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  • The Incredibles (Disney Pixar) (2 Discs) [2004] The Incredibles (Disney Pixar) (2 Discs) | DVD | (18/03/2005) from £5.55  |  Saving you £15.00 (71.50%)  |  RRP £20.99

    After creating the last great traditionally animated film of the 20th century, The Iron Giant, filmmaker Brad Bird joined top-drawer studio Pixar to create this exciting, completely entertaining computer-animated film. Bird gives us a family of "supers," a brood of five with special powers desperately trying to fit in with the 9-to-5 suburban lifestyle. Of course, in a more innocent world, Bob and Helen Parr were superheroes, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl. But blasted lawsuits and public disapproval forced them and other supers to go incognito, making it even tougher for their school-age kids, the shy Violet and the aptly named Dash. When a stranger named Mirage (voiced by Elizabeth Pena) secretly recruits Bob for a potential mission, the old glory days spin in his head, even if his body is a bit too plump for his old super suit. Bird has his cake and eats it, too. He and the Pixar wizards send up superhero and James Bond movies while delivering a thrilling, supercool action movie that rivals Spider-Man 2 for 2004's best onscreen thrills. While it's just as funny as the previous Pixar films, The Incredibles has a far wider-ranging emotional palette (it's Pixar's first PG film). Bird takes several jabs, including some juicy commentary on domestic life ("It's not graduation, he's moving from the fourth to fifth grade!"). The animated Parrs look and act a bit like the actors portraying them, Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter. Samuel L. Jackson and Jason Lee also have a grand old time as, respectively, superhero Frozone and bad guy Syndrome. Nearly stealing the show is Bird himself, voicing the eccentric designer of superhero outfits ("No capes!"), Edna Mode. Nominated for four Oscars, The Incredibles won for Best Animated Film and, in an unprecedented win for non-live-action films, Sound Editing. The Presentation This two-disc set is (shall we say it?), incredible. The digital-to-digital transfer pops off the screen and the 5.1 Dolby sound will knock the socks off most systems. But like any superhero, it has an Achilles heel. This marks the first Pixar release that doesn't include both the widescreen and full-screen versions in the same DVD set, which was a great bargaining chip for those cinephiles who still want a full-frame presentation for other family members. With a 2.39:1 widescreen ratio (that's big black bars, folks, à la Dr. Zhivago), a few more viewers may decide to go with the full-frame presentation. Fortunately, Pixar reformats their full-frame presentation so the action remains in frame. The Extras The most-repeated segments will be the two animated shorts. Newly created for this DVD is the hilarious "Jack-Jack Attack," filling the gap in the film during which the Parr baby is left with the talkative babysitter, Kari. "Boundin'," which played in front of the film theatrically, was created by Pixar character designer Bud Luckey. This easygoing take on a dancing sheep gets better with multiple viewings (be sure to watch the featurette on the short). Brad Bird still sounds like a bit of an outsider in his commentary track, recorded before the movie opened. Pixar captain John Lasseter brought him in to shake things up, to make sure the wildly successful studio would not get complacent. And while Bird is certainly likable, he does not exude Lasseter's teddy-bear persona. As one animator states, "He's like strong coffee; I happen to like strong coffee." Besides a resilient stance to be the best, Bird threw in an amazing number of challenges, most of which go unnoticed unless you delve into the 70 minutes of making-of features plus two commentary tracks (Bird with producer John Walker, the other from a dozen animators). We hear about the numerous sets, why you go to "the Spaniards" if you're dealing with animation physics, costume problems (there's a reason why previous Pixar films dealt with single- or uncostumed characters), and horror stories about all that animated hair. Bird's commentary throws out too many names of the! animators even after he warns himself not to do so, but it's a lively enough time. The animator commentary is of greatest interest to those interested in the occupation. There is a 30-minute segment on deleted scenes with temporary vocals and crude drawings, including a new opening (thankfully dropped). The "secret files" contain a "lost" animated short from the superheroes' glory days. This fake cartoon (Frozone and Mr. Incredible are teamed with a pink bunny) wears thin, but play it with the commentary track by the two superheroes and it's another sharp comedy sketch. There are also NSA "files" on the other superheroes alluded to in the film with dossiers and curiously fun sound bits. "Vowellet" is the only footage about the well-known cast (there aren't even any obligatory shots of the cast recording their lines). Author/cast member Sarah Vowell (NPR's This American Life) talks about her first foray into movie voice-overs--daughter Violet--and the unlikelihood of her being a superhero. The feature is unlike anything we've seen on a Disney or Pixar DVD extra, but who else would consider Abe Lincoln an action figure? --Doug Thomas

  • Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace [1999] Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace | DVD | (20/09/2004) from £3.05  |  Saving you £7.71 (38.60%)  |  RRP £19.99

    George Lucas transports audiences back to the future with Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace, the first instalment of a prequel trilogy in which the director imagines the foundation for the entire six-part saga. Reflecting the symbolic and mythological bases of at least five story arcs, The Phantom Menace wields a newly emerged, youthful vibrancy courtesy of Lucas' invigorating return to the director's chair and his healthy respect for the emotional sources of fantasy. Despite receiving a storm of adverse criticism (notably for Jar Jar Binks) Lucas continually fascinates with his ability to place his characters--some new, some old, some CGI--in the same dramatic situations posed in the original trilogy: whether it be the juxtaposition of primitives with technologically advanced societies or the timeless battle between good and evil, the very familiarity of these recurring scenarios and rhythms galvanises the viewer. Of course, the state-of-the-art visual effects contribute mightily to the final impact. Much has been written about the kinetic Pod Race sequence (compared favourably with the chariot race in Ben Hur) and the War and Peace-style military battles, but even these events are upstaged by the new planetary vistas: consider the Romanesque grandeur of Naboo, the underwater city of Otoh Gunga illuminated by Art Nouveau lamps, the decadent brio of Tatooine, or the dizzying skyscrapers of the city planet Coruscant (imagine Blade Runner in daylight). Despite the beauty of his iridescent images, Lucas exercises discipline, cutting fast within frames filled with rich detail and activity. As a result, The Phantom Menace lends itself to repeated viewings. On the DVD: This spectacular two-disc DVD set was certainly worth the wait. Simply put, this is the most comprehensive packaging of supplementary materials so far assembled for DVD. Most importantly, Lucas film offers an anamorphic, 2.35:1 film transfer and a highly active Dolby 5.1 audio mix. Disc 1 includes an insightful commentary with Lucas--his first for DVD--and other key personnel, making for a great tour. The bulk of extra treasures can be found on Disc 2, including seven deleted scenes completed just for this set that possess the same quality as the film; in fact, some moments (the "Air Bus Taxi" and "Pod Race Grid" sequences) are so good that Lucas reincorporated them into the film proper. Viewers can also enjoy no less than 12 Web documentaries, five informative featurettes, the popular John Williams music video "Duel of the Fates" and numerous galleries of stills, trailers and television spots. Better yet, Lucas premieres "The Beginning," a 66-minute documentary edited from hundreds of hours of behind-the-scenes footage. This is not your standard-issue studio documentary, instead "The Beginning" is an Oscar-worthy, cinema verityé-style exploration of the creative process behind every aspect of the film's production. One of the most memorable moments involves a late-day visit to the set by Steven Spielberg: watching Lucas and Spielberg behave like kids in a candy store is one more reminder why the Star Wars saga remains enduringly popular. --Kevin Mulhall

  • Easter Parade [1948] Easter Parade | DVD | (16/05/2005) from £4.29  |  Saving you £9.70 (69.30%)  |  RRP £13.99

    If you can't join 'em beat 'em! When his long-time dance partner abandons him for the Ziegfeld Follies Don Hewes decides to show who's who what's what by choosing any girl out of a chorus line and transforming her into a star. So he makes his choice and takes his chances. Of course since Fred Astaire portrays Don and Judy Garland plays the chorine we know we're in for an entertainment sure thing.

  • Laura's Star Laura's Star | DVD | (24/10/2005) from £3.89  |  Saving you £10.10 (72.20%)  |  RRP £13.99

    A magical animated adventure based on the best selling bedtime story book by Klaus Baumgart.... One night a five pointed star the size of a pillow falls out of the sky and is patched up by Laura with Elastoplast. This new friend brings her nursery toys to life and enables her to fly. The star begins to lose it's powers but with the help of Laura and the boy next door it recovers and is able to return to the dark night sky.

  • The Great Escape - Special Edition [1963] The Great Escape - Special Edition | DVD | (04/12/2006) from £4.46  |  Saving you £14.84 (74.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    A stirring example of courage and the indomitable human spirit, for many John Sturges' The Great Escape is both the definitive World War II drama and the nonpareil prison escape movie. Featuring an unequalled ensemble cast in a rivetingly authentic true-life scenario set to Elmer Bernstein's admirable music (who writes contrapuntal march themes these days?), this picture is both a template for subsequent action-adventure movies and one of the last glories of Golden Age Hollywood. Reunited with the director who made him a star in The Magnificent Seven Steve McQueen gives a career-defining performance as the laconic Hilts, the baseball-loving, motorbike-riding "Cooler King". The rest of the all-male Anglo-American cast--Dickie Attenborough, Donald Pleasance, James Garner, Charles Bronson, David McCallum, James Coburn and Gordon Jackson--make the most of their meaty roles (though you have to forgive Coburn his Australian accent). Closely based on Paul Brickhill's book, the various escape attempts, scrounging, forging and ferreting activities are authentically realised thanks also to the presence on set of technical advisor Wally Flood, one of the original tunnel-digging POWs. Sturges orchestrates the climactic mass break out with total conviction, giving us both high action and very poignant human drama. Without trivialising the grim reality, The Great Escape thrillingly celebrates the heroism of men who never gave up the fight. On the DVD: The Great Escape special edition is indeed a special event. The anamorphic 2.35:1 picture is good if a tad grainy, and the remastered Dolby 5.1 soundtrack is a fitting vehicle for Elmer Bernstein's magnificent contribution. Accompanying the feature there's a reasonable cut-and-paste group commentary culled from interviews with various cast and crew, plus text trivia captions about the actors and the real-life camp. The second disc features a first-rate Granada TV documentary from 2001, "The Untold Story", which tells of both the escape itself and the subsequent post-war search for the Gestapo officers who butchered 50 of the 76 escapees. This has an appendix of further valuable interviews with survivors, and there's also an American making-of documentary, "Heroes Underground", which is good though annoyingly divided into separate chapters and featuring non-anamorphic clips from the film. Perhaps best of all though is the 25-minute life of American POW David Jones, "The Real Virgil Hilts", whose career both during and after the war is extraordinary and inspirational. A classic movie finally gets the DVD treatment it merits.--Mark Walker

  • Howl's Moving Castle Howl's Moving Castle | DVD | (13/03/2006) from £13.00  |  Saving you £6.99 (35.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Oscar-winning director Hayao Miyazaki Japan's premier animator and co-founder of Studio Ghibli takes viewers on an amazing animated adventure that celebrates the power of love to transform and the resiliency of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Sophie an ordinarily average teenage girl working in a hat shop finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl and is subsequently turned into a 90 year o

  • Mary Poppins (40th Anniversary Edition) Mary Poppins (40th Anniversary Edition) | DVD | (07/03/2005) from £9.24  |  Saving you £5.60 (25.50%)  |  RRP £21.99

    Mary Poppins is one of Disney's most enchanting fantasies and the motion-picture hit that made 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' a household word! Julie Andrews stars as the loveable nanny who soars out of the skies and into the hearts of everyone she encounters. Toting a carpetbag full of magical adventures Mary and her fun-loving sidekick Bert (Dick Van Dyke) deliver endless joy and surprises to a troubled family.

  • The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night [1964] The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night | DVD | (30/09/2002) from £4.15  |  Saving you £13.84 (76.90%)  |  RRP £17.99

    A Hard Day's Night may have been the Beatles' first big-screen experience but, as they had become the biggest band in the world by the time of its production, the Moptops were able to ensure it was a bit different from the band-movie norm. "We'd made it clear that we weren't interested in being stuck in one of those nobody-understands-our-music plots," John Lennon would later recall, "The kind of thing where we'd just pop up a couple of times between the action, all smiles and clean shirts, to sing our latest record." Instead the quartet recruited a young director named Richard Lester--who had previously worked with the Fab Four's beloved Goons--to make a movie that followed them as they enjoyed and endured the phenomenon that was Beatlemania. "The film wrote itself right in front of our eyes," says Lester. "We just took the dirty bits and cut them out." The result is a frenetic hour and a half inside the Beatles' personal space as they engage in all manner of surreal hijinks--more often than not involving Paul's "grandfather" (played by Steptoe and Son's Wilfrid Brambell) while dodging the ever-present horde of screaming fans. Although the result now seems a little dated, there remains an almost heartbreakingly good-natured aura around the foursome's naïve performances, while few could argue about the quality of a soundtrack that includes "Can't Buy Me Love", "And I Love Her" and "A Hard Day's Night" itself, to name but a few. Whether the film would have been quite so successful if Lester had followed McCartney's suggestion and called it "Oh, What a Lovely Wart!" will, sadly, never be known. --Clark Collis

  • The Wizard Of Oz [1939] The Wizard Of Oz | DVD | (07/11/2005) from £4.95  |  Saving you £3.13 (31.30%)  |  RRP £9.99

    ""We're Not In Kansas Anymore."" We click our heels in anticipation. There's no place like home and no movie like this one. From generation to generation The Wizard Of Oz brings us together - kids grown-ups families friends. The dazzling land of Oz a dream-come--true world of enchanted forests dancing scarecrows and singing lions wraps us in its magic with one great song-filled adventure after another. Based on L. Frank Baum's treasured book series

  • Singin' In The Rain - Special Edition [1952] Singin' In The Rain - Special Edition | DVD | (25/11/2002) from £6.65  |  Saving you £7.00 (50.00%)  |  RRP £13.99

    Singin' in the Rain is probably the most treasured musical in the history of cinema. It is essentially a satire on the dawning age of talking pictures, but that description doesn't begin to describe its importance in the hearts of film lovers, even those who can't otherwise stand musicals. Given its origins--producer Arthur Freed wanted a framework on which to hang a selection of the hits he'd written in the early part of his career with Nacio Herb Brown, many of which had themselves featured in early talkies--it should have been a mongrel of a picture. But somehow, with its combination of endearing performances, the razor-sharp script of Adolph Green and Betty Comden, instinctive direction from Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen and those delightful songs, it is triumphantly greater than the sum of its parts. Kelly's dance sequence, conceived for the title song, is an undiluted joy and remains an iconic cinema moment. But there is so much more to savour: Donald O'Connor's knockout vaudeville, Jean Hagen's hilarious Bronx-voiced leading lady and the honest charm of underrated Debbie Reynolds, crowned by Kelly's choreography for the Broadway Melody suite. No collection is complete without this. On the DVD: Singin' in the Rain--Special Edition, vibrant in 1.33:1 fullscreen format with a crystalline mono soundtrack, is the crown jewel in the embarrassment of riches on this 50th anniversary two-disc DVD. The extras just keep coming: "Musicals, Great Musicals" (a documentary about Arthur Freed's legendary production unit at MGM), a shorter documentary about the film itself (much of which is duplicated by the audio commentary, led by Debbie Reynolds), outtakes and audio scoring sessions and extracts from films in which many of the songs originated. There's also a hidden feature in which Baz Lurhmann offers his own testimony to the film's enduring appeal, but it's a tad redundant given the primary sources on offer. --Piers Ford

  • Casablanca -- Two Disc Special Edition [1942] Casablanca -- Two Disc Special Edition | DVD | (09/02/2004) from £4.75  |  Saving you £4.40 (31.50%)  |  RRP £13.99

    This generously filled two-disc special edition presentation of Casablanca features the film itself in an impressively clean new digital transfer on the first disc, with hiss-free mono sound. It's prefaced by a rather pointless introduction from Lauren Bacall (it would surely be churlish to point out that Casablanca was made two years before Bacall met Bogart) and accompanied by two full-length and fact-packed audio commentaries, one from film critic Roger Ebert, who hardly pauses to take a breath, and the other from film historian Rudy Behlmer, who provides in-depth background detail. The second disc features a plentiful collection of sundry archival features and more from Bacall, who hosts the two documentaries: You Must Remember This: The Making of Casablanca and a retrospective of Bogie's career, Bacall on Bogart. Of minor interest are two very short deleted scenes--Laszlo and Rick at the jail, and a German officer's pratfall--which in lieu of any surviving audio track have been subtitled from the original script; there's also five minutes of silent outtakes. An audio-only sample of Max Steiner's music-scoring sessions features Dooley Wilson singing "Knock on Wood" and "As Time Goes By". There are brief reminiscences from Stephen Bogart and Pia Lindstrom (son and daughter of Bogie and Ingrid Bergman, respectively); Bugs Bunny and pals in Carrotblanca; a curious 1955 Warner Bros TV version of the movie; audio excerpts from the "Screen Guild Players Radio Production" featuring the principal cast; plus the usual static galleries and other trivia. All in all, it's a valuable two-disc set that really does provide everything you always wanted to know about one of the most famous movies ever made. --Mark Walker

  • Mary Poppins - 45th Anniversary Edition [1964] Mary Poppins - 45th Anniversary Edition | DVD | (02/03/2009) from £7.25  |  Saving you £9.22 (51.30%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Mary Poppins is one of Disney's most enchanting fantasies and the motion-picture hit that made 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' a household word! Julie Andrews stars as the loveable nanny who soars out of the skies and into the hearts of everyone she encounters. Toting a carpetbag full of magical adventures Mary and her fun-loving sidekick Bert (Dick Van Dyke) deliver endless joy and surprises to a troubled family.

  • Tokyo Story (Blu-ray + DVD) [1953] Tokyo Story (Blu-ray + DVD) | Blu Ray | (19/07/2010) from £8.29  |  Saving you £11.70 (58.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Yasujiro Ozu's most enduring masterpiece Tokyo Story is a beautifully nuanced exploration of filial duty expectation and regret. From the simple tale of the elderly Hirayma couple's visit to Tokyo to see their grown-up children Ozu draws a compelling contrast between the measured dignity of age and the hurried insensitivity of a younger generation. A constant fixture of critics' polls Tokyo Story is now available for the first time on Blu-ray from the BFI. Also contains full length feature Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family a sharp critique of bourgeois frivolity as an extra.

  • Beauty and the Beast (DVD + Blu-ray, with DVD Packaging) Beauty and the Beast (DVD + Blu-ray, with DVD Packaging) | Blu Ray | (01/11/2010) from £10.44  |  Saving you £13.55 (56.50%)  |  RRP £23.99

    The film that officially signalled Disney's animation renaissance (following The Little Mermaid) and the only animated feature to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination, Beauty and the Beast remains the yardstick by which all other animated films should be measured. It relates the story of Belle, a bookworm with a dotty inventor for a father; when he inadvertently offends the Beast (a prince whose heart is too hard to love anyone besides himself), Belle boldly takes her father's place, imprisoned in the Beast's gloomy mansion. Naturally, Belle teaches the Beast to love. What makes this such a dazzler, besides the amazingly accomplished animation and the winning coterie of supporting characters (the Beast's mansion is overrun by quipping, dancing household items) is the array of beautiful and hilarious songs by composer Alan Menken and the late, lamented lyricist Howard Ashman. (The title song won the 1991 Best Song Oscar, and Menken's score scored a trophy as well.) The downright funniest song is "Gaston," a lout's paean to himself (including the immortal line, "I use antlers in all of my de-co-ra-ting"). "Be Our Guest" is transformed into an inspired Busby Berkeley homage. Since Ashman's passing, animated musicals haven't quite reached the same exhilarating level of wit, sophistication, and pure joy. --David Kronke --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

  • Garfield The Movie (Two Disc Special Edition) [2004] Garfield The Movie (Two Disc Special Edition) | DVD | (26/11/2004) from £3.98  |  Saving you £6.01 (60.20%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Every now and then, the CGI effects in Garfield: The Movie are less than perfect--which makes you realize of how astonishingly seamless the rest of the effects are. When Garfield's owner Jon (Breckin Meyer) agrees to take in a homeless dog so as to flirt with a sexy veterinarian (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Garfield does his best to oust the dog from the house. But when a greedy television performer (Stephen Tobolowsky) kidnaps the mutt for his own nefarious purposes, Garfield sets out on a rescue mission. Garfield is a terrible movie, yet there's something weirdly compelling in its awfulness. Bill Murray, who voices the fat cat, has mastered a comic style that wallows fondly in ridiculousness. Perhaps, seduced by the siren call of Murray's voice, the audience can only marvel at the sublime junk of our culture. --Bret Fetzer

  • Lilo And Stitch  (Disney) [2002] Lilo And Stitch (Disney) | DVD | (01/01/2013) from £7.15  |  Saving you £12.41 (62.10%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Lilo a little girl in Hawaii unknowingly adopts a dog she names Stitch who is actually an evil alien. Stitch is really a criminal whose ship crashed on Earth while he was being transported to an intergalactic prison. He is only taking the form of a dog (thus hiding two of his six legs) to escape detection from alien police who are searching for him. Through her love faith and unwavering belief in ""ohana"" (the Hawaiian concept of family) Lilo helps unlock Stitch's heart unexpecte

  • Polar Express - 2 Disc Edition [2004] Polar Express - 2 Disc Edition | DVD | (14/11/2005) from £6.99  |  Saving you £14.38 (62.50%)  |  RRP £22.99

    Destined to become a holiday perennial, The Polar Express also heralded a brave new world of all-digital filmmaking. Critics and audiences were divided between those who hailed it as an instant classic that captures the visual splendor and evocative innocence of Chris Van Allsburg's popular children's book, and those who felt that the innovative use of "performance capture"--to accurately translate live performances into all-digital characters--was an eerie and not-quite-lifelike distraction from the story's epic-scale North Pole adventure. In any case it's a benign, kind-hearted celebration of the yuletide spirit, especially for kids who have almost grown out of their need to believe in Santa Claus. Tom Hanks is the nominal "star" who performs five different computer-generated characters, but it's the visuals that steal this show, as director Robert Zemeckis indulges his tireless pursuit of technological innovation. No matter how you respond to the many wonders on display, it's clear that The Polar Express represents a significant milestone in the digital revolution of cinema. If it also fills you with the joy of Christmas (in spite of its Nuremberg-like rally of frantic elves), so much the better. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

  • An American In Paris [1951] An American In Paris | DVD | (06/10/2008) from £8.99  |  Saving you £4.00 (30.80%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Gene Kelly stars as Jerry Mulligan a carefree young artist in post-WW II Paris. In her spectacular film debut Leslie Caron is Lise Bourvier a lonely French shopgirl engaged to marry a successful entertainer unless jerry can convince her otherwise! From their first on-screen meeting to the spectacular ballet finale Kelly and Caron are superb. And in his role as Jerry's best friend pianist Oscar Levant keeps the action lively with his droll humor and acid wit.

  • Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) | Blu Ray | (10/12/2012) from £10.67  |  Saving you £19.32 (64.40%)  |  RRP £29.99

    The revisionist version of natural history offered up in the Ice Age movies gets yet another twist in the fourth instalment, 10 years after Manny the woolly mammoth, Diego the sabre-toothed tiger, Sid the sloth, and Scrat the squirrel made their chilly debut to hot box-office receipts. The lessons of family and loyalty in Continental Drift may seem a little warmed over, but the creatively constructed laughs, amusing voice characterisations, and inventive CGI animation are reason enough to keep the series viable for kids to giggle about and grown-ups to belly laugh over--sometimes for exactly the same reasons. Once again, acorn-addicted Scrat is the cause of some pretty important behind-the-scenes machinations. His dialogue-free antics also serve as a stand-alone subplot that could easily be a very clever short film of its own. This time the weasely rodent's addled obsession with the fruit of the oak is revealed as the cause of the formation of the world's continents as we now know them. He sets the story--and planet Earth--in motion while pursuing a little nut in a hyperactive prologue that causes underground rifts that in turn form the famous shapes of Australia, Africa, North America, and the outline of Italy (which it turns out is shaped like a boot for a very good reason). Above ground this means more global chaos for the herd of animals we've come to know so well. All the familiar voices reprise their wonderful roles as fissures in earth and ice separate Manny (Ray Romano) from his woolly wife Ellie (Queen Latifah) and boy-crazy teenager Peaches (Keke Palmer). With a killer continental shelf bearing down on them, mother and daughter lead the madcap pack of animal characters toward a safe meeting place while Manny, Diego (Denis Leary), Sid (John Leguizamo), and Sid's crazy granny (Wanda Sykes) drift away on an iceberg schooner into a newly vast open ocean. While floating into oblivion, the mismatched pack encounters a band of animal pirates piloting another slab of ship-shaped ice, captained by a crazed baboon named Gutt (Peter Dinklage), who's bent on resentment-based revenge. The motley crew provides a plethora of comic encounters and a new raft of excellent voice actors. Running a close second to Dinklage in ingenious casting is Jennifer Lopez as Shira, a sultry tiger who, don't cha know, ends up on the good ship and falling for Diego in the end. The adventures of both the land- and sea-based creatures are full of clever gags and densely constructed set pieces that may not be quite up to Pixar story standards, but are certainly always on the ball and executed with computer-animation acumen that is astonishingly lifelike for such an unreal-looking world. Scrat's misadventures act as interstitial connectors to the parallel heroes' journey stories until they ultimately intersect in a massively scaled finale. Even after all the melting and refreezing, the Ice Age world is still a hot commodity in the animated-franchise business and remains a good investment despite the constancy of global rifts in entertaining family fare. --Ted Fry

  • Over The Hedge (2 Disc - Special Edition) Over The Hedge (2 Disc - Special Edition) | DVD | (01/09/2014) from £4.87  |  Saving you £18.34 (73.40%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Traveling raccoon con artist RJ (Willis) arrives in a woods outside a human city in the Midwest excited about the wonders that living near humans can bring hungry animals. What he finds however is an Amish-like community that is deathly afraid of humans after their leader Vern the tortoise (Shandling) has an encounter with human boys that terrifies him. Encouraged by RJ however the animals slowly venture over the hedge that separates them from the brand new suburban development that appeared over the winter while they were sleeping and what RJ shows them is a whole new world where humans leave tin cans full of fish and other food in big canisters ripe for the taking. As they get closer and closer to humans however their comfortable lives in the woods appears to be threatened...

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