Blue Sky Studios’ animation quality has always been top-notch and Ice Age: Continental Drift in 3-D is a great example of their work. With mammoth tusks coming out at you, the waves of the ocean crashing, rocks falling down, along with a giant crab, and a special giant acorn at the end of the movie, they are all extremely impressive.
Whether you are a fan of Ice Age or not, for a fourth movie of a series, this is a great, animated, feel-good family movie for all ages. It wouldn’t be Ice Age without Scrat the zany saber-toothed squirrel causing another epic problem in the history of the world. This time around he’s splitting yet another mountain in an attempt to catch and store . . . that elusive acorn. Except this time, this mountain splits all the way down to the center of the earth. It’s the splitting up of continents in Ice Age: Continental Drift that sets this movie in motion.
Lovable furry mammoths Manny (voice of Ray Romano) and Elle (voice of Queen Latifah), now have a cute teenage daughter named Peaches (voice of Kiki Palmer). Manny is obsessed with keeping his little girl under his protection. When he hears she has snuck off with her mole-friend, Louis (voice of Josh Gad), Manny crashes in on her friend’s hang out and demands she go home. Peaches responds with the words “I wish you weren’t my father.”
Meanwhile Sid’s family has come back to drop off Grandma (voice of Wanda Sykes). This old, seemingly delirious sloth will have quite a few tricks up her sleeve for you throughout the movie.
When the continent starts breaking apart, Manny, Diego (voice of Denis Leary), Sid (voice of John Leguizamo) and Grandmother are separated from the rest of the animals and are set adrift in a freezing ocean. Manny yells back a promise to his family that, “No matter how long it takes I will find you.”
Using a small iceberg as a ship, the group goes through a dangerous storm encountering some beautiful and scary things. Just when they think they are safe and see land, they meet the “Primate Pirate Pioneer Captain Gut” (voice of Peter Dinklage) and his crew. Made up of a female albino saber-toothed tiger named Shira (voice of Jennifer Lopez), a hilarious elephant seal (voice of Nick Frost), a bunny, a badger, a seagull, a warthog-looking creature, and their orangutan captain, this ragtag crew is determined that Manny and his “herd” will never go home.
It is up to Manny, Diego, and Sid to save the day. While on the other side of the ocean, it is up to Elle to get the other animals to the land bridge in order to survive.
Ice Age: Continental Drift is rated PG for mild rude humor and action/peril. There is some minor name calling such as “stupid,” “weirdo,” and “loser,” etc among a group of teenagers and the pirate crew. The words “holy crab” are also used when Sid sees a giant crab come onto the group’s iceboat. Every one of the characters gets bumped around or hurt at some point in the movie, whether it’s from slipping and falling on ice, to the continent shifting, or the pirate crew attacking them.
Captain Gut is the antagonist in the movie and can be a little scary at times. He shows Sid how he gets his name by using his sharp claws to . . . well, you get the picture. Nothing is ever shown and he uses a sword or a whip to fight in the rest of the movie. Due to some illusions, Diego and Sid accidentally end up kissing each other. Lastly, one character becomes paralyzed for a short time because he eats a poisonous berry.
Ice Age: Continental Drift has a huge all-star cast – a little too large unfortunately to explore the talents of each star. The overall story is engaging with a good combination of action, slapstick, and witty humor. For those of you who like musical theater, there is even some of that thrown in to introduce Pirate Captain Gut.
From a family perspective this movie is great. I took my three-year-old with me to the afternoon 3-D showing. There were only a couple of seconds in the whole movie that she covered her eyes in some of the more scary scenes (rocks falling, the giant crab, and one scene with Captain Gut). There was really nothing that I had to worry about covering her eyes or ears or that I regretted that she had seen or heard. Overall, we both thoroughly enjoyed the movie.
Besides some of the immature name-calling and the fighting (no one gets hurt) this movie is relatively clean. One positive thing this movie shows is how important strong family bonds are. After Peaches tells Manny, “I wish you weren’t my father” and they get separated, she immediately regrets it and wishes that he knew she didn’t mean it. There are several instances with Sid and Diego where they demonstrate family virtues to others. “Ice Age” also depicts the values of loyalty and friendship, that even against peer pressure, friends should stick together.
If you happen to get to the movie a little early, there is a short film right before Ice Age called “Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare”. This I was not impressed with and neither were the other parents with young children around me. As a Christian parent, and as a parent in general, I did not feel The Simpsons short was an appropriate fit before a movie like Ice Age: Continental Drift. Parents, this would be a great four minutes if your seats are saved to go take your kids for one last quick trip to the bathroom or to get snacks.
Click here to watch the Official Trailer for Ice Age: Continental Drift
To learn more about author April Kruger, visit Cross Shadow Productions