DVD Review Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs + The Scrat Pack
Directed by: Carlos Saldanha, Mike Thurmeier Cast: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Simon Pegg Running Time: 1 hr 35 mins Rating: PG Due Out: October 27, 2009
PLOT: Manny the mammoth, (Romano) Sid the megatherium, (Leguizamo) and Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Leary) are back for a third adventure that has them exploring through an underground world of dinosaurs. Along the way they meet Buckminster, (Pegg), a somewhat psychotic weasel who is set on taking down a giant beast named Rudy.
WHO'S IT FOR? Because they don’t likely have an adequate grasp on the idea of quality at a single digit age, kids will enjoy the breeziness of this movie. Parents will get a good nap in, possibly dreaming about watching an earlier Ice Age movie, or hell – or even more likely, a Pixar film.
Fossil-aged gags and lazy story construction make for the boring experience that is Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Sure, the fur on the animals is very detailed and the frames have blood and sweat all over them, but the same can’t be said for the story. The plot regrettably utilizes the orignal adventurous trio, (whose voice talents aren’t as popular as they were originally in 2002, surely) and loves the moments when it can use new character Buck or seasoned silent film star Scrat to keep audiences interested. As zany as Simon Pegg’s voicing is of the wacko weasel, and as timeless as Scrat’s existence may be, no two characters alone can save this threequel from being a weak moment for animated storytelling. They certainly can’t make another Ice Age movie entirely worth it.
MOVIE SCORE: 3/10
Fox Movie Channel Presents: Making A Scene - The venus fly trap episode that occurs towards the beginning of the second act in Ice Age 3 is given a detailed breakdown by people who think that moment is more important to the story than it really is. Discussion of a different scene might have been more beneficial, considering this segment felt like it was tacked on to fill time, not expand the story.
Two Scrat Shorts - Two more episodes of Scrat vs. the Nut - Gone Nutty and No Time for Nuts. They provide much of the same simple yet engrossing entertainment that his interludes in the feature films accomplish. No Time for Nuts was the only feature from this entire DVD, including the feature film, to make me laugh.
Scrat: From Head to Toe - This special feature begins with an instructional step-by-step how to on drawing the revered silent character, as guided by a lead animator. A brief history lesson follows, including the origins of the saber-toothed squirrel, and the voice behind him.
Filmmaker Commentary The Saber-Toothed Squirrel: Nature’s Nutty Buddy Scrat: “Breaking Story” Scrat: “News Report” Falling for Scratte Unearthing the Lost World Walking the Dinosaur – Music Video Marley Meets Purina Puppy Chow Trailers
EXTRAS SCORE: 6/10
Neurotic saber-toothed squirrel Scrat is only a sub-character in the Ice Age franchise, (or comic relief, if you will) but the packaging refuses to acknowledge that. The DVD thinks that Scrat is the strongest bridge from audience to film, something that causes all three characters to be overlooked. Even the DVD menu on the first disc stars Scrat. (The highlight of the extras on disc one is probably the dog food commercial. I wish I was joking.) The marquee names are nowhere to be seen in this DVD's bonus parts.
The special features on the second disc are a bit inflated – the two shorts are from previous Ice Age releases, and the four “Behind the Scenes” documentaries barely reach eight minutes. New Scrat-related material is seen in fake news reports, but the cutesy segments, which have live-action interviews with bored actors, are a poor substitute for a new Scrat short.
FINAL SCORE: 4/10