I know what you’re thinking (and it’s exactly what I was thinking), another Ice Age movie? As I pointed out in my Madagascar 3 review, I think it’s incredibly lazy to pop out sequel after sequel, especially when those sequels, well for lack of a better word, suck. When it came to the fourth installment of the Ice Age series, Ice Age: Continental Drift, I was anticipating a thrown-together mess of a story, especially with the plethora of big names that comprise the voicing talent behind the familiar characters we’ve grown to love, and the newer characters (some of which seem to have been brought in just to say that they were in the movie). And, while the movie wasn’t quite top-shelf quality, there was a whole lot about this movie that would convince me to see it another time (or two).
Our favorite prehistoric pals are back at it again, and this time, they get separated from the rest of the herd when the continents start breaking apart (thanks go to the acorn-crazy Scrat for this one). While Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary), Sid (John Leguizamo), and Sid’s Granny (Wanda Sykes) drift off on a tiny remnant of their home, Manny’s family – wife Ellie (Queen Latifah) and daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) – must attempt to save the herd from their ever-shrinking home.
Of course, if those happenings were all that went on during the movie, it wouldn’t be interesting in the least. Luckily, there are some twists thrown into the plot when Manny, Diego, Sid, and Granny come across an iceberg ship captained by the fearsome Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage), and his misfit pirate crew. Somehow, they must outwit Gutt, his first mate Shira (Jennifer Lopez), and the rest of the crew, so they can get back to the rest of the herd. In the meantime, the herd is on the move to the land bridge, hoping to make their way safely across before the shifting landscape crushes them.
Sure, the story wasn’t all that fabulous, and the outcome was more than predictable, the journey that the audience is taken on is completely worth it. Twenty-first century references, though completely out of place, are even more hilarious when coming from these prehistoric creatures. For example, grumpy mammoth Manny is having difficulty coming to terms with the fact that his daughter Peaches is growing up, and is worried that her hanging out with the popular kids could lead to her doing something rash – like piercing her trunk.
The typical antics ensue during the remainder of the movie; Scrat is still in the search for the perfect acorn, and seems to have a lead on where to find it – or does he? Manny is still a gruff grumpus, but as usual, being reunited with his family warms his heart. Diego and Sid still bicker like siblings, but each has important things to learn from the events that take place.
As I brought up earlier, there is a massive voice cast in this movie, and to be honest, many of them (Drake, Nikki Minaj – just to name a few) seem to have been brought in just to promote the movie’s popularity among the older aged kids who might think that this movie wasn’t something they’d want to see. Still, there was one name that I never saw advertised in any of the previews, and her character and voice acting was the best in the movie, by far. Wanda Sykes as Granny was probably one of the most unusual and hilarious characters I have seen in an animated movie in a long time. I thought it was very beneficial to the story to bring in another crazy, goofy, unhinged character to bring some freshness to the group.
Overall, this installment in the Ice Age series isn’t anything overly fantastic, but it’s something I know the kids will enjoy, and the adults will get a kick out of it too.
Ice Age: Continental Drift – 7/10