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DVD Review: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs + The Scrat Pack

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Ice Age is an animated film that premiered in 2002 that followed the adventures of  Manny the Mammoth (Ray Romano), Sid the Sloth (John Leguizamo) and Diego a Saber-tooth Tiger (Dennis Leary) set at the dawn of time. In 2006 Ice Age 2: The Meltdown continued those adventures and added Ellie (Queen Latifah) as a love interest for Manny. My now 10-year-old daughter loved them as they were silly and fun to watch. In 2009 Ice Age 3 Dawn Of The Dinosaurs was released which allowed me to introduce Manny, Sid, Diego and Ellie to my three-year-old.

When Dawn Of The Dinosaurs opens, Ellie is pregnant and Manny is a nervous father-to-be, Diego is feeling his age and decides to leave the herd, while Sid is feeling left out stumbles across three eggs hidden in a cavern and decides to raise his own family. The eggs hatch and Sid is the “mama” to three baby T-Rexes, however when mama T-Rex comes back she not only takes her babies back, but Sid as well. So now Ellie, Manny and Diego (who eventually returns) must get Sid back.

What they find is an underground cavern with a hidden world of dinosaurs, they meet Buckminster (Simon Pegg) who is their guide this new world as well as adding comic relief as the original characters seem to have lost some of their charm. Buck helps navigate the good and bad dinosaurs which include raptors, while trying to find Sid and get back to the surface world.

Also in the film is the saber-toothed squirrel Scrat who continues his quest of chasing acorns, which is complicated by Scratte a female version of Scrat.

My three-year-old loved Sid and Buck, was scared of most of the dinosaurs and my ten-year-old wasn’t as impressed with this installment and I have to concur. The plot is a bit thin as well as the messages that "family comes in all shapes and sizes" as well as "family is always there for you" being blatantly obvious.   

I think that Ice Age has run its course and there’s not really much more to be told that hasn’t been covered in the three films. That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if Ice Age 4 is announced as a theatrical release or direct to DVD film or an animated series is in development.

Ice Age 3 Dawn Of The Dinosaurs comes as a two-disc special edition, on disc one is the film as well as a commentary with director Carlos Saldanha and the animators and crew who you can tell had fun working on the movie, but are a little too self-congratulating during the commentary. It would have been nice to have some of the cast involved but at least there is a commentary track for those interesting in the making of the film.

Moving over to disc two is a number of short featurettes mostly pertaining to Scrat. There are two “Scrat Shorts” which were included on the Ice Age and Ice Age 2 DVDs and are very funny especially "No Time For Nuts" which features a time-travelling Scrat.

“The Saber-Toothed Squirrel: Nature's Nutty Buddy” is a faux documentary about Scrat. 

“Scrat: From Head to Toe (Learn How to Draw Scrat – Tutorial!)” is exactly what it sounds like, aimed at kids it shows how to draw the loveable Scrat.

Then there are two promotional pieces Scrat: "Breaking Story" and Scrat: "News Report" which look like news stories.

"Fox Movie Channel presents Making a Scene” is another promotional piece for the film, while “Falling for Scratte” chronicles the development of Scrat’s female counterpart. 

“Buck: From Easel to Weasel” shows the development of Buck for the newest film.

“Unearthing the Lost World” is a featurette where the production crew talks about the design of the film and what went into making it.

There’s also a music video and DVD-ROM games that can be accessed by popping the DVD into your computer.

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