Ice Age: Continental Drift | Movie review
Fox’s hit animation franchise refuses to evolve.
Darwin be damned, the Ice Age series survives. Fox Animation’s lucrative but far-from-fit franchise continues to add new animals to its ensemble while failing to come up with anything interesting for them to do. The three previous installments were basically road comedies, with a series of global catastrophes—including a heat wave and the anachronistic appearance of dinosaurs—serving as migrational catalysts. In Continental Drift, it’s the breakup of Pangaea that separates curmudgeonly mastodon Manny (Ray Romano), dopey sloth Sid (John Leguizamo) and domesticated tiger Diego (Denis Leary) from the rest of the herd. They end up adrift on a floating block of ice, battling mammalian pirates (led by Peter Dinklage’s snarling ape captain) while trying to get back to the mainland.
By this point, the chemistry among our trio of heroic beasts has gone quite cold—a problem underlined by sending them out to sea. The lost-in-the-ocean narrative also puts the freeze on the franchise’s mildly amusing visual humor; there’s nothing very funny about watching these characters stand around on an ice cube. Back on dry land, Manny’s now-teenage daughter (Keke Palmer) stomps her way through an after-school special about peer pressure, while acorn addict Scrat—whose Looney Tunes–worthy high jinks are always the highlight—improbably causes the disassembly of the master continent. “It made no sense but it was exciting,” Sid says of the gang’s previous prehistoric adventure, the one with the dinosaurs. Apply that sentiment to the whole Ice Age saga, and you’d be half right.