Movie Review: Ice Age: Continental Drift
Length: 88 minutes
Release Date: July 13, 2012
Directed by: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Stars: 4 out of 5
Audiences will love the experience of "Ice Age: Continental Drift," which brings back characters from the previous movies that kids and adults have come to enjoy. Ray Romano (Manny), Denis Leary (Diego), and John Leguizamo (Sid) come back for the fourth installment of the franchise to create another hit that is perfect for PG-loving families and children.
In this new story arc, Scrat (the cute prehistoric squirrel that has his own movies, too) is again in pursuit of the acorn that always seems to get away.
Unfortunately, as has happened many times before, the acorn ends up causing a massive event. This time, it's a continental cataclysm. In the midst of the events, Sid is reunited with his granny, and the odd herd again goes on a life-changing adventure.
This installment of the series also has many new characters, including seafaring pirates who ride on an iceberg ship. As far as creativity goes, the movie holds true to the franchise and will not disappoint audiences.
The animated movie is ideal for young children, and the PG rating is for mild rude humor and action/peril, making it safe for audience members of younger ages. The story also explores the value of friendship and loyalty, and it includes educational moments so that younger children will learn about morality through the story.
The quality of the film's animation is topnotch. The three characters are as brilliant as ever, and this particular version even includes a musical number that adds to the charm of the film. There are intense moments of fighting between the pirates and the main characters, which is appealing to those who love action, and there are loving scenes with Sid and his goofy antics, just like in the previous films. For those who love the characters, this film is the next evolutionary step in the franchise line.
Because of Scrat, Manny, Sid, and Diego are forced to explore new lands. When the acorn cracks the surface, Pangaea is shattered into the major continents, another important piece of education that this film can provide for younger children who enjoy science and animation. Although the timing of the film is historically inaccurate, young children won't know the difference, and audience members can enjoy the story line as it pertains to the ice age world created in the films.
In this version, Diego is a lighter character who is given many comedic moments, making him a little less frightening than in the past movies. Manny is still a grumpy mammoth, but his realistic and honest mannerisms help set off the goofy and sometimes extreme antics that Sid participates in. Sid gets to explore his relationship with Granny, a family member, so his character is also expanded to include this new character into his history. Together, the value of family and friendship is, as usual, the main focus as the gang sticks together.
There are many thrilling action scenes with the pirates, and although mildly violent, children should have no problem viewing the scenes. There are enough funny moments to make up for the jumpy moments. Children will spend more time happily enjoying the movie and laughing than they will being afraid or looking away from the film during its darker moments.
"Ice Age: Continental Drift" is ideal for families, and it provides enough action for adults and older children to enjoy the film. The movie is aimed at a younger audience, but it has moments that will delight even older audience members.
At only 88 minutes long, the movie is great for first-time moviegoers, young children, and those who like shorter films. The shorter movie length is perfect for keeping the story line on track, and there are few times when the movie doesn't have an action scene or a scene that pushes the plot along. Despite this being the fourth movie of the franchise, it still feels like a new and unique story, which pleases children and adults without having to rely on slapstick comedy or stale one-liners.
With the new characters with names based on organisms and the cute innuendos from the Ice Age, children who have studied some higher-level science may get the more subtle jokes that the littler ones won't understand. This is great for adding a bit of education to the movies, so after the adventure is over, the story will still provide insight into the Ice Age.