ICE AGE: A MAMMOTH CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
One of the coolest things about modern animated films, particularly of the CGI variety, is the revival of holiday specials with these characters on the small screen. “Madagascar” has done this with a holiday special, and “Monsters vs. Aliens” gave us a neat Halloween special a few years ago. Throw in some “Shrek” specials and “Kung Fu Panda” spots, and you have a whole new slate of holiday-themed short films that can entertain beyond the Peanuts shows I remember from my childhood.
One of the most recent holiday specials was “Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special,” which wasted no time getting into our homes for the season, considering it aired on Thanksgiving weekend on Fox. Now, it’s available as a stand-alone DVD to watch again and again with the kids.
Running only 25 minutes, there’s no need to find a subplot for every character in the “Ice Age” backdrop, which has been an ongoing problem for the film series. This story is relatively simple, with Sid accidentally landing on the Naughty List and having to make a trip to the North Pole to make good with Santa. After more shenanigans, the “Ice Age” critters must help get Santa’s sleigh flying so Christmas isn’t canceled.
Don’t try to make too much sense from this film and how it fits into the chronology of the movies (considering the concept of Christmas hadn’t been invented yet since Christ shouldn’t be born for 20,000 years or so… or that the ice age is supposedly ending but the ice never quite melts). Just enjoy it with the established characters.
We get some interaction with Manny’s daughter, who is trying to help Sid get back on the Nice List, and the kids should enjoy the ride. As long as the kids aren’t too confused with the conflicting Christmas stories from this and other specials, it’s a cute film to enjoy with the family.
And let’s not forget the real star of the “Ice Age” movies: Scrat the saber-toothed squirrel. He gets some choice scenes in this film, and that’s what I love.
The DVD comes with a sneak peek at the new film “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” which leaves me cold because it apparently has Wanda Sykes as a lead character. There’s also a musical spot with the mini-sloths singing “Swingin’ Jingle Bells.” It’s not loaded with special features, but it’s only a 25-minute movie after all.