowed no doubt by the new characters, who seem to take center stage and never fully give the older, more developed characters their due. Likewise, the humor - while funny - doesn't quite live up to expectation. Fortunately, Scrat - and his new found love, Scratte - will make viewers laugh out loud just as he has time and time again in films past.
Presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the picture comes through in perfect 1080p and details exactly the video Fox was looking to release. The animation is brilliant, the colors are bright and gorgeous, and the overall look of the film is perfection. The soundtrack too is well done. Featuring a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, the film's sounds - from the music to the effects - beautifully fill one's home theater. Though a heavy on the front speakers, rear speakers get good action during key scenes.
As for special features, first and foremost, this is a 3 disc set, which includes a Blu-ray, DVD and a Digital Copy of the film for those who have need of all three. I'm a big fan of these three packs as they allow viewers (like me!) to have a copy for every occasion.
Other special features include filmmaker commentary, a storybook maker (which should be popular with the little ones!), deleted scenes, a "Walk the Dinosaur" music video, and BD Live Lookup (using IMDb). A number of featurettes are also included: "Buck: From Easel to Weasel," "Unearthing the Lost World," and "Evolution Expedition." Lastly, five Fox Movie Channel Presents specials are also included - "In Character John Leguizamo," "In Character with Ray Romano," "In Character with Queen Latifah," "Making a Scene," and "Making a Scene" (Ice Age The Meltdown).
The truly entertaining portion of this set is the Scrat Pack, which includes a number of special shorts, featurettes, and activities about everyone's favorite big-toothed...whatever he is. The Scrat Pack includes two shorts "Gone Nutty: Scrat's Missing Adventure" and "No Time for Nuts," and a number of featurettes: "The Sabre-Toothed Squirrel: Nature's Nutty Buddy," "Scrat: Breaking Story," "Scrat: News Report, Falling for Scratte," and "Scrat: From Head to Toe," a drawing tutorial that'll have kids breaking out the pens and paper to become artists.
Overall, this three-disc set is a solid purchase for those fans who've enjoyed the first two films. With plenty of action, laughs and entertainment, kids - especially those who've grown up watching Sid, Manny and Diego - will want to add Ice Age - Dawn of the Dinosaurs to their collection.
Ice Age - Dawn of the Dinosaurs is available now wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley
Likewise, a number of new characters make an appearance, including the awesome new