"Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas" is a bridge product, although as these sorts of things go, it's not bad. Part Christmas flick and part early promotion for next year's "Ice Age: Continental Drift", "Mammoth Christmas" once again brings together the original trio of Manny the Mammoth (Ray Romano), Sid the Sloth (John Leguizamo) and Diego the Tiger (Dennis Leary) for a brief adventure that runs under 30 minutes.
The film opens with Manny unveiling his "Christmas Rock", which was handed down to him from his family. Sid believes that it'll take something bigger to get the attention of Santa (if Santa has to deliver to humans and other forms of life on Earth, he's busier than I'd ever realized.)
Not surprisingly, Sid manages to break the gigantic rock, leading Manny to tell him that he's going to be on Santa's naughty list. Upset with Manny, daughter Peaches (Ciara Bravo) heads off with opossums Crash and Eddie (Seann William Scott and Josh Peck) - as well as Sid - to the North Pole to find Santa. Ellie (Queen Latifah), Sid, Manny and Diego head off to try and track them down. Of course, Scrat makes an appearance or two, as well.
The story is paint-by-numbers, but the original cast gives a good effort and there's a few amusing one-liners scattered throughout the production. Still, at less than 30 minutes, the picture feels snowflake-light - it's too bad that the project couldn't have been a more substantial holiday feature.
VIDEO: "Mammoth Christmas" is presented by 20th Century Fox in 1.77:1 (1080p) on Blu-Ray. While not quite to the level of the feature films, the show's digital animation is still first-rate for a direct-to-video production. Sharpness and detail are terrific, and the picture maintains a pleasing amount of depth throughout. While a couple of minor instances of edge enhancement were seen, the picture otherwise looked clean and smooth for the majority of the running time. Colors looked bright and snappy, with no smearing or other faults.
SOUND: The DTS-HD 5.1 audio is perfectly acceptable, with the surrounds delivering light environmental audio and some reinforcement for the music. Otherwise, the audio is dialogue-driven, with crisp music and well-recorded speech.
EXTRAS: Promo for next year's "Ice Age: Continental Drift" and music video.
Final Thoughts: While it's cute in spots and offers a few laughs, "Mammoth Christmas" is too brief to recommend beyond a rental.