ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT (Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier, 2012)
mammoth Manny (Ray Romano), sabre-toothed tiger Diego (Denis Leary),
and sloths Sid (John Leguizamo), and Granny (Wanda Sykes) embark on an
epic journey to return to the herd when Pangaea’s break-up separates
them from their makeshift family. ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT sets the
ragtag gang on a hunk of ice and sends them out to sea.
surviving a violent storm, Manny and friends cross paths with an
iceberg fashioned into a ship, but rather than this encounter leading to
their rescue, it creates another set of problems. Captain Gutt (Peter
Dinklage), an ape so named for what he likes to do with his claws,
demands they join his band of pirates or face the consequences.
on the mainland, Manny’s teenage daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer)
wrestles with peer pressure. She has a crush on Ethan (Drake) and wants
to hang out with the cool crowd, but doing so means rejecting her
molehog friend Louis (Josh Gad) and not being true to who she really is.
Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier keep ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT moving
at a steady clip and the various objects comin’ at ya for 3D viewers.
The action and jokes zip by with the speed of processors rendering the
digital animation files. The fourth film in the ICE AGE series is
lighter in tone from the past couple entries and busy enough to give the
impression that all this activity is a good time. All that positive
energy can’t distract from the fact that the filmmakers are treading
water, though. It’s a hollow simulation of what fun for the whole
family looks and sounds like.
the main characters nor the celebrity voice work have been
distinguished in the ICE AGE films. That’s no different this time
around, but two newcomers liven things up a bit. The resonance in
Dinklage’s voice makes the villain especially fearsome. Sykes adds
much-needed looniness by imbuing Sid’s grandmother with the kind of sass
projected onto the honey badger in internet memes.
in previous ICE AGE installments, the funniest parts of CONTINENTAL
DRIFT belong to the non-speaking sabre-toothed squirrel Scrat. Free
from having to impart lessons about the importance of family or being
true to oneself, Scrat can scamper about on his Sisyphean effort to get
those elusive acorns. While Scrat’s interstitial scenes are beginning
to get stale, they still have the cartoon silliness and cleverness found
wanting in the main story.