Monday, October 19, 2009

The Buzz on Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs + Scrat Pack

The winners of this giveaway are the following commenters:
Rayne of Terror

I think I can track most of you down, but if you could email me your address to me, that would be even faster!   cageyATgmailDOTcom

Thanks to everyone who entered!


Ice Age 3 Dawn Of The Dinosaurs
In the  coolest Ice Age adventure yet, Manny and the herd discover a lost world of ferociously funny dinosaurs, including a cranky T. rex who’s got a score to settle with Sid! Meanwhile, Scrat goes nuts over the beautiful Scratte, but is she trying to win his heart – or steal his acorn?

The Ice Age 3 Dawn Of The Dinosaurs Three-Disc Combo Pack (Blu-ray, DVD and a Digital Copy) provides hours of extra fun for the entire family including an Ice Age digital story book maker, commentary by director Carlos Saldanha, deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, two special Scrat shorts, a how-to-draw Scrat tutorial with the filmmakers and much more.  The Three-Disc set will be available for a suggested retail price of $39.99 U.S./$49.99 Canada. Additionally, the Ice Age 3 Dawn Of The Dinosaurs standard DVD will be available for $29.98 U.S./$43.48 Canada.  The Ice Age 3 Dawn Of The Dinosaurs “Scrat Pack” Double DVD Pack, another great value for moms and fun for kids, will also be available for a limited time only featuring an overload of special features focusing on the determined squirrel including three “Scrat” games exclusive to the disc.  The “Scrat Pack” will be available for a suggested retail price of $34.98 U.S./$45.98 Canada.

I have not seen the two previous Ice Age movies and hesitated to go see the 3rd one last summer while it was in the theatres.  I feared we would be lost just joining the franchise and had not hear too much about the previous two movies.  However, when asked to review this particular Ice Age, I was drawn in with the word "dinosaur". And we were not disappointed.

The animation in this Ice Age is of very good quality and admittedly, I am pretty snobbish about that.  I did appreciate how some of the action scenes were choreographed as if they had been "live-filmed" - during one of the chase scenes I loved the animated "mud" hitting the "camera lens".

The overall storyline is actually quite clever and the jokes are witty, we laughed from the beginning to the end.  The humor is a little on the crass side, so be aware if that is not your thing.  However, it is most certainly MY thing and to that end,  I am raising my own children to appreciate Crass With Class, as well.   If your children are sensitive to what I delicately refer to as Food Chain Topics, you may want to watch this first to gauge their reaction since the T-Rex is pretty menacing in parts.  My kids, ages 2 and 4,  were not bothered in the least by the T-Rex, but we are pretty frank about the fact that some dinosaurs are carnivores and this means they eat MEAT.

We viewed this DVD on several different TVs - plasma, LCD and regular tube.  I thought the quality was fine on all three devices.

Is the extra Scrat pack worth it?  I would say yes - I appreciate animated shorts if they are done well.  And yes, the three Scrat shorts included on the bonus pack are clever, witty and beautifully animated (my favorite was the "time machine" short - I could watch that one over and over - hilarious!)  As an animation buff, I also appreciated learning the behind-the-scenes information as to how they go about making the entire movie itself.  

In short, we really enjoyed this movie and even after having seen it over and over and over the past few weeks, we are STILL watching it and even I am still giggling during the same parts.  If your little ones enjoy dinosaurs, this should be on the top of your list for the holiday buying season - I can think of two little kids who will most certainly be getting Ice Age 1 and Ice Age 2 in their stockings this year.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, comes out October 27 on Amazon and will be on both Blu-ray and DVD!

Would you like to win a copy?? I have 5 copies for giving away! Between now and October 26th, Midnight CST, leave a comment, including your email address and tell me which is your favorite dinosaur.  Sorry, this is only open to US residents.

My favorite dinosaur? The triceratops! I just love those three horns.

The Buzz on Elmo's Animal Adventures

Dude.  It's Elmo.  Need I say more?  No?  Yes?  Well, then.....

A brief synopsis of Elmo's Adventures:
Join Elmo and his friends as they embark on 3 fun-filled adventures.  Help Elmo and Tilly find Little Bo Peep’s missing cow by following clues and working together as a team.  Use animal facts to help Elmo & Abby succeed in the “Find The Amphibian Game” and join Elmo in a camping adventure as he learns that sharing is fun and discovers the different types of food that animals eat.    Includes special appearances by Cameron Diaz and Patricia Arquette.

We have a winner! My kids loved this video - yes, it was Elmo and featured the usual fun songs and dancing that Elmo for which is known..  It was a no-brainer.  Still - it also featured animals and included some bits about camping. Everybody wins with that combination in my household.

Yes, this video was a success in our household and I would highly recommend it as a holiday season gift idea.

Elmo's Animal Adventures is available on

The Buzz on Animal Planet's "Lions"

Recently, I received a copy of Animal Planet's Lions for reviewing.

Synopsis of Lions:
See the amazing story of A Lion Called Christian, experience the lion’s existence in the Serengeti in The Lion’s Share, learn about the magical golden king of the jungle in White Lions and see how lions are going “rogue” in Kruger National Park in Rogue Lions.  Witness the internet sensation Christian the Lion and his touching reunion with his former caretakers; journey into the heart of the Seregenti as drought threatens the survival of a close-knit pride; explore the regal realm of the majestic white lion; and venture into Kruger National Park where lions are changing their hunting behaviors and are slowly becoming more of a threat to humans.  First shown on Animal Planet, Lions provides a striking look at these stunning animals and their behaviors.

I really wanted to like this. Really.  It was about lions.  How cool is that?  Unfortunately, I could not view this DVD in its entirety - the storylines plodded along and the music was not very inspiring.  And while my own children are not sensitive to Food Chain Topics (e.g. graphic footage of lions mawing down on zebra meat did not bother my children in the least), other parents need to be aware there was some graphic footage in these DVDs for youngsters. And fortunately, my kids did not notice the S-E-X scenes since I am not ready to explain that particular life process just yet.

This DVD is definitely educational and does contain useful information regarding lions.  I would not recommend it for younger children, but it may be more appropriate for older children.  If you are interested in purchasing this DVD, it can be purchased on

The Buzz on Animal Planet's "Elephants"

When I received the request to review some videos for Animal Plant, I jumped on it. With two kids crazy for animals, it seemed to be a good fit.

The synopsis of Elephants:
An extended elephant family, featuring a venerable Old Bull, embarks upon a life-and-death journey across the vast African plains. Through oppressive conditions they persevere, facing extraordinary joys and sorrows in life.
Queen of the Elephants

The people of India regard the elephant as a god; yet today, the needs of humans and the elephants are diametrically opposed. This special follows adventurer/conservationist Mark Shand and Parbarti Barua -- the only female mahout (elephant trainer/handler) in India and perhaps the world -- as they trek 300 miles across India on the backs of elephants. Their ELEPHANTS aim is to bring attention to the plight of the elephant. As India's population explodes and living space disappears, the crucial pathways linking one feeding ground to another are being cut, driving elephants to raid fields and towns for food.
I was sad to discover that we did not enjoy this DVD.  The story lines were not compelling and I could not get my son to even finish it with me.  I also viewed this DVD on both of our TVs, the fancy 52" plasma and the regular 27" tube - I was not really impressed with the cinematography and some of the imagery was grainy-looking.

While I cannot recommend purchasing this particular DVD, if your child is into elephants, it would be worth checking out at your local library. The DVD was at least educational and provided useful information regarding elephants.

If you are interested in buying this DVD, The Discovery Store has it for sale.