Ice Age Blu-ray Review
PictureAs a digital source, CG animation always looks absolutely superb on HD media and Ice Age is certainly no different. The film is presented in a theatrically correct ratio of 1.85:1 with a 1080p transfer.
The source is, of course, absolutely pristine - and there is not a blemish to be found anywhere. The story demands most of the story taking place in snowscapes and the opportunity for blandness is obvious - but this top notch transfer is never bland. The white balance is spot on and the snowscapes are bright and stable, with subtle degradations of colour when needed. This allows the other colours to pop off the screen which they do with a vibrancy that rivals the best the format has to offer.
Dark colours are similarly well dealt with, and the contrast between the two is beautifully handled by this transfer. The 3d pop delivered is superb, really drawing the viewer into the image and it is plain from start to finish that this is one of the best transfers I have seen.
The level of detail in the transfer is similarly fantastic, with levels of detail in the fur of the animals truly arresting. The clarity and definition is just superb.
SoundIce Age comes to Blu ray with a DTS 5.1 lossless master audio track, and it makes the disc as much a feast for the ears as it does for the eyes. From the very beginning the majesty of the soundtrack reveals itself, as Scrat battles to save his acorn. The contrast between the quiet moments, and the loud avalanche is superb.
All the way through the film, all the speakers are used extensively, but also subtly - never over egging the pudding, and supporting the action on screen perfectly. Sound is steered to match the onscreen action with constant accuracy and you truly feel immersed in the action.
Despite the action constantly surrounding you, no aspect of the sound suffers. The dialogue is always clear and easy to hear with no volume or channel adjustment needed. The score also fills the sound field without ever being shrill or drowning out the rest of the action and is beautifully balanced.
The sub also gets a good work out at times, mainly during the beginning avalanche, and during the migration scenes - but it is also used to underpin the action at other key moments too.
ExtrasSadly, most of the extras from previous releases are missing in action from this Blu ray release, suggesting a subsequent special edition somewhere down the line. What is here is very good, but it is a shame that studios are still removing extras from HD releases, especially when so much effort is expended elsewhere.
We start with a rather poor commentary with the director's. Sadly, they provide little insight into what happened behind the scenes, instead they are totally enamoured with what their animators have achieved. Whilst is nice to see such enthusiasm, it doesn't actually provide the listener with much insight.
Nine minutes of deleted scenes are presented and these are really funny. An optional commentary can be listened to explaining why they were cut but it does seem strange that they weren't included. They are easily up to scratch with the rest of the film.
Gone Nutty : Scrat's Missing Adventure provides us with a funny extra short featuring the character who appears on and off throughout the main feature, and the package is rounded off with three different Ice Age Trailers
VerdictIce Age is a perfectly pitched modern classic of animation and is worthy of a place in anyone's collection. The animation is absolutely top notch, and the story (although hackneyed) is beautifully handled by the animators, voice talent, and directors.
The quality of the film is matched by top notch AV presentation with a fantastic picture and a superb DTS Lossless audio track. Sadly though, a lot of the extras that appear on the SD releases are missing in action here.
So, does Ice Age merit a place in your collection? I would say absolutely. Yes, a more features packed edition is likely to appear a few years down the line, but it is hard to imagine they will improve the AV quality we have here. This is a film that will amuse the whole family - and for that reason it is highly recommended.
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