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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special

December 3rd, 2011

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack

It seems making an half hour TV special out of a popular computer animated movie is becoming quite the tradition. The latest franchise to join in is Ice Age with A Mammoth Christmas Special. Is the special worth checking out? And are the DVD / Blu-ray worth picking up?

The Movie

It's Christmas and Manny has brought his Christmas Rock out of storage as part of the celebration. He and Ellie and Peaches (Ciara Bravo) are looking forward to Santa's visit tonight. When they start discussing Christmas traditions, Diego glosses over the fate of gazelles, while Sid points out there's no way Santa will see a rock and they should decorate a tree instead. While trying to put the finishing touches on the tree, Sid manages to break Manny's Christmas rock.

Sid managed to break a 30-ton granite boulder.

Manny tells Sid that Santa will put him on his naughty list, which means no Christmas for Sid. In an effort to to cheer him up, Peaches suggests that she, Sid, Crash and Eddie go to the North Pole to talk to Santa personally. It's a long and dangerous journey, but along the way they meet up with Prancer, a flying reindeer, who helps them get to Santa's Workshop. When they get there, they have a little run-in with some elves (at the very least they are elf-like sloths) and one thing leads to another and suddenly Sid's helped ruin Christmas for everyone. Will the gang be able to fix the mess in time to save Christmas?

I just finished reviewing a similar CG movie turned Christmas Special, so the quickest way to review A Mammoth Christmas Special is to compare it to the other one. This one feels a little lazy in a few ways. For instance, the short uses a number of Christmas carols and Christmas traditions, but spoofs them in a way to make them fit with the Ice Age world. It does so in a fun way, but also in a way that reminded me of Flintstones a little too much. A few times it felt they were just going over a checklist to make sure certain Christmas traditions were included, like the mistletoe.

It's not a bad short film. It's cute and fun, but there's very little here that truly sets it apart. There's not enough done with the characters to make it feel like essential viewing. If you are a fan of the franchise, then you'll probably be entertained, but it doesn't have a whole lot of replay value.

The Extras

The only extras are a music video, which is just clips from the movie and a preview for Ice Age: Continental Drift. The Blu-ray has no exclusive extras, but it does look and sound great. It's not the same level as a feature-length film, but is great for a TV Special. Finally, the DVD only costs $8 while the Blu-ray costs just $8.50.

The Verdict

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special is a good Christmas special and something that's fine to watch on TV. However, its replay value is limited enough that I'm not sure its necessary to own. Plus there are almost no extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray Combo Pack. That said, it's hard to complain about that price and it would make a good stocking stuffer.

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