Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Adventure / Animation / Comedy / Family
Fox || PG - 94 minutes - $39.99 || October 27, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-10-31


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Carlos Saldanha
Writer(s): Jason Carter Eaton (story), Michael Berg & Peter Ackerman and Mike Reiss and Yoni Brenner (screenplay)
Cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Simon Pegg


Theatrical Release Date: July 1, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 8 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Interactive Features
  • Music Video
  • Digital Copy
  • DVD Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin

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.::THE FILM::.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, the third entry in the modestly successful series, is a little too simple and convoluted for my taste, but still a whole lot of fun for the whole family. It’s funny, sweet and features a good voice talent pool. I think if this were a Pixar movie with high Pixar expectations, this would’ve only received an average score, but because it’s from Fox Animation, those expectations are lower.

This sequel finds Manny (RAY ROMANO) and Ellie (QUEEN LATIFAH) expecting their first child while best friends Diego (DENIS LEARY) and Sid (JOHN LEGUIZAMO) trying to find their place in the world. Diego has felt he has lost his edge after failing to be able to capture his prey and Sid wanting so much to have his own family.

The story kicks off when Sid accidentally discovers three dinosaur eggs and when momma T-Rex comes to find them, she takes them, along with Sid, to an undiscovered, unknown world. Now Manny, Ellie and Diego set out on a mission to save Sid with the help of an adventurous weasel named Buck (SIMON PEGG). Now the group explores this world and encounter dangers while rediscovering the meaning of family. How sweet.

As a side story, we get the return of the hilarious and sweet Scrat (CHRIS WEDGE) still chasing his beloved acorn but he meets his match with the beautiful Scratte who uses her feminine wiles to get the acorn as well. It’s a great and funny side story that I actually enjoyed more than the primary plot.

As I said, Ice Age 3 is a little too convoluted with its plot and how they get the characters to this new world, but it’s still quite funny for both kids and adults with a sweet message at its core.

The voice talent, as with the previous two movies, are all great from Romano’s worrisome father-to-be panic, Latifah’s as the mother-in-waiting and the underutilized Denis Leary as the saber-tooth tiger. Obviously this isn’t going to be much of a match against even Pixar’s weaker projects but I still found the voices continue to be well done.

The animation style is also fantastic and I imagine if I ever revisited the first Ice Age from 8 years ago, this is probably far above in the animation. Having watched featurettes on these animated movies, one of the hardest things to do is working on hair and I immediately noticed how realistically it flowed with movement. This is a solid “A” in terms of animation, not up to Pixar standards but still pretty damn good.

Overall, if you enjoyed the first two, you will still find Ice Age 3 to be a solid entry into an underdog franchise that has grabbed the hearts of families around the world and grossing over $560 million domestically.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

First up is a feature commentary with Director Carlos Saldanha, Producer John Donkin, Co-Director Mike Thurmeier, Art Director Michael Knapp, Producer Lori Forte and a couple animators. The track is entirely info-centric and can be a tad tedious to get through if you’re not interested in the animation side of things, but they do manage to fill just about every minute.

Buck: From Easel to Weasel (7:12) takes a look at the newest character to the Ice Age franchise, how he was designed and how zany the character is. This features interviews with some of the voice talent talking about the character.

Unearthing the Lost World (8:41) – This featurette examines how the new world featured was designed and animated. It has more comments from the cast and crew about how incredible it was and the challenge of it all from not only the land but the mammals inhabiting it.

Two Scrat Shorts (11:54) – The two shorts, “Gone Nutty” and “No Time for Nuts”, are fun little adventures for the little guy.

Scrat Featurettes (10:12) – There are five featurettes centered on the loveable Scrat character: “The Saber-Toothed Squirrel: Nature’s Buddy”, “Scrat: From Head to Toe”, “Scrat: ‘Breaking Story’”, “Scrat: ‘News Report’” and “Falling for Scratte”.

Fox Movie Channel Specials (27:54) includes: “Making a Scene” from Ice Age 2, “In Character with John Leguizamo”, “In Character with Ray Romano”, “In Character with Queen Latifah” and another “Making a Scene” for Ice Age 3. These are your typical featurettes but provide a little info about their respective subjects.

There is also a music video (1:32) for “Walk the Dinosaur”.

** BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES **

Ice Age Storybook Maker – This is a fun little game for the kids where they can select scenes throughout the movie and make their own little storybook. There are different levels depending on the age.

Evolution Expedition (18:24) is a featurette that explores the mammals featured in the film from the saber-tooth cat and others. This isn’t entirely enthralling but maybe some younger kids will find interest in it.

Lastly there two unfinished deleted scenes (4:33), a digital copy of the movie and the new feature, Live Lookup that you can use with while watching the movie.

And although not really an “exclusive” per se, the 3-disc set also includes a DVD Copy, perfect for any family.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Ice Age 3 is presented with its original 1.85 aspect ratio and in 1080p high-definition. I don’t put as high of a value on HD with regards to animated movies but I will say this one looks quite good on Blu-ray. Colors are rich and bright but don’t bleed off the screen (overdoing it) and I noticed no instances of pixilation or obvious banding issues.

The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is also excellent. You get a lot of dialogue here but the movie does feature some action sequences that charge through every channel evenly. Now, it’s not a perfect mix as at times it doesn’t have quite the oomph I was expecting, but still all in all, it’s a decent track.



.::OVERALL::.

While Pixar movies will get the most attention, and rightly so, the B-level animated flicks are pretty good on their own. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is a fun movie that both kids and adults can enjoy.