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Ice Age: Continental Drift

by

Jeff Nelson

It's enjoyable enough to warrant a rental and checking out in theaters for those with young children and those who want to see this with the extra dimension.

Ice Age: Continental Drift
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With all of the success seen through other animated features by some studios, most of the big film studios are trying to cash in on it. Back in 2002, the first Ice Age was released. I vividly remember seeing it in theaters and enjoying it at the time. I never once thought that there would be a fourth entry in this series. The characters have charmed families worldwide as 20th Century Fox has joined the race for animated feature films. However, if you're expecting a mind-blowing masterpiece from this, then you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

Unexpected events set the continent in motion, which sends Manny, Diego, and Sid away from Ellie and the herd and into the vastness of the open sea. The world around them is forever changed, but at least one thing remains the same: their ability to make the most of extreme climate change. Before the feature even starts, there's a short cartoon of The Simpsons that I found to be cute. It was a well-made short that all audiences will enjoy. The story is a bit ridiculous if you take a moment to think about it, but this is a family film set around talking animals, so don't expect actual historical facts to come from this. However, children are sure to enjoy the return of these characters. One of the most loved things about Pixar is that their films appeal to all age groups. It doesn't matter whether you're a child, a teenager, or an adult, there's something for all audiences there. This isn't entirely the case with Ice Age: Continental Drift since most of the humor primarily applies to children. While there are some funny parts here and there, the majority of this film is going to be loved by kids and simply tolerable by teenagers and adults. Audiences have come to expect the lovable squirrel, Scrat, in some outlandishly humorous situations. The fourth entry is no exception. In fact, Scrat is seen even more than usual. Yet again, this squirrel is one of the best things to happen to this series. I would enjoy watching an entire movie on just Scrat being involved in a bunch of different situations where he continues to get acorns. There are a lot of messages about friendship and staying true to your friends in this movie, so young children will receive the sweet messages. The plot is entertaining enough, although the melodramatic teenage angst attempted through Manny's daughter feels extremely cliché and it wears out its welcome very quickly.

There were multiple times throughout Ice Age: Continental Drift where I felt that I knew some of the voices, but couldn't quite put my finger on it. Once the cast list appeared during the credits, I was correct in finding the voices familiar. Of course, the most recognizable out of the voices were Queen Latifah as Ellie and Wanda Sykes as Granny. The remainder of the cast is played by Peter Dinklage, Nick Frost, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Jennifer Lopez, along with some supporting voices by stars such as rapper Nicki Minaj. The voice acting is fine and all of the voices fit the characters.

20th Century Fox clearly wanted Ice Age: Continental Drift to be a fun movie for the kids to see, despite the fact that there's a lot of visual gimmicks. The movie is in 3D and it isn't the usual depth that we've come to appreciate in live action movies, such as Hugo, but it has a much more fun than realistic feel to it. There are a lot of moments where characters and objects pop out of the screen towards you. There are a lot of designs in the animation made to intentionally direct towards the screen, in order to create a pop up book effect for the younger audiences. It's definitely a fun addition to a movie that isn't meant to be taken seriously from the start. The animation itself is excellent as there's an incredible amount of detail in everything from the characters to the backgrounds. The 3D glasses don't affect the brightness of the feature too much. My only complaint to list with the 3D would be that I noticed some 'ghosting' in the 3D, which means that the image appears to almost double itself at time. There's also a bit of motion blur that gets in the way in a couple sequences. Neither of these complaints are frequent, but they were noticeable enough for me to note that in the review.

I remember having an absolute blast with the first Ice Age, but I didn't get quite the same experience with this installment now that I'm older. The characters from the original film are still enjoyable enough to warrant checking out their most recent adventures. However, I'm not as much of a fan of some of the newer supporting characters. The voice acting is decent with this all-star cast and the animation is top-notch. For those that enjoy the 3D format should have a good time seeing this with the extra dimension. As for the movie itself, the kids are going to enjoy this, but it'll be hit or miss for teenagers and adults. It's enjoyable enough to warrant a rental and checking out in theaters for those with young children and those who want to see this with the extra dimension.

My Rating = Three Stars

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