Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas

  • Review Date: November 21, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 26 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Fun-filled tale puts prehistoric spin on the holidays.
  • Review Date: November 21, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 26 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

The movie is intended to entertain, but the story does offer a new perspective on the origin of some timeless Christmas traditions, which can inspire kids' curiosity about those and others. Kids might also take a new interest in prehistoric animals after tuning in.

Positive messages

The story's themes celebrate teamwork, helpfulness, and responsibility. Characters understand when they've made mistakes that impact others, and they do their best to right those wrongs. There's an air of forgiveness that has positive results for a number of relationships, and holiday spirit abounds. Body-related humor includes references to earwax (a chunk of which is shown being extracted) and yellow snow.

Positive role models

Sid's intentions are good in setting out to right a wrong he's caused, but his methods are questionable. Peaches is a go-getter who refuses to let hardship stand in the way of what she wants. Manny and Ellie show their love for their daughter (and, in some part, Sid) when they set off in search of her.

Violence & scariness

Slapstick-style tumbles, falls, and multiple squashings have no lasting physical effects on their victims. Some mild peril and one briefly scary encounter between a squirrel and a giant spider.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

No cursing, but in one scene, a character calls a friend a "loser," and there's some substitute language like "frolicking fruitcake!" and "oh, nutmeg."

Consumerism

This holiday special is part of a series of Ice Age movies and a large marketing line of toys, games, and accessories.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this holiday special featuring the popular prehistoric posse is best enjoyed by those who are familiar with the characters and their relationships. All of viewers' favorites return -- including Skrat on his ill-fated quest for acorns -- and a Christmas crew (Santa, reindeer, and prehistoric elves) rounds out the cast. Families will have fun with the movie's unusual versions of favorite holiday tunes and the way the story incorporates the origins of popular Christmas traditions. Santa's existence is called into question, but a young character is determined to prove that he's real. Expect more of the same slapstick violence in bits, one quick face-to-face shot of a huge spider that might frighten younger kids, and some pseudo cursing ("frolicking fruitcake!"), but none of this overshadows the movie's positive themes of friendship, teamwork, and good ol' holiday spirit.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Manny (voiced by Ray Romano) and his daughter, Peaches (Ciara Bravo), are getting ready for the holidays by trimming their family's traditional Christmas rock when Sid's (John Leguizamo) eagerness to help leaves the sphere in pieces. In his frustration, Manny tells Sid that he's earned a place on Santa's (Billy Gardell) naughty list, then accidentally lets it slip to Peaches that he doesn't really believe in the big man himself. Determined to prove him wrong, Peaches sets out for the North Pole with Sid, who hopes to get back in Santa's good graces, and soon Manny and his crew are hot on their trail to bring them back home. Unfortunately Sid's luck isn't any better up north, and when they accidentally obliterate Santa's workshop, it's up to the whole group to band together and pull off a true Christmas miracle.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

ICE AGE: A MAMMOTH CHRISTMAS follows three popular full-length movies that have entertained fans with humor, quirky characters, and touching connections between unlikely friends. While the plot of this story is a little predictable (who else but Sid could cause such chaos that he'd need the whole pack to help dig him out?), there are enough twists that long-time fans won't be bored. Sure, there's a lot of mayhem and an eventual happy ending, but along the way, the story offers some unique interpretations of the origins of modern Christmas traditions -- like topping a tree with a star and the use of reindeer to pull Santa's sleigh.
 

Content-wise, there's little reason to fret over settling in with your kids to take in this comical Christmas tale. Tots might need some reassuring over the slapstick violence (a slab crushes a squirrel, two mischievous opossums tussle a bit) and some general peril, but overall the movie is well suited for families. What's more, the gorgeous CGI is a real visual treat, and the characters themselves (the animal ones, that is) are a fun way to introduce your kids to the concept of prehistoric life.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the Ice Age movies. Have you seen any of the movies featuring these characters? Do you like how their personalities and relationships have evolved? How are they different here than they were in the first one?

  • Kids: What defines a family? Who's part of your family? Do you consider your friends to be part of your family? How do your family members express their love for each other? How do the characters do the same?

  • Why is it important to take responsibility for your actions? What should you do when your actions hurt or frustrate someone else? How does it make you feel when someone hurts you? Can you think of an instance in which you made amends for something you did wrong?

Movie details

DVD release date:November 26, 2011
Cast:John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Ray Romano
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:26 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bymrbookworm01 November 24, 2011
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Good Christmas special for all families

I've seen this special and it's ok. It has the regular amount of slapstick violence as the Ice Age movies, but still fine for kids 6+ and has a good message about knowing the importance of Christmas and fixing your mistakes. Violence: The normal amount of slapstick violence, and Scrat has an encounter with a spider, but nobody gets seriously hurt. Consumerism: Based of the popular Ice Age movies with has products including video games and other products.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Kid, 12 years old February 22, 2012
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

tommys review

Its a grrrrrrrrrrrrreat movie i love it its soooooooooo funny! there is a tiny bit of language
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much swearing
Adult Written byRarityfan December 7, 2011
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Another Xmas feel good show.

The cartoon Christmas specials get better by year. This included that is another Ice Age short where some characters finally sings. But some typical Ice Age pop up scare and slapstick. The Ice Age marketing grows with games, loads of special edition DVD sets and on.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism

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