Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (3D & 2D Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) (2009/2012)

by | Mar 1, 2012 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (3D & 2D Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) (2009/2012)
Voice Cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Simon Pegg
Directors: Michael Thurmeier and Carlos Saldanha
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Video: 1.85:1 for 16:9 1080p HD 3D
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 Surround; French, Spanish, and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Portuguese
Extras: Filmmakers’ audio commentary; “Evolution Expedition” featurette; “Buck: From Easel to Weasel” featurette; “Unearthing the Lost World” featurette; Fox Movie Channel featurettes; Scrat Shorts: “Gone Nutty: Scrat’s Missing Adventure” and “No Time for Nuts”;  Five Scrat featurettes; Two unfinished deleted scenes; “Walk the Dinosaur” music video; Storybook Maker; BD-Live: Live Lookup; Trailers for “The Pink Panther 2”, “Aliens in the Attic”, “Night at the Museum 2”, “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” and “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief”
Length: 94 minutes
Movie Rating: ****   Video Rating: *****
Audio Rating: ****½     D-BOX Rating: *****
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is the third animated movie featuring the adventures of a misfit group of prehistoric animals.  These animals include: Manny the woolly mammoth (Ray Romano) and his wife Ellie (Queen Latifah); Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo); Diego the saber-tooth tiger (Denis Leary); and Scrat the acorn-loving, saber-toothed squirrel.  As the movie opens, we find that Manny and Ellie are about to bring their first baby into the world.  All of the attention being devoted to the impending birth causes Sid to feel left out and no longer a part of the family.  While sulking about, Sid discovers some large eggs in an underground cave.  Sid adopts the eggs and when baby dinosaurs soon hatch from them, the mother T-Rex comes to reclaim her babies, along with Sid in tow.  The gang sets out to rescue Sid, where along the way, they encounter a hilarious new character, Buck the Weasel.  While still not as good as the original “Ice Age” film (as is the case with most sequels), this film is entertaining and a definite improvement over the second film, “Ice Age: The Meltdown”.  With plenty of charismatic creatures for the kids, just enough grown-up humor to keep the adults interested and a stellar audio/video presentation, I can easily recommend Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.
The 2D high-definition video quality of this direct digital-to-digital transfer is superb.  Images are pristine with exquisite detail.  Blacks are consistently dark throughout the movie.  Colors are vibrant and rich with fully-saturated hues.  Picture defect mastering is perfect with no major flaws or compression artifacts.  The 3D high-definition video quality is every bit as superb as the 2D presentation and it maintains those same qualities above.  Black levels are perhaps even a bit darker with the 3D version than the 2D.  Brightness was sufficient at all times during the movie and there were no scenes where picture detail is lost due to the 3D glasses.  The depth created by the 3D effect is sensational, and in scenes like when the group enters the Lost World, it seemed as though there were multiple layers of depth.  There were two or three pop-out effects that take place during the movie, the best one of which is where Scrat, encased in a bubble, appears to float right out in front of the viewer’s face.
In revisiting this movie in its 3D format, and getting my first listen to the lossless audio track, I have revised my opinion of the audio.  The overall audio quality is actually very close to being on the same level as its video counterpart.  The soundtrack actively incorporates all of the discrete channels into its mix.  Dialogue is intelligible and firmly rooted in the center channel.  The surround channels are aggressively utilized for both ambient sound effects and the music score.  The low frequency effects channel is deep and powerful (especially in those scenes where Rudy the T-Rex is on the prowl).
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is compatible with the “D-BOX” Motion Code™ System, meaning that if you have the necessary D-BOX equipment, your movie viewing experience will be enhanced by adding both motion and vibration to your chosen seating.  This is a great D-BOX-enabled movie.  Motion effects and vibration are both present throughout the entire film.  While the simulated rumbling of the ground whenever either of the T-Rexes stomped around was cool, undoubtedly the D-BOX highlights of the movie for me were the three chase sequences (Diego chasing a deer, Sid sledding down a mountain with the dinosaur eggs, and Buck flying aboard the pterodactyl).
—Calvin Harding Jr.

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