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Is Ice Age: Continental Drift worth your time?

Ice Age: Continental Drift is an animated film with its trademark cute prehistoric characters made for kids. This fourth installment of the Ice Age series was released in 2012 and continues its confusion of geological time on Earth.

The film was co-directed by Steve Martino and Michael Thurmeier. The film also features a screenplay by Michael Berg, who co-wrote the original Ice Age, while Jason Fuchs makes his feature debut.

Is Ice Age: Continental Drift worth watching? A Review
Louis, Manny and Diego | Source: IMDb

As a charming 3-D cartoon that arrived in theatres eight years ago, the film is witty, touching and surprisingly concise. It is part of a series that has managed to stay inventive after years in the limelight.

1. Quick Review

An earthquake leaves Manny separated from his wife Ellie and their daughter Peaches. He floats away with a pair of weasels accidentally, and worries for their safety.

The three characters are set adrift in the ocean on a thinning piece of ice. Manny needs to reconnect with his family and get the weasels home before further catastrophe erupts.

2. Info

Ice Age: Continental Drift

Air Date: 12th July, 2012Status: FinishedStudio: Blue Sky Studios

3. Is it worth watching?

This fourth addition to the film franchise isn’t its most inspired in the series. However, these characters are like comfort food to those who enjoy them, pleasingly familiar.

The new setting at sea doesn’t leave room for much breathtaking animation, but the action sequences are pretty spectacular in 3-D. This makes up for its flimsy plotline. At least Scrat, the acorn-obsessed squirrel, gets more screen-time than ever.

Ice Age 4 : Continental Drift | Official Trailer HD
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift Trailer

Ice Age’s stories are originally all about family. The film is made to be easily lapped up by kids. There are morals to the story and jokes that are built on animation rather than pop culture references or double entendres.

The animation of the high-seas action and the way in which old Mother Earth is falling apart are well executed. Although the dialogue is too sluggish and preachy, the fourth installment has definitely been a step up from the third one.

I. Plot

Ice Age: Continental Drift picks up where the last film left off, with our main characters. Wooly mammoth Manny (voiced by Ray Romano), Sabre-toothed tiger Diego (voiced by Denis Leary) and sloth Sid (voiced by John Leguizamo) are reunited, while walking around the ever-changing primordial landscape.

Manny and Ellie (voiced by Queen Latifah) deal with the adolescence of their daughter, Peaches (voiced by Keke Palmer). She tries to keep up with the cool-kid mammoths (voiced by Drake, Nicki Minaj and Heather Morris) and alienates her best friend, Louis (voiced by Josh Gad).

Manny and his friends look for a new home once more, as the world continues to demand their extinction. On their quest, they encounter pirates, who are led by the villainous Captain Gutt (voiced by Peter Dinklage).

Is Ice Age: Continental Drift worth watching? A Review
Ice Age: Continental Drift | Source: IMDb

Captain Gutt proves to be a scurvy-ridden primate with long, mangy dreadlocks woven into a pirate hat. The rest of the crew includes a prehistoric rabbit voiced by Aziz Ansari and a giant seal voiced by Nick Frost.

Meanwhile, Diego the saber-toothed tiger falls into a love-hate romance with a feisty pirate named Shira (voiced by Jennifer Lopez). Manny must also reunite with his family, rescue them from disaster and fight off bad guys for it to end.

II. Music and visuals

The music director is John Powell, an English composer, best known for his scores in motion pictures. Based in Los Angeles, he has composed the scores to over fifty feature films.Powell is particularly known for his scores for animated films, including Antz, Shrek, Robots, the Happy Feet franchise and three Ice Age sequels. He has also composed scores for the Rio and the How to Train Your Dragon film series.

Powell has been nominated for an Academy Award, 3 BAFTA Awards  and has won multiple ASCAP Film and Television Awards.

Songs featured in the film included the likes of  Chasing the Sun, performed by The Wanted, and the second theme song We are Family written by Ester Dean, performed by Keke Palmer.

Visually, there is quite a bit of slipping, sliding, and careening in a landscape of jagged rocks, spiky ice floes and computer-generated water. The Blue Sky animation studio’s style is enjoyable with a playful and rugged disregard for the laws of physics.

4. Grade

Ice Age: Continental Drift 2/5

Story: C

Cinematography/Animation: B

Direction: B

Music: A

Direction: C

5. Final Thoughts

There’s nothing new about the film. It’s familiar, drawn-out shtick, and the humor lacks the subtlety of the first and best Ice Age. There are, however, some visually inventive high points. The pirates’ song and dance is adorable, and serves as an ode to the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

Is Ice Age: Continental Drift worth watching? A Review
Ice Age: Continental Drift | Source: IMDb

The series’ momentum stalls throughout the film. The scriptwriters clearly did not want to deviate from Ice Age’s pre-established tropes. They merely substituted kid-friendly pirates for the kid-friendly dinosaurs of the previous part and let Manny do his thing.

There’s nothing dazzlingly new in the fourth installment of the Ice Age series, other than its star-studded voiceovers. The humor is in your face, the animation a step up, and it’s no better or worse than its predecessors.

If only it’d tried to be different.

Originally Written By Epic Dope

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Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

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