In what amounts to a throw-back to the early, manually-animated cartoons, "Ice Age" chooses a very simple story around which is wrapped clever and exciting animation. Highly intelligent sabre-tooth tigers want to get revenge for the killing of one of their pack, so plot to steal the baby son of the human tribe leader. A goofy sloth (Lugiezamo) and a kind wooly mammoth (Ray Romano) rescue the child and attempt to find his parents, joined by a sly tiger (Denis Leary) who at first is planning to lead all of them into a corner so his tiger friends can help get the child back and eat the mammoth. But a series of events, and the tiger's being saved by the mammoth, causes all of them to "bond".
The DVD is flawless. The Dolby surround sound is remarkably good, truly surrounding you with sound. The direct digital to DVD video transfer is as good, colorful, and sharp as the other recent ones like "Toy Story 2", "Shrek", and "Monsters Inc." There is a whole second disk of "extras" which take you through the whole animated film-making process. Also a short animated film "Bunny" which won an oscar in 1998. Plus another "short" which shows the little squirrel, 20,000 years later, in an ice block drifting onto a deserted island, and his pounding of a coconut into the ground triggering the continental drift which resulted in the present day continents! Very inventive and funny.
Watching "Ice Age", my wife and I noticed that much of the action and pratfalls reminded us of the old "Roadrunner" cartoons. In the DVD extras the director mentions that those old cartoons of Chuck Jones were the insriration of many of the scenes. Yes, a throw-back to the old manually-animated cartoons, and a worthy tribute.
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