Friday, January 14, 2011

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 3D Blu-ray Review (Panasonic Exclusive)

Release Date: June 1st, 2010.
Film Rating: PG
Region: A
The Video
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs’ debuts on Blu-ray 3D from Fox Home Entertainment and is available exclusively with Panasonic 3D product promotions. The Blu-ray 3D features a 1080p MVC video presentation that requires a 3DTV, 3D Blu-ray player and compatible 3D glasses to access. For those without a 3D setup just yet, a 2D version of the film is included on the disc.

The film looks truly terrific in 3D with fantastic depth and surprising levels of pop throughout. The film has that crystal clear look throughout that makes your television look more like an open window than just a display, an effect that comes with some of the finest Blu-ray 3D releases.

The strong dimension of the characters and their environments help add to the 3D look with many moments that literally look as if the characters are somewhat outside of the screen during even the most casual of scenes. The 2D presentation included also looks fantastic, but it won’t get any additional playback in my home thanks to the remarkable 3D presentation.

Colors are always impressive, they are very rich and vibrant, and always leap off the screen. The animation lends itself well to 3D and I think any viewer will be thoroughly dazzled by this 3D presentation. I did not encounter any ghosting throughout the entire film when viewed on my Panasonic 3D plasma, which made the transfer even more loveable.

Overall this is a top notch Blu-ray 3D release and by far one of the best releases on the format. Everything about the 3D presentation had me in awe; it was far better than I could have ever imagined. The presentation may not have the most intentional ‘pop-out’ effects, but the smart animation manages to bring 3D pop without feeling gimmicky. 10/10

The Audio
An English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option included. Also included are French, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Russian, Swedish and Mandarin DTS/Dolby Digital tracks. Optional subtitles include English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Russian, Swedish and Mandarin.

The audio is very strong, I was particularly impressed with the high quality of direction the mix had. The release made full use of the surround speakers to create an environment for the film, as well as providing different character perspectives.

During one scene we are viewing from the eyes of Diego, the surround speakers are used perfectly to show distance from the screen where he is viewing as well by making him breathe from the rear speakers. Dialogue was always impressive, providing the perfect clarity we have come to expect from most new release films.

There are a few times I felt the track lacked that extra power it could have had during certain scenes, particularly the dinosaur scenes. It was still very good and had a great quality to it, I was just left hoping for a bit more.

Overall I was very impressed by the track, it had a great dynamic use, and hopefully we see even more 7.1 lossless mixes from Fox in the future. The track creates a fantastic environment, and I really believe the additional speaker use benefited the mix greatly. 9/10

Extras

No special features are included. 0/10

The 3D Movie
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs’ was released theatrically in 3D, but a 3D home video release was held off until this Blu-ray 3D release. I did not see the film in 3D theatrically, at least not that I recall. Going into the 3D presentation I had no expectations on what to expect.

The film’s 3D use is not necessary to enjoy the film, but the 3D adds a significant level of fun that I didn’t experience from my regular 2D viewing of the original Blu-ray release. The film while annoying to some was cute in my eyes, at least for family material.

The 3D experience isn’t filled with effects that pop out simply because it is 3D. The 3D pop is more subtle but noticeable throughout, things aren’t thrown at the screen but we often feel the characters are somewhat outside of the screen throughout.
The dinosaur chase sequences were very impressive in 3D and really enhanced many moments throughout. The film is fun, but it has plenty of flaws and has some stupid scenes to appeal to a new generation of audiences with the shortest of attention spans.

Overall I think the film is cute despite a few annoying sequences, but even those are more enjoyable in 3D. The film looks fantastic and the 3D look is very effective considering the material wouldn’t always make you think the film was made with 3D in mind. 8/10

The Blu-news Summary
Ice Age: The Meltdown’ is a cute but at times annoying film, which does make for a very enjoyable 3D experience. The video and audio presentations are top notch and makeup for the lack of extras on this release. Overall this Blu-ray 3D release is ‘Highly Recommended’ if you can get your hands on it.

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