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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (DVD + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] by Directors: Carlos Saldanha and Mike Thurmeier (Co-Director)
Review by Charles Mohapel
20th Century Fox Blu-ray  ISBN/ITEM#: B001GCUNW6
Date: 30 November 2009 List Price $39.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: IMDB.com / Show Official Info /

Manny, Ellie, Diego, Sid, Crash, and Eddie are back, and this time they find themselves in a lost world filled with dinosaurs and other flora and fauna they had assumed were extinct. And nutty buddy Scratte is back as well, stumbling across a potential love interest in this same world.

Director: Carlos Saldanha
Co-Director: Mike Thurmeier

Writing credits (in alphabetical order):
Peter Ackerman screenplay
Michael Berg screenplay
Yoni Brenner screenplay
Jason Carter Eaton story
Mike Reiss screenplay

Principal Cast:
Ray Romano ... Manny (voice)
Denis Leary ... Diego (voice)
John Leguizamo ... Sid (voice)
Queen Latifah ... Ellie (voice)
Seann William Scott ... Crash (voice)
Josh Peck ... Eddie (voice)
Simon Pegg ... Buck (voice)
Chris Wedge ... Scrat (voice)
Karen Disher ... Scratte (voice)

While looking over the full cast list of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, I noticed that the children of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, and Director Carlos Saldanha provided voices of the animal children. One might call this an interesting way of answering your children when they ask "Daddy, what do you do at work?", you bring them along.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was absolutely hilarious and "Buck" the wild weasel voiced by Simon Pegg stole the show in my opinion. My favorite scenes were #15 and #16, the part of the movie where "Buck", "Crash", and "Eddie" are riding a pterosaur in a breathtaking aerial chase which reminded me of many similar chases in Star Wars as well as Terminator.

Watching the movie with the "Filmmaker Commentary" from Director Carlos Saldanha and the Blue Sky Studios team provided me with great insights into designing and making this film, beginning with the development of Scratte and finishing with the vignettes you see in the closing credits. The cast and crew were filmed and animated for the closing credits, while the dinosaur drawings that followed were created by the children of the people who worked on the film. It comes as no surprise that the children absolutely loved seeing their artwork on the big screen.

"Evolution Expedition" provided a fascinating look back at the animals depicted in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, their descendants or closest modern analogies, and the various dinosaurs and their descendants, the birds of today.

Watching "Buck: From Easel To Weasel", we learn that they videotape the actors performing the voices in the recording studio and then animators watch the tapes closely so that they can incorporate the facial expressions and actions that the actors performed. I really wish this feature had been longer.

In "Unearthing The Lost World" we hear Director Carlos Saldanha, et al discussing the processes involved in making the movie. Another featurette that was loads of fun, but too short.

Both of the "Unfinished Deleted Scenes" were hilarious and "Mission" just had to have been inspired by Mission Impossible. In "Headbutters", Buck imitates a matador when faced with a large group of male Pachycephalosaurus (the thick-headed dinosaur seen in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (JP2)).

Having Queen Latifah provide the vocals for the "Walk The Dinosaur" Music Video was a winner and the entire performance was hilarious.

Not surprisingly both of the "Scrat Shorts" were hilarious. Viewing "Gone Nutty Scrat's Missing Adventure" made me think that "Maybe no man is an island but Scrat is. The Earth as we know it is ALL Scrat's fault!" In "No Time For Nuts", Scrat "discovers" Time Travel or was that the other way around?

You know that you have something special when the majority of my favorite featurettes in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs are described as being hilarious - and my sides still hurt from all the time I spent laughing. And just because it's good family fun, doesn't mean that adults won't enjoy the film either. I particularly liked the fact that Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment chose to offer Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs in a 'Limited Time Combo Pack', filled with a Blu-ray Disc, DVD, and Digital Copy on a third disc. Buy yours before they're all sold out.

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