DVD Review: Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas

Ever since Scrat the sabertooth squirrel started his quest for the acorn in the early 2000s, I’ve been a fan of the Ice Age universe. Sure, maybe Manny, Sid, and Diego are slowly inching towards extinction, but more often than not they show that animated films can be both commercial, kid-friendly, and still appeal to parents who are still young-at-heart.

That said, I was disappointed this year when we somehow managed to miss recording Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas which aired around Thanksgiving. I wanted to see if the momentum of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs with its whole Land of the Lost/Journey to the Center of the Earth vibe would spill over into a Christmas special. Now that I’ve seen the special on DVD, I’m happy to say that it was actually quite original and fun!

It starts out with mammoths Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) literally rolling out the decorations for Christmas (somewhat ironically considering how odd it would be to have Christmas before the birth of Christ, but let’s let that go) – including a large boulder that’s been handed down generation to generation in Manny’s family. When Sid (John Leguizamo) the sloth and Diego (Denis Leary) the sabertooth tiger get involved in a discussion about the stone’s merits, Sid manages to destroy it while testing its durability. This didn’t make Manny happy at all and in his frustration he convinces Sid that he’s on Santa’s “Naughty List.”

Well, this upsets Manny and Ellie’s daughter Peaches (Ciara Bravo) so much, she sets off to head to the North Pole to convince Santa to remove Sid from the Naughty List. Of course, Peaches and Sid aren’t alone in this quest and are joined by the possum brothers Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck). Along the way, they get a bit lost and stumble across a new friend named Prancer (T.J. Miller) who just happens to be a flying reindeer. This odd group makes their way to Santa’s workshop, guarded by an army of tiny sloths.

Do they find Santa? Do Manny, Ellie, and Diego join the party? Yes to both questions. Of course, they manage to destroy and rebuild Santa’s Workshop and find a way to save Christmas for kids all around the world thanks to Prancer and his flying family. Ultimately I think the message is that no matter what happens, anything is possible if you work together towards a common goal and don’t give up.

Plus, having an Ice Age holiday special serves as a reminder of the new movie due out next summer – Ice Age: Continental Drift arrives in theaters in July 2012!

In an age where the stop-motion puppetry of the Rankin-Bass holiday specials are looking a little long in the tooth, I’m glad to see new specials appearing on the docket like the Prep and Landing, Shrek the Halls, and now Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas. I think this one will fit nicely into our holiday TV traditions from now on!

This article first appeared at BlogCritics.org here.

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Trailer Time: Ice Age 4: Continental Drift – Teaser

Hi again…

Some days you just need a little Scrat time. That’s right, the prehistoric saber-toothed squirrel is back providing a glimpse of the next Ice Age movie from Blue Sky Studios. Ice Age 4: Continental Drift is slated to hit theaters in July 2012. It’ll be a long eighteen months!

Scrat is after his favorite thing in the whole world – the acorn – once again. And this time he goes all the way to the center of the Earth! Of course that can’t go well!

Here’s the teaser… Enjoy!

–Fitz

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Come on, hit the Laugh Button! You know you want to!

Hey all…

This morning I got an e-mail from the blog of Tim Ferris (author of the 4-Hour Workweek) pointing me to a new site he’s helping a friend with called The Laugh Button. (Though I’d love to do more with the 4-hour workweek concept, it hasn’t happened for me quite yet — I’m working on it. 🙂 )

Mark Twain photo portrait.
Image via Wikipedia

The post talks about tonight’s special on PBS honoring George Carlin at the Mark Twain Prize presentation, and how some of Carlin’s quotes are almost indistinguishable from Mark Twain’s… Separated at birth and a 100+ years? Maybe! (Here’s the post from Ferris — it’s worth reading. All of Ferris’ posts are thought provoking, and that’s great first thing in the morning to get the juices flowing.)

Anyway… I digress! The really cool bit is that this site, The Laugh Button, is kind of like a Pandora for stand-up comedians. We all need more funny in our lives. This is a perfect way to introduce a smile into your day. I will be checking out this site regularly!

So check out The Laugh Button today and watch the Mark Twain Prize tonight on PBS to honor one of the great comedians of our time – George Carlin – with some of the other great comedians of our time (Jon Stewart, Garry Shandling, Margaret Cho, Denis Leary, and one of our favorite crazy people – Lewis Black).

You know you want to listen. 🙂

–Fitz

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