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ICE PRINCESS

Review by Chastity Campbell

Starring: Michelle Trachtenberg, Joan Cusack, Kim Cattrall, Hayden Panettiere
Director: Tim Fywell
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Surround
Video:  1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Studio: Disney 
Features: See Review
Length:  99 Minutes           
Release Date:  July 19, 2005

Film ***

I wanted to be a Winter Olympic Bobsled Pusher!   Growing up, I would watch the Winter Olympics come and go, dreaming that one day I would be the one giving my team that one big push that would propel us to the gold medal platform.

Sadly, like so many before me I never realized my dream.  However, take heart because for those of us who never tried, and failed, Disney is here to save the day!

Casey Carlyle is a Physics guru.  Her teacher has put her in the running for a big Physics scholarship, but there is a catch.  Her final project has to be the best one the scholarship committee sees in order for her to win it.

Casey and her mom have worked long and hard toward getting into Harvard, where she will be able to make every one of her momís dreams come true...I mean her own dreams come true, yeah her own dreams.

Casey decides to meld her love of ice skating with her project and come up with a scientific theory to explain the jumps and movements associated with figure skating. 

An amateur skater herself, Casey takes her video camera to the local skating rink and hits the ice with some of the local figure skating champs, who in typical fashion go to school with her but donít even realize she exists.

Itís not long before Caseyís talent with the sciences is surpassed by her natural abilities on the ice. Faced with a choice that has consequences on each side, Casey must decide whether to follow her head and make her mother happy, or follow her heart and risk losing it all. 

I popped this DVD in expecting nothing but another Disney happy, happy, feel good movie with a recycled plot, and cutesy, tootsie actors. I was really surprised at how wonderful this movie was, and especially how much I enjoyed it.   I have already recommended this movie to all my friends and family, who Iím sure will be doing the same thing once they have had a chance to see it for themselves.   

Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Sarah Michelle Gellarís kid sister on the WB series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, is truly a joy to watch as the awkward, and unsure Casey.  Trachtenberg has not only grown into a beautiful young woman, but she has blossomed as an actress.  She really did a great job in this movie, and deserves high praise for her acting abilities.

Joan Cusack provided the biggest surprise for me in this film. Iím so used to seeing her as the comic relief in every film she does that I was not prepared for a very serious and emotional version of her normally hilarious self.   My estimation of her as an actress has definitely risen because of this film. 

Sex ĎNí The City is not something commonly associated with Disney, but anytime the name Kim Cattrall is used, that is the automatic association.  However, her portrayal of ice rink owner Tina Harwood will hopefully make people realize there is definitely more to Kim than sin and seduction.

I really canít say enough good things about this movie, itís family friendly, fun to watch, and people of any age can find something to enjoy about it.  I really think Disney did a great job with this film, and it will make an excellent addition to anyoneís collection.

Video ***

Winter scenes shot out doorsÖthose are a killer when it comes to color.  This DVDís visual experience is no exception to the whitewash rule.  However, everything else associated with this DVDís visual experience is pretty much flawless so, I wouldnít worry overly much about a little snow.

The 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen represents a good formatting choice for viewing this movie.   I am an advocate for widescreen viewing, but this time, you really get a better feel for the arena and the ice used in the film when viewing it through this aspect ratio.

Aside from the outdoor scenes that appeared a bit whitewashed, this DVD is visually pleasing in every way.  Colors were bright and vivid, and the print was very clean. 

Audio ****

The audio on this DVD was presented in a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround format.   There were no real problems with this DVDís audio that I could hear.  The mix was nice, without any of the audio or effects crowding each other. The levels remained constant, with no dips or dropouts audible.  Overall, this DVDís audio was a very good example of how to do it, and do it right!

Features ***

These extras are cold as iceÖbut thatís a good thing!

There is a cool alternate opening scene, and Commentary with the cast.

A plethora of Must-See Deleted Scenes will enhance your visit in the realm of royalty! 

Two music videos are also included for your enjoyment, and they will definitely get your toe-pick a tappin'!

Summary:

With smooth video and audio, this Ice Princess will breeze through your DVD player like no other movie.   Cool your heels with the princess, and youíll get the royal treatment from this DVD!

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