This new Ice Age isn't as fun as earlier installments, but your kids will eat it up....
Fox / 88 Minutes / 2012 / Rated PG / Street Date: December 11, 2012
This latest Ice Age movie has made almost $900 million worldwide. This is more than the latest Twilight movie, more than Ted - Ice Age: Continental Drift even showed The Hunger Games who's boss. Popularity isn't everything, of course, but this kind of connection to a global audience means that something within the film works, right?
Well, yes and no. Unlike, say, Pixar's output of late, Continental Drift doesn't aim all that high in terms of narrative wow - the story and structure of this latest installments is on every front its least valuable contributions - but as a movie, it knows that its characters are lovable and funny enough to theoretically keep the franchise from going extinct. John Leguizamo's sloth, Queen Latifah's and Ray Romano's mammoths, Chris Wedge's squirrel Scrat: it's nice to see these guys again.
The movie begins with Scrat chasing down his beloved acorn (a frequent plot starter), and after a handful of bumbling seconds, his caper leads to a huge chunk of land breaking off from these animals' continent and floating out to sea. What follows are a series of nicely-staged action sequences that chronicle our gang fighting nemeses and traversing dangerous locales in an attempt to return home.
Ice Age: Continental Drift never kicks into full gear, but there's little question that the folks behind this latest Fox animation endeavor know what they're doing. Adults will likely find multiple shortcomings here - it definitely suffers from a degree of sequel-itis - but the kids will no doubt find it mesmerizing. And maybe that's all that matters.