Have you herd the news? Your favorite sub-zero heroes are back in an all-new holiday adventure for the whole family!
When Sid accidentally destroys Manny's heirloom Christmas rock and ends up on Santa's "naughty list," he leads a hilarious quest to the North Pole to make things right and ends up making things much worse. Now it's up to Manny and his prehistoric posse to band together and save Christmas for the entire world!
Christmas special spin-offs of popular cartoons are almost always a dismal experience. They tend to be quickly thrown together for the kiddies without pondering how to make them good, endearing, or even tolerable. Such is the case with 'Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special.'
If I throw the cynic inside me aside for a moment, 'Ice Age's Christmas special still isn't anything worth watching. It's only 25 minutes long and harkens back to almost every old joke of the subsequent 'Ice Age' films. The story is quickly thrown together so the characters can run through the standard Christmas stuff like decorating the tree, handing out presents, and traveling to the North Pole to visit Santa in the hopes of saving Christmas.
There's not much here to warrant a lengthy review. Like I said it's a TV special consisting of 25 minutes of old 'Ice Age' jokes. Manny gets mad at Sid for screwing up. Diego scares people with his inner Saber-toothed Tiger instincts and the Possums beat each other up.
There's nothing more to discuss here. It's a blatant cash grab, which contains a shameless plug for the fourth (yes, fourth!) 'Ice Age' film due out next summer.
'Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special' feels utterly mundane and never joyful or merry. It may be a way to keep the kids quiet for half an hour, but that's about all it's good for.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
You wouldn't know that this is simply a short, because Fox has packaged it in its own Blu-ray combo pack complete with DVD and Digital Copy.The extra weight makes you feel like you're getting something great for your money, but don't be fooled. The pack comes with a slipcover and is a Region A release. The movie is pressed onto a 25GB Blu-ray Disc.
Even though the feature presentation is lackluster the animation sure isn't. The third 'Ice Age' film featured demo-worthy video in every sense of the phrase, it's no different here. Usually these side projects seem to suffer when it comes to animation production, but nothing seems to have suffered here.
Hair on Manny, Diego, Sid, and the rest of the animals ebbs and flows with their movements. There isn't a time where aliasing between all the fine hairs is noticeable. Each individual hair is visible creating a very lively looking picture. Colors, as always pop off the screen. From the stark white of the snow to the multi-colored sloths that guard Santa's workshop.
The animation is smooth and genuine throughout. There doesn't seem to be any area where it's noticeable that Fox Animation cut corners to keep the short's costs down. Compression problems are non-existent. There is some minor banding that can be seen in the sky and the Northern Lights, but it's fleeting and only noticeable if you're really looking. For anyone that's seen the previous 'Ice Age' films on Blu-ray and was impressed by their visuals, this will do the same.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track doesn't really retain a full range of sonic force because there's not much the characters can really get up to in 25 short minutes. Although, there are some nice sounding scenes nonetheless.
LFE is really only noticeable during the avalanche scene, which produces a great rumbling from the sub. Dialogue is always clear through the front and center channels. The rear channels take on a lot of the movie's simple score along with ambient sound like when the colored sloth army pops out from behind snow embankments.
This soundtrack is only limited by the movie's length. The group just can't get into many hair-raising adventures in that short amount of time. Even though this is a short it does manage to squeeze quite a bit of audio punchiness out of the storyline.
There's absolutely no reason someone should pick this up at the store and buy it. If you saw it when it aired on television around Thanksgiving then you're fine. If you didn't, you fared even better. I'm a fan of the first and third 'Ice Age' movies, but this special has no business existing. It does have great audio and video, but that's not enough to warrant a purchase or even a rental. Bad Flick, Good Disc.