Review: ‘Ice Age 4′ is formulaic but still entertainingWritten by James A. Molnar | The Gold Knight | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Paleolithic mammals are back and so is that cute little saber-toothed squirrel Scrat.
It’s the fourth movie of the “Ice Age” franchise, it’s formulaic and exactly what you’ve come to expect from the series. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s entertaining. The writers didn’t need to reinvent the successful box office formula here.
The cast of misfits was last seen saving Sid the sloth (voiced by John Leguizamo) from dinosaurs in “Dawn of the Dinosaurs.” For “Continental Drift,” the land is shifting and splitting apart. Because of this, mammoth Manny (Ray Romano) is separated from his wife Ellie (Queen Latifah) and their 19-year-old daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer).
Manny is adrift with Diego the sabre-toothed cat (Denis Leary), Sid and Sid’s hilarious grandma Granny — voiced perfectly by Wanda Sykes. And the adventure picks up from there.Calling this fourth iteration “safe” is accurate. Ten years after the first “Ice Age,” it’s funny at times and kids — and some of their parents — will enjoy this 94-minute animated 3-D film.
The level of animation and creativity from 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios still seems to be subpar with DreamWorks Animation and the juggernaut that is Disney/Pixar. BUT there is still some really nice work exhibited in the “Ice Age” series.
The animated short before the movie, “The Longest Daycare,” follows baby Maggie from “The Simpsons” on a day at a daycare facility. It is short and sweet and carries Pixar charm.
At the end of “Continental Drift,” there is a music video with one of the movie’s theme songs, “We Are.” It perfectly sums up the movie. “We are, we are, not your ordinary family … we’re so lucky indeed … we are family.” It describes a bunch of misfits that together form a family.
The “Ice Age” series has this family message at its core. And that’s where it really succeeds.
Rated PG for mild rude humor and action/peril.
Read more: STAR @ the movies
Toledo Free Press Lead Designer and Film Editor James A. Molnar blogs about all things Oscar at TheGoldKnight.com. Watch him discuss movies on “WNWO Today” around 5:50 a.m. on Fridays.
Tags: 20th Century Fox Animation, Blue Sky, Continental Drift, Denis Leary, Family, Film, Ice Age, James A. Molnar, John Leguizamo, Keke Palmer, Movies, Queen Latifah, Ray Romano, review, Scrat, summer movies, The Gold Knight, Wanda Sykes