“ Genre: Children's DVDs - Animation / Universal, suitable for all / Director: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier / Actors: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Chris Wedge, Queen Latifah ... / DVD released 2012-12-10 at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL „
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For my son's birthday he chose to watch Ice age four at the cinema. It was newly released around five days before his birthday and he had seen the adverts on TV. As a family we have enjoyed the previous movies so decided we would all go along to watch. We did enjoy the film, but not as much as the previous three.
When Scrat accidentally provokes another natural disaster, Manny is separated from Ellie and Peaches on an iceberg with Diego, Sid and Granny. He promises that he will find a way to return home, but while crossing the ocean, they are captured by the cruel pirate Captain Gutt. They manage to escape and Manny plots a plan to steal Captain Gutt's ship to return to his family. The cruel pirates seek revenge against Manny and his family and friends. We follow the friends as they try to find their way home, but of course with this pack something is bound to go wrong.
We have watched each of the ice age films a number of times, and always find them entertaining. It is rated PG but to be honest my children have all love the franchise from a very young age, and I knew there would be nothing overly offending in it. I can see why it is a PG as it has scenes of the characters fighting, and a little banter between the characters. There is nothing over the top that would stop me allowing my children to watch it despite them being so young.
The animation is fantastic as always and everything is really finished to a high standard. The scenes are detailed, the characters perfect in appearance, and the whole finish of the movie screams the high quality we are used too. The usual humour aimed at both the older audience as well as the younger audience is still there, but everything just seems a little samey. I found myself wishing the film would finish so we could get out and even my children became a little rested at the end.
I like that they keep the story line simple so younger children can keep up, but I think it may just be too much so. There are no twists or turns and around fifteen minutes into the film I knew how it would finish. Of course this did not matter to my children as they are only five, four and two but an older child may find it just as predictable. The thing is this film just did not feel as loved as the other Ice age films have been. They are careful to keep the old characters the centre of attention and as always my children enjoyed watching them.
When it came to the new characters they were just not interested in them. A lot of the screen time is aimed towards the newer characters, but because they are not hugely built up or introduced these were the scenes my children became a little restless in. I do think it could maybe suit an older child as it is focusing on the teenage years of Peaches and the peer pressure she is facing. As a family with smaller children this part just went over my children's heads.
My little girl who is four actually found the ape rather scary, but my boys did think that it was a great addition to the story. What better mix is there than a pirate and an ape for a boy? Other new additions like Shira (voiced by Jennifer Lopez) and Granny (Wanda Sykes) were fantastic. My children loved these characters, and if they were to bring more Ice age films out I could see them becoming part of the main cast.
There is a lot of action in the film, and they do flick between the two groups of characters to keep us interested in the film. Of course they also burst out in song, and this really did make my children smile and with familiar songs the whole family will be singing along. My children do still like the film and they will ask to put it on. It just does not have the same attention grabbing plot as the other stories.
As a family we were a little disappointed with this film. It is something my children will ask to watch at home, but half way through they become bored and begin other activities. It just does not seem to have that seem appeal as the three previous films. It was great they introduced new characters, but none of them really stuck out to my children as they prefer the original gang. They thought it was great they got to see Peaches grown up into a teenager and she was definitely one of their favourite characters. It is still watchable especially the first time, but I do think his is lacking the special Ice age appeal.
In an increasing effort to entertain the children during the school holidays, we went to see Ice Age 4: Continental Drift last week at the cinema. Ice Age is a firm favourite in our house, and where some children's films seem to go downhill a little after the first instalment, Ice Age 4 (much like Shrek) only see to get better.
Ice Age 4 is a good all-rounder, it had all of the children in the screening enthralled, while it had all the adults giggling at the clichés. The film starts out as you would expect with Scrat and his nutty pursuit of the acorn. This bit for me was so clever and had me laughing out loud. It had Scrat and his usual run around following his beloved acorn to the ends of the earth. At the top of a mountain, it splits in two and consequently the continents start to drift apart and form countries and continents as we know today. This is the beginning of the film as the upheaval of the cataclysm means Manny, Diego and Sid must get away from their home and quick. This point of the film was somewhat educational (in a very loose sense), as I was able to point out countries to my daughters, who have since remembered what Italy looks like, etc.
The film introduces new characters and for Diego we have the white tiger Shira, voiced by Jennifer Lopez. Playing the part of a pirate tiger, it is totally silly, but this is just what the kids thrive on and we are talking about a film set in the ice age after all! We also have characters voiced by Nick Frost, Nicki Minaj, Queen Latifah, Drake, Simon Pegg and of course Ray Ramano.
In a bid to save each other and the herd, Manny, Sid and Diego embark upon their 4th adventure when their worlds are turned apart after the continent is set adrift. Along the way you'll see them use an iceberg as a ship and encounter some new friends (and enemies). I always like children's films like this one, as although the general idea is to entertain the children, they do send messages out along the way, and this one is most definitely the importance of team work.
Full of fabulous CGI this film is a definite hit. There is one particular scene which is set on the water, and it looks so real (until you see the cartoon woolly mammoth and sabre-toothed tiger that is!).
According to the press the original idea for ice age 4 was to have Manny, Sid, Diego and Ellie frozen solid and then defrosted in a museum in the present day. The title was going to be Ice Age: Th4w. It would be a shame not to use this idea as I think that would be a great way to finish the series of films but who knows.
All in all, for a children's film, this was fab. There wasn't anywhere that I could see improvements needed and nor was there anything I would change. The children loved it and it was a good 88 minutes of entertaining fun.
A couple of weekends back we decided to have a family treat of a trip to the cinema to celebrate my husbands birthday, and between us all we decided to go and see Ice Age 4: Continental Drift. This was released in July 2012 just before the school summer holiday, so although it is still showing in cinemas, it is now a bit less packed. We wanted to see it as we have really enjoyed the earlier adventures in the series, so figured this one would probably be along the same line of humour and entertain us all.
The film is PG rated, and it was designed to be shown in 3D. We didn't watch it in this format, but from watching the film, you can see that there are plenty of moments during the action which would certainly look a lot better in 3D. The quality of the animation was superb, with an extraordinary amount of detail, such as being able to see the texture of the animals teeth. Without being 3D, it was still a very high quality animation and of an equal quality of script compared to the earlier movies in the series.
The film still features the same main characters we have met over the course of the series. The main character is a mammoth called Manny (voiced by Ray Romano), who has a wife called Ellie (Queen Latifah). The pair are now parents to a teenage daughter, Peaches (Keke Palmer) who is trying to gain a bit of freedom and start seeing boy mammoths, but Manny is being very protective of her.
Diego the sabre toothed tiger (Denis Leary) and Sid the Sloth (John Leguizamo) are still on the scene providing action and humour in the script, and guiding Manny.
The amusing character Scrat is one of the first to appear on screen, still on his never ending hunt for the perfect acorn in the icy landscape. He is trying to bury his acorn when he creates cracks in the ice which causes the ice to start breaking apart, and continental drift. This sets the scene for the whole film, and while the joke concerning Scrat's hunt for acorns is now ten years old, it is still just as amusing and endearing. I don't think the joke will ever wear thin.
Manny, Sid, Diego and Sid's granny are all trapped on a large chunk of ice which drifts out to sea, while the rest of the arctic population are left in grave danger trying to get to safe ground before they are also cast adrift in the sea.
Manny comes across a gang of pirates, led by an ape called Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage) and his evil sidekick Shira (who is thoroughly recognisable as Jennifer Lopez). The crew want to recruit the animals to join them, but Manny wants to just go home, so he refuses. This leads to a battle between the pirates and the animals, and the viewer wondering if they will ever work out a way to battle nature and reunite Manny with his family before it is too late.
This film firmly sits in the category of animated comedy. Like most films in this genre, as well as a lot of visual gags to appeal to children, there was also a lot in the script that had me and my husband hooting with laughter. While the idea of these animals all living in the arctic could have been dull from about 2 movies into the series, we somehow have got ten years down the line and by introducing some new characters and maintaining the humour, this is still a fantastic franchise, and I believe with a good enough plot idea we could even see a 5th movie. There does seem to be a bit of a rehash of some of the plot ideas seen in earlier films such as Scrat and the Acorn, but if you are a fan of the series, this is very appealing when it reminds you of what has gone before in a nostalgic way.
The introduction of new characters like Granny, Shira and the rest of the pirates, and the teenage animals we see with Peaches really does develop the plot. Sure, the humour is a bit juvenile, but at the heart of this there is some decent plot and loveable characters. Yes, occasionally things might be a bit of a cliché such as a cantankerous old granny character (plenty of those around in 2012), but this is a film that is unlikely to age rapidly. I can see us having as much fun watching this in 2022 as we do watching Ice Age one in 2012.
The soundtrack was written specially for the film by John Powell, and fit well around the action on stage. I really liked the track 'We are Family' that was sung by most of the cast and performed in the credits. There was a nice technique of the characters being shown on screen dancing, and then above them there was footage of the voice actors singing in the recording studio, and I found it really good to see who were the new actors in the film. I had forgotten Seann William Scott was one of the actors, and I had picked out Jennifer Lopez from her voice being so distinctive, but I had not realised that Nicki Minaj was also in it.
This is an excellent movie for all the family to watch. It was recommended for children 4 plus - I guess as there were some scenes that were mildly violent when the characters were fighting with the pirates, and the pirates were a pretty ugly bunch of animals that I guess might have been frightening for younger viewers. My 4 and 5 year old boys were too busy laughing to be scared by any of it.
I can see us purchasing this one when it comes out on DVD to add to our movie collection as it is something I would be happy to watch again and again. It might not win film of the year for us adults, but the kids were pretty impressed, and we were kept more than happy while watching it.