Ice Age 4: Continental Drift
Review by David Stratton
In the company of Diego the sabre-tooth tiger (voiced as usual by Denis Leary), Sid the Sloth, JOHN LEGUIZAMO, and Sid’s senile granny, Wanda Sykes, Manny the Mammoth, RAY ROMANO, is trapped on a floating iceberg and separated from his wife Ellie, QUEEN LATIFAH and his lovesick daughter Peaches, KEKE PALMER. Manny and his friends are confronted by pirates, led by Captain Gutt, a formidable monkey voiced by PETER DINKLAGE.
It’s been 10 years since the first ICE AGE, a funny and original animated adventure from the Blue Sky studio; but it’s not easy to keep a feature-length franchise going forever, and the fourth in the ICE AGE series is showing distinct signs of lethargy.
The design is as good as ever, but the humour, which was once quite universal in theme, now seems entirely aimed at young teenagers, with a lot of time given to the problems the lovesick Peaches has with her over-protective Dad. The monkey pirate captain and his motley crew, including a sea-lion voiced by Nick Frost, provide a few smiles, but overall there are slim pickings here. It was a good idea to show images of the voice cast during the end credits though.
And there’s a delicious bonus: a short cartoon featuring young Maggie Simpson in THE LONGEST DAYCARE, in which Maggie is left in the Ayn Rand School for Tots – truly a scary place. There are more laughs in this 4½ minute short than in the entire feature that follows it.
MARGARET: Yes, it’s pretty cute, that short.
DAVID: It’s very funny, yes.
MARGARET: Look, I would have thought that this ICE AGE is aimed very much younger than young teens, early teens. I think it’s very much sort of like, six to ten.
DAVID: Well, maybe. Oh, a bit older than that, I would have thought. Anyway.
MARGARET: For me this sort of animation is what it is. I think some of the visuals, particular at the beginning of this film, I thought were really lovely and imaginative but it’s sort of like so repetitive all this franchise stuff.
DAVID: Well, it’s very much a case of been there, done that. We’ve seen all the best sort of jokes and situations of characters we’ve seen before.
MARGARET: Yes. Yes. So, look, let’s just move on. I’m going to give it three stars.
DAVID: Two and a half.