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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animated Feature > Computer Animation > Comedy > Ice Age – Dawn Of The Dinosaurs (2009/Fox Blu-ray w/DVD)

Ice Age – Dawn Of The Dinosaurs (2009/Fox Blu-ray w/DVD)

 

Picture: A-/B     Sound: B+/B-     Extras: B-     Film: B+

 

 

It is not often that I get to say that a sequel is better than its predecessor, but Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs highly outdoes Ice Age II: The Meltdown; but still not quite as good as the original.  From stunning visuals too a solid storyline too downright hilarious comedy Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs seems to have it all.

 

I suppose Ice Age is meant for a younger audience, but from what I have seen adults love the Ice Age films as much as anyone; showing that they have a universal appeal without age or gender barriers.  The films are simple and to the point, but concurrently are integrated with comedic details that give the film that extra something.  Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs manages to avoid the fate of other third film installments (like the dreadful Shrek the Third) as the writers managed to cook up an icy cool story that (whereas it makes little factual sense) holds true to the original while adding a new layer on to give the animated film series staying power.

 

The premise of the film is that while Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) are awaiting the birth of their first little mammoth child their friends are having a hard time adjusting.  Diego (Denis Leary) starts to think he is losing his edge after having a less than successful encounter with an antelope; causing him to tell his friends he is “moving on.”  Sid (John Leguizamo) is having some internal conflict as everyone else moves on with life and he has no “real family;” but not before long Sid discovers a new family in the most unusual way.  Sid stumbles across three rather large eggs in an icy underground cavern and decides to make them his own, but not before long the eggs hatch and out comes three baby T-Rexes (as I said not very factual, but hey we are discussing talking animals here).

 

The baby dinosaurs reek havoc and not before long their “frozen mama” awakens to take them back; causing the whole lot of Manny, Ellie, Eddie (Josh Peck), Crash (Sean William Scott), Diego and Sid to venture into a subterranean cavern deep below the ice.  Once in the subterranean land the gang discovers a new world (to them) filled with dinosaurs and creatures that time forgot.  In this world the gang meets a crazed weasel named Buck (Simon Pegg) who is a bit off his rocker having lived for years in solitude battling it out with a massive dino he simply calls Rudy.  Being off his rocker, Buck manages to have relationships with inanimate objects and say things with a creepy, yet mysterious certainty.  The film develops in an all out battle that emphasizes the value of family and friends; with tons of comedy in between to tickly anyone’s prehistoric funny bone.

 

The technical features of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs are obviously more amazing on Blu-ray than DVD, but the DVD is still nice.  My recommendation is to stop fussing around with this DVD stuff and get the full experience on Blu-ray.  The Blu-ray is presented in a 1080p AVC-1 encoded 1.85 X 1 widescreen that looks amazing!  The film does not quite live up to a Pixar release, but does put up a good fight.  The film is immaculate as the colors leap from the screen, every detail pops, the contrast is amazing; the inky blacks trace every scene and overall makes your jaw drop as it lends itself to being a showcase piece for anyone’s Blu-ray collection.  The DVD has a similar crispness as the Blu-ray, but does not live up to its stunning us of color and detail; as I previously stated, go with the Blu-ray.  The sound on Blu-ray is a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio that is stunning and encompassing as it utilizes the entire speaker range as the voices jump from the full soundscape and the directionality is pristine; though they could have done better with ambient noise and environmental fullness.  The DVD is a downgrade in its 5.1 Dolby Surround track that is less than thrilling, but gets the job done.  The Blu-ray set includes the Blu-ray with all the extra features, a DVD standard Edition and a Digital copy of the film.

 

 

There are plenty of extras to enjoy on this Blu-ray; that include the following:

 

  • Film Maker’s Commentary
  • Ice Age Story Book Maker
  • Evolution Expedition Featurette
  • Buck: From Easel to Weasel Featurette
  • Unearthing the Lost World Featurette
  • Unfinished Deleted Scenes
  • “Walk the Dinosaur” Music Video (performed by Queen Latifah)
  • FOX Movie Channel presents
    • Making a Scene
    • Making a Scene (Ice Age the Meltdown)
    • In Character with John Leguizamo
    • In Character with Ray Romano
    • In Character with Queen Latifah
    • BD-Live*: Live Lookup powered by IMDb
  • Scrat Pack
    • Scrat Shorts
      • Gone Nutty: Scrat’s Missing Adventure
      • No Time For Nuts
    • Scrat Featurettes:
      • The Saber-Toothed Squirrel: Nature’s Nutty Buddy
      • Scrat: From Head to Toe (Drawing Tutorial)
      • Scrat: Breaking Story
      • Scrat: News Report, Falling for Scratte

 

 

The Blu-ray is the only way to go for this film.  Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is an amazing animated film that has all the hallmarks of a classic as it blends in a creative use of comedy with stunning visuals.

 

For more coverage of the series, try these links to the previous Blu-ray releases of the earlier features:

 

Ice Age

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/6701/Ice+Age+(2002/Blu-ray)

 

Ice Age 2 – The Meltdown

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/4677/Ice+Age

 

 

-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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