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Blu-Ray : Worth a Look
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Release Date: October 27th, 2009 Movie Release Year: 2009

Ice Age III: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Overview -

In the coolest Ice Age adventure yet, 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?

Worth a Look
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Digital Copy
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p/MPEG-4 AVC
Aspect Ratio(s):
Audio Formats:
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Portuguese
Special Features:
And more!
Release Date:
October 27th, 2009

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


The 'Ice Age' gang is back for the third installment in the series. You pretty much know what you're getting yourself into now: A film geared mainly towards children, but one that contains some adult oriented humor so you're not completely bored. 'Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs' does what it sets out to do, nothing more. It's slightly more action oriented than the other 'Ice Age' films, and boasts a colorful new character voiced by Simon Pegg.

As the film opens, Manny the Mammoth (Ray Romano) and his wife Ellie (Queen Latifah) are about to have a baby. Manny is in full blown overprotective father mode. He's even made a baby proofed playground. Diego (Dennis Leary) is beginning to feel like he doesn't belong in the herd anymore. He's feeling old and decides it may be time to go off on his own. Sid (John Leguizamo) is feeling left out, because Manny is giving all his attention to his wife and soon-to-be child.

Then sulking Sid finds an underground cave. Inside the cave are three eggs. Feeling the need to have a family of his own, Sid takes it upon himself to care for the eggs. As you might have guessed, it turns out those are dinosaur eggs, and that the mother of said eggs isn't too happy when she realizes they've been moved. When mommy T-Rex shows up and drags away her babies and Sid, Manny and the others follow in tow to help their friend. Wait, what… dinosaurs? Aren't dinosaurs supposed to have gone extinct? I thought that too, but this 'Ice Age' film has found a way around that little fact. Deep underground an entire tropical world exists, full of lush vegetation, and giant dinosaurs.

Does the ice create some sort of greenhouse effect? Does the lava spewing volcano in this tropical world keep the cavern well heated? Who knows, that's not the point. Sure the 'Ice Age' filmmakers are defying the laws of history, but they're not bothered by that and kids won't be either. The underground rain forest only serves as a backdrop for some pretty intense action scenes as far as children's cartoons go.

I was a fan of the first 'Ice Age' film; the loveable characters (Scrat makes me laugh every time), fun writing, and stylized animation were refreshing. The second film, 'Ice Age: The Meltdown,' suffered from the introduction of several new characters, like the two opossums and their incessant potty humor. This third film gives the opossums a back seat (thank goodness) and introduces a new weasel character named Buck (voiced by the aforementioned Simon Pegg). He's really the only new character, but at times carries the film with his witty, albeit insane, dialogue.

'Ice Age 3' has a simple story. It's fine kids fare and not much more. This isn't Pixar folks, but it's good enough for both parents and kids to sit down and watch together without either of them being bored.

Video Review


The patented style of 'Ice Age' is shown off in tremendous splendor here. The AVC-encoded 1080p transfer is as stunning as one would expect for such a richly animated CGI film. In this reviewer's opinion, this installment even surpasses its predecessors as it makes the jump to Blu-ray.

Colors are perfectly rendered. The bright whites of the snow never burn too hot, and are nicely contrasted with the deep greens, purples and oranges of the rainforest found below the ice. Fine detail is maxed out. Every single hair is visible. A moment to watch is when Scrat meets a female squirrel. The clarity of her batting eyelashes is astounding. Tiny dinosaur scales are also clearly noticeable.

Technical and compression anomalies were kept out of sight. This is a perfect transfer for a magnificently animated film. This surely is the most colorful 'Ice Age' film and it is presented pristinely here.

Audio Review


The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 audio track is sadly a little disappointing. It just isn't the encompassing experience that you would expect. I was sad to find out that almost the entire film is largely represented through the front channels. Sure there are a few surround sound effects, but it isn't what you'd expect from a film that should be bursting with life all around you.

Bass is deep and well produced whenever a dinosaur lumbers along the way, and dialogue is clear, but the rear speakers are really lacking here. I can't say there was a time during the film where I felt immersed by the sound field. Kids will find it engaging enough, but this just isn't the immersive experience that audiophiles will be looking for.

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary - I'm always annoyed when an audio commentary only has one person. Usually that commentary becomes very dull, and isn't worth watching the entire film again. Here, it's the exact opposite, with the number of people (seven to be exact), but it still manages to get the same monotonous result. Without a single voice actor in sight, the group on this commentary consists of co-directors Mike Thurmeier and Carlos Saldanha, character designer Peter DeSève, art director Michael Knapp, and producers Lori Forte and John Donkin. It's sad when you have a delightful cast, including folks like Ray Romano and Simon Pegg, and you can't get them on the commentary. I was surprised that even with all these people the commentary did have some short silences. It's slow and isn't full of any remotely fun information that you can't garner from the other special features.
  • Evolution Expedition (HD, 18 min) - Scientists, museum curators and zoologists offer up exciting 'History Channel' like information about the animals that populate the movie, and what their modern day counterparts look like.
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  • Falling for Scratte (HD, 9 min) - Scrat, the squirrel who is locked in an eternal battle to obtain his acorn, finally gets something that he might value more. A girl! This is a featurette that shows how and why Scratte was created.
  • Buck: From Easel to Weasel (HD, 7 min) - This featurette offers up some candid interviews with Simon Pegg about his character Buck. They talk about how he was animated and the evolution of the character.
  • Unearthing the Lost World (HD, 9 min) - Just a short featurette on creating the world for the third 'Ice Age' film.
  • Scrat Featurettes (SD, 14 min) - There are four different shorts contained here, all about the crazy squirrel Scrat. There's a fake documentary that gives us somewhat of a history on the “saber-toothed squirrel.” There's a couple fake news shows about how Scrat has come to life in modern days. These news shows are annoying at best, and feel really, really forced. The most interesting thing here is a how-to instructional video on how to draw Scrat.
  • Fox Movie Channel Featurettes (SD, 28 min) - This selection is home to five different featurettes that involve the production of the movie. They come across as strictly promo pieces used to advertise the film rather than provide any in depth analysis. John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, and Ray Romano are all given short opportunities to talk about their characters and what it was like working on the movie again. There are two featurettes that are called “Making a Scene” that document what it was like making a certain scene from the movie. On of them is about the scene in which Manny and Diego find themselves about to be digested by a giant carnivorous plant, and the other one is a rehash of a scene from the second 'Ice Age' film. Why it was included here is anyone's guess.
  • Unfinished Deleted Scenes (SD, 5 min) - Just a couple of short scenes that are presented in storyboard format. Most likely cut for timing reasons.
  • Music Video (HD, 2 min) - A music video for the original song “Walk the Dinosaur.” Ugh!
  • Scrat Shorts (HD, 12 min) - I love Scrat and these two shorts are perfect. “Gone Nutty” and “No Time for Nuts” are both dialogue free, but offer up a treat for those of us that enjoy Pixar-esque short films. By far these are the most worthwhile extras included on this disc.

Final Thoughts

This third 'Ice Age' film is harmless. It provides a fun, semi-entertaining thrill ride for the kids, and won't completely bore the parents to death. The audio presentation is adequate, but it isn't anything that will leave you breathless. On the other hand the lush video presentation alone is worth owning this disc. While this isn't the best animated film out there, it wouldn't hurt to have this one in the collection in case you need some electronic babysitting for an hour and a half.