Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (“Scrat Pack” Double DVD Pack)

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Rating: PG

Starring:
Ray Romano as Manny (voice)
John Leguizamo as Sid (voice)
Queen Latifah as Ellie (voice)
Simon Pegg as Buck (voice)
Denis Leary as Diego (voice)
Josh Peck as Eddie (voice)
Seann William Scott as Crash (voice)
Bill Hader as Gazelle (voice)
Chris Wedge as Scrat (voice)
Karen Disher as Scratte (voice)

Special Features:
Disc 1: Widescreen Feature Film
- Forced Trailers: Theatrical Trailer, Aliens In The Attic, Night At The Museum 2, Catalog Trailer
Special Features:
- Filmmaker Commentary
- Puppy Kitchen Marley and Me Purina TVC
- Trailer Farm: Love Finds a Home, Pink Panther 2, Garfield’s Pet Force, Flicka 2

Disc 2:
- Scrat Shorts
- Gone Nutty-Scrats Missing Adventure
- No Time for Nuts
- The Sabre-Toothed Squirrel: Natures Nutty Buddy
- Scrat: From Head to Toe (Learn how to draw Scrat-Tutorial!)
- Scrat: “Breaking Story”
- Scrat: “News Report”
- Fox Movie Channel presents Making a Scene
- Falling for Scratte
- Buck…From Easel to Weasel
- Unearthing the Lost World
- Walk with the Dinosaurs Music Video
- Activities: Scrat Pinball Game, Eggshell, Bubble Trouble

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish, French Language
Spanish, French Subtitles
Running Time: 108 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“Just when you thought they couldn’t get any cooler… your favorite prehistoric pals from ‘Ice Age’ and ‘Ice Age 2: The Meltdown’ are back in an all-new, ginormous animated adventure for all ages.

This time around, Manny and the herd discover a lost world of ferociously funny dinosaurs, including a cranky T-Rex who’s got a score to settle with Sid. Meanwhile, Scrat goes nuts over the beautiful Scratte, but is she trying to win his heart – or steal his acorn?

Featuring an all-star voice cast, including Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary and Queen Latifah, ‘Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs delivers more thrills, more chills, and more mammoth-sized laughs for everyone!”

“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” is rated PG for some mild rude humor and peril.

Mini-Review:
I think “Ice Age 3″ works in large part due to the addition of the dinosaurs. As much fun as the ice setting was in the first two movies, it would have felt a bit redundant a third time around. The dinosaurs put our returning heroes in an entirely new situation. It allows for the creation of a lot of fun characters and creature designs. It also allows for a whole new environment. Visually, story-wise, and character-wise, the addition of the dinosaurs breathes new life into the series.

The characters from the first two films are all still here in their usual form. Manny is still neurotic, and even more so with the impending birth of his child. Sid is still a moron and his attempts to adopt a trio of T-Rex babies generate a lot of the laughs in the story. Giego is still struggling to find his role in the group, though a side story involving him and a weak heart (or something) isn’t particularly compelling. Crash and Eddie also return and steal many of the scenes they are in.

However, these returning characters seem kind of dull compared to all the new characters added to the film. First up you have Simon Pegg as Buck, a weasel who has been living alone in the hidden dinosaur world for a number of years. Buck is incredibly skilled at survival, but he’s pretty much insane. He plays well off of the returning characters. Also new is the mother T-Rex and her babies that Sid attempts to adopt / steal. I don’t know how they managed to make a Tyrannosaurus Rex matronly, but they did and it works. The babies generate a lot of laughs as they cause the trouble you might expect from baby predators among their prey. Then there’s Scratte, the female prehistoric flying squirrel that rocks Scrat’s world. The two start out as bitter rivals as she tries to part Scrat from his beloved acorn, but it soon turns into a love affair the likes of which hasn’t been seen since that of Pepe LePew and the cat. Scratte brings new life to the character of Scrat since there’s only so many ways you can get injured while pursuing acorns. She’s another welcome addition to the cast.

The film manages to have several great action sequences. There’s a cool pterodactyl chase near the finale. It takes place at the same time that Manny and Diego battle a pack of velociraptors. Then a final battle between Buck and a massive dinosaur named Rudy is pretty spectacular.

This film was originally presented in 3-D, but they have opted not to offer it in 3-D on DVD. Other movies have recently given the blue and red glasses option, but that’s not the case here. That’s probably for the best. The film holds up well in 2-D anyway.

If you enjoyed the first two “Ice Age” films, I think you’ll find this a satisfying sequel. It’s also fairly easy to jump on board here without having seen the first two films. You might wonder how two opossums are related to a mammoth, but otherwise it’s pretty accessible.

The “Double DVD Pack” includes “The Scrat Pack.” This DVD contains all of Scrat’s previous shorts as well as a featurette on his creation and instructions on how to draw him. I believe many of these features were included on the previous “Ice Age” DVD’s. Also included is a featurette on the designs of the dinosaurs and the addition of Buck. You’ll see lots of interviews with Simon Pegg as well as the rest of the cast and crew. The bonus features are actually quite lean if you already own the previous “Ice Age” DVDs.

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