Kids are pretty easy to please. So, you’d think the formula for a blockbuster animated movie would be pretty easy. Solid animation, which shouldn’t be hard considering the millions of geeks who can perform quality grade animation without Hollywood’s help; throw in some talking animals, the more unique the better; cast some popular Hollywood actors, who parents may recognize before the kids; put them all in an easy to follow plot that is one part adventure, one part friendship lesson and one part morality tale. Surely, I’m not the only one that has this figured out. The “Ice Age” creators apparently haven’t.
Now, going into this, I’ve never seen an “Ice Age” movie. But I can only assume that I’m not missing out on any crucial plot points that may have kept me from truly appreciating “Ice Age: Continental Drift”. The plot goes like this: Skrat still wants his nut. It falls in a hole, he goes after it, lands on the Earth’s core and creates a ripple effect that causes what we know as the continental drift. Diego the sabertooth tiger (Denis Leary), Manny the wooly mammoth (Ray Ramano), and Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo) are all happily living in the arctic when a massive earthquake separates them from their families.
Stranded on an iceberg with Sid’s granny sloth (Wanda Sykes), the goal is to find their way back to the land bridge and find Manny’s mammoth wife (Queen Latifah) and daughter (Keke Palmer). While floating aimlessly at sea they come across some pirates led by Peter Dinklage and Jennifer Lopez. J-Lo is a female sabertooth tiger, presenting a conflicted love interest for Diego. I’m making this sound more interesting than it really is, because it’s anything but interesting.
Manny and his friends go back and forth with these animal pirates, fighting over ice bergs they are using as ships. Meanwhile, Manny’s family is trying to get to the land bridge. The only conflict there is the daughter is trying to impress the cool kids who think her little friend is an idiot. She learns something about who friends really are, or something like that. All the “teen” animals, led by Nicki Minaj, talk like morons, which of course shows kids in the audience that it’s okay to talk like a moron without a proper grasp of the English language.
The main problem with the movie, besides the generic plot and crappy animation is that it is flat out not funny…not even a little bit. I saw this movie with my six-year-old son and he didn’t laugh once. In fact the movie only generated a few laughs from the entire theatre and that was usually when one of the dumb little animals makes a fart noise or some ridiculous sound. When your movie only makes kids laugh because of a fart noise, you have a huge problem on your hands.
There is the usual breaks to show Skrat’s adventure trying to get his acorn, which is somewhat better than anything that happens with Manny and company. This is another red flag. Maybe next time just make a Skrat movie…or better yet, make a Skrat short to play in front of a better movie that has nothing to do with “Ice Age” at all.
Needless to say, “Ice Age: Continental Drift” is an awful effort from awful filmmakers who think all you have to do is throw a hundred celebrity voices to play horrible characters. And there are a number of celebrities in this, many of whom I was disappointed to see their name in the credits.
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Ice Age Continental Drift trailer:
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