Ice Age: Extreme Cool Edition (2002)

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Released 21-Mar-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Chris Wedge (Director) And Carlos Saldanha (Co-Director)
Short Film-Gone Nutty-Scrat's Missing Adventure
Deleted Scenes-With Optional Commentary
Game-Hide And Eek
Game-Frozen Pairs
Teaser Trailer
Theatrical Trailer-2
Alternative Version-Extreme Cool View, With Fun Facts & Interviews
Featurette-Scrat Reveals
Multiple Angles-Animation Progression
Featurette-International Ice Age
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Under The Ice - Eight Featurettes
Short Film-Bunny (Animated), With Optional Intro And Commentary
Gallery-Design Galleries
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 77:55
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (54:11) Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Chris Wedge
Carlos Saldanha
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Ray Romano
John Leguizamo
Denis Leary
Goran Visnjic
Jack Black
Cedric The Entertainer
Stephen Root
Diedrich Bader
Alan Tudyk
Lorri Bagley
Jane Krakowski
Peter Ackerman
P.J. Benjamin
Case ?
RPI $18.95 Music David Newman
John Carnochan
Brian McEntee


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (96Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    This is the second edition of Ice Age to be released in Region 4. A review of the first version can be found here. This version has some major differences but also a lot of similarities. Let me lay out what has changed as a quick guide:

    So I suppose the question is - to upgrade or not upgrade...well, one thing to keep in mind is that this version is coming out with an RRP of $18.95 which is pretty cheap, especially considering that you should be able to pick it up at a lower price than RRP if you shop around a bit. Despite that, I would say that if you have the previous version you won't gain too much unless you badly want a DTS track. The new extras are pretty good but the original disc had a great set of extras, so how many do you really need? However if, like me, you never picked up the previous version and liked the film, this version is a great choice, especially when considering the price.

    The original review linked above contains an excellent overview of the plot, but let me tell you a few things about this film which I really like. First and foremost one of the funniest scenes ever in an animated film has got to be the sequence with the dodos and Sid's touchdown. When I first saw this sequence I nearly hurt myself laughing and despite having now seen it five times in the last two days, it still raises a chuckle. Also, Scrat is a winner - a truly inspired idea which brought a great new character to the film despite not really being part of the story. My two year old son has been asking me to put Scrat on repeatedly since I first played the movie for him. There is obviously much more to enjoy but these are the things which stick in my mind.

    So, my advice is upgrade if you badly want DTS and buy this version if you didn't buy the previous one.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is phenomenal.

    The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio. I would guess that this disc contains the same transfer as the previous one but unfortunately I have no way to confirm this. For those who are interested the movie takes up 4101 Mb on the disc which works out to an average video bitrate of approximately 6 Mbps which is pretty healthy.

    The picture was incredibly clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. The shadow detail was excellent. The detail available in the fur of the main characters is truly incredible.

    The colour was excellent and the variation in colour between different hairs on Manny or Sid is quite amazing when you stop to take a look at it.

    Shock! Horror! I did notice a minor artefact. There was some white edge enhancement visible, especially around mountains, but I would call this a nitpick rather than a major issue.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were very clear and easy to read.

    The layer change occurs at 54:11 and is essentially invisible.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is excellent.

    This DVD contains two audio options, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and an English DTS 6 channel soundtrack encoded at 768 Kb/s. To my mind, the DTS definitely has an edge in dynamics and sounds fantastic. The Dolby Digital 5.1 is great as well. My comments below refer specifically to the DTS track.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this film by David Newman is wonderful adding significantly to the fun and tension of various scenes.

    The surround speakers were used constantly, adding a large variety of surround effects and atmosphere.

     The subwoofer is much more active on this new DTS track and really adds to the film experience.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    I will cover the new extras in detail and just note what else is included. Excellent descriptions for the original extras repeated here can be found in the original review here. New extras are labelled **NEW**.

Menu

    The menu includes an intro, motion, music and is generally very well designed, although I did find that on some sub-menus it was virtually impossible to read the option when you had the cursor on it.

Games (Disc 1) **NEW**

    2 interactive games are included, which are:

Extreme Cool View (72:41) (Disc 2) **NEW**

    This is quite an interesting extra, and to my knowledge unique. What you get is a 16x9 enhanced screen split into four unequal sections. The four sections contain 1) The film in another widescreen window within the main screen (without credits at the end hence the time difference) 2) A section for text based trivia 'Scrat's fun facts' 3) A 4x3 shaped window which plays small featurettes relevant to the various sections of the film and 4) A picture of Scrat with his acorn. I know this sounds a little confusing but sensibly only one of these sections is really active at a time, although the film continues to play regardless of what else is going on. The audio switches between the movie and the featurettes and the text trivia only comes up when a featurette is not playing. In total there are 48 featurettes included which are also viewable separately. The featurettes include interviews with the director, producer, character designer and staff from the Page Museum which is at the Le Brea tar pits. If you have not heard of the Le Brea Tar Pits they are the largest known deposit of Ice Age fossils and are located in California. Topics covered include characters, film development, sloths, mammoths, sabre-toothed cats, cave painting, tar pits, fossils, early man and animation technicalities. There is lots of interesting information presented.

Bunny - Animated Short (8:55 incl Intro) **NEW**

    This is a short film made by the same director which won the Best Animated Short Oscar in 1999. Impressive animation but I found the story a little difficult. The director (in the optional commentary/intro) describes it as being a whimsical film about death. It concerns an old female bunny baking a cake who has trouble with a moth. After she follows the moth into her oven things get a bit weird. Can be played with or without intro and with or without commentary by Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha who provide the feature commentary.

Feature Commentary by Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha - Disc 1

    Quite a good commentary featuring the director and co-director. Chris Wedge is very interesting and Carlos Saldanha is a bit stilted and offers more technical comments. Chris nudges him to say something a few times.

Gone Nutty - Scrat's Missing Adventure (4:37) - Disc 1

    Some more great Scrat action. Excellent addition.

Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary - Disc 1

    Same set as were previously available.

Trailers - Disc 1

    Same three trailers as were on the previous version.

Scrat Reveals - Disc 2

    Same three short Fox promos featuring Scrat, which were included last time.

Animation Progression

    3 multiple angle featurettes showing how the animation develops through various stages. On the previous version.

International Ice Age (2:45)

    Multiple language featurette.

Under the Ice

    This section is the same as last time except that it does not include the Making of featurettes. It does include the HBO : First Look featurette starring Ray Romano and the other seven featurettes.

Design Galleries / Size Comparison

    The same as on the previous version.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This Extreme Cool Edition has been released in exactly the same format in Region 2, however is not available in Region 1. I will compare the Region 1 version to this new version here. The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    On this basis the Region 4 version of the disc is the winner from my perspective.

Summary

    A wonderful animated film full of great jokes and exciting action.

    The video quality is phenomenal.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The disc has a wonderful selection of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, March 28, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

Other Reviews NONE
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