Newest Review: ... 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 i... more
For kids, and big kids, if you catch my drift.
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (DVD + Digital Copy)
Member Name: cha97mw
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (DVD + Digital Copy)
Advantages: familiar characters alongside funny new characters, swashbuckling pirate adventure
Disadvantages: some rehash of old plots, but it wasn't really a disadvantage to us
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.
Summary: Fun for all our family, and had us laughing away at the visual and verbal gags.