Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs

Featured In Issue 144, November 2009

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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Some mild rude humor and peril
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Carlos Saldanha & Michael Thurmeier
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 7.1
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Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs is a cool Ice Age adventure as Manny (the voice of Romano) 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 (the voice of Leguizamo). Meanwhile, Scrat goes nuts over the beautiful Scratte, but is she trying to win his heart—or steal his acorn? The wonderful characters are designed by Peter de Séve. (Gary Reber)

The three-disc special edition includes the BD, DVD, and Digital Copy and provides hours of extra fun for the entire family, including an Ice Age digital storybook maker; commentary by Director Carlos Saldanha; two unfinished deleted scenes (SD 04:33); two special Scrat shorts (HD 11:54); five Scrat featurettes (SD 10:12); a how-to-draw Scrat tutorial with the filmmakers; three making-of featurettes: Evolution Expedition (HD 18:24), Buck: From Easel To Weasel (HD 07:12), and Unearthing The Lost World (HD 08:41); "Walk The Dinosaur" music video (HD 01:32); a Fox Movie Channel Special; up-front trailers; and BD-Live functionality.

While the original cinematographic source format was Digital 3D and presented in D-Cinema in the 3-D version, this is the non-3-D version in spherical format at a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The 2K digital intermediate 1.87:1 1080p AVC picture is stunning. The color palette is warm and rich, with painting-like characteristics. Colors often appear pastel in hue, which creates an overall softening effect, yet resolution renders a sharp and clear image. The imagery is very dimensional as well, which communicates the original 3-D framing, which is extraordinary. The picture is beautifully animated and colorful, for an outstanding visual experience that is sure to fascinate and please. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is nicely spatial and holosonic sounding, with a nicely dimensional soundfield. The orchestral music score, mixed by Shawn Murphy, is well recorded, with a wide and deep soundstage that extends to the 90-degree side channels and to the side-back surrounds, for a dimensional experience. Dialogue is ADR produced but is always intelligible, though, not always well integrated spatially. That's because often there is no other support for the dialogue, which is absent of atmospheric sound effects. However, when sound effects are present, they are effective. Thunder and rain sound convincing, as well as other sound effects, such as the threatening dinosaurs. Bass extension at times is deep and powerful, extending to below 25 Hz in the .1 LFE channel, which provides an effective low-frequency foundation for the storytelling. At times the sound collapses to the front channels, with no surround support. At other times there is directional surround activity, but seldom. While fidelity is excellent, the absence of surround envelopment at times, other than the music, is disappointing, as is the general lack of atmospheric effects throughout. (Gary Reber)