The latest installment in the multi-billion dollar earning Ice Age franchise came out today and as with the previous three films, it does not disappoint. I was lucky enough to catch the film last Saturday and can tell you I was thoroughly impressed. I think Toy Story is the only other animated film franchise that has been able to keep the same main characters while still delivering a solid movie.
Before getting more into the film, I just want to mention that the Simpsons based short film, “The Longest Daycare” starring Maggie Simpson, was incredible. My friend Scott and I both thought it was totally cute and it is definitely something to look forward to should you choose to go see the movie in theatres.
Back to Ice Age: Continental Drift.Tthe story is actually presented in two separate arcs. In the main storyline, we follow the Ice Age trio of Manny (Ray Romano), Sid (John Leguizamo) and Diego (Dennis Leary) as they fight through storms, pirates, and evil sirens to get back to their herd after a shift in the tectonic plates sends them adrift on a small iceberg.
The smaller, and in my opinion boring, subplot follows Peaches, Manny the Mammoth’s daughter as she and the herd out run the end of the world by dodging cave-ins and rock slides on their way to a safer location, where they will meet Manny, Sid, and Diego. This story line seemed a little forced and kind of slowed the movie down for me. It’s a cheesy coming of age story line that uninterested me. I have to keep in mind, however, that the film is geared towards children who will probably enjy this storyline more than I did.
While the plot is neither groundbreaking nor unexpected, it certainly allowed for some outrageously funny moments. The humor in this movie, while targeted mostly for a younger audience, was surprisingly funny. I definitely had a few laugh out loud moments and I almost never laugh out loud in movies. Most of the jokes children will get and enjoy, but there were also a few nods to an adult audience that were really funny.
What makes this movie shine, as with the others in the series, is the talented voice cast. When I go to movies like this I do my best not to read about who will be doing the voices in the film, and then I like to see how many voices I can recognize and guess while in the theatre. This time I recognized Wanda Sykes (who stole every scene), Drake, Nicky Minaj, Joy Behar, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah and Game of Throne’s Peter Dinklage. Surprises when I got home included Seann William Scott, Aziz Ansari, and Patrick Stewart.
Whether or not you love the storyline, the amazingly talented voice cast, along with beautifully rendered 3D images and on-par humor make this film worth seeing. It’s something you can enjoy with your friends, or with your children and is definitely a great way to spend a few hours.
OVERALL RATING: 4 out of 5 stars