They’ve really mined everything they can out of these "Ice Age" movies, haven’t they? That’s not to say they’re not cute and fun and all that stuff. Just that maybe they’ve come to the end of the line on these particular characters and stories. Then again, they’ve added a few new characters in this movie, and let’s face it, they’re just at the dawn of the dinosaurs, which means this franchise could go on into infinity.
The first movie, 2002’s "Ice Age," was definitely the best. The second, 2006’s "Ice Age: The Meltdown," was cute, and this one is cute, too. They just seem to be losing their steam. But the animation continues to be fantastic, with every snowflake and furry animal popping off the screen at you.
This third movie, released on DVD and Blu-ray Oct. 27, 2009, finds Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) preparing to have a baby Mammoth. Manny is nesting big-time, creating a beautiful little playground full of ice-figure mobiles, play structures, and teeter-totters.
It leaves Sid (John Leguizamo) wishing for a family of his own, and he gets just that when he stumbles upon a trio of large eggs. He doesn’t realize they’re dinosaur eggs, and their mom wants them back.
Diego (Denis Leary) has his own issues. With all this family planning going on, he feels like he’s losing his touch in the wild. He can’t even chase after a nimble gazelle without gasping for breath.
When Sid accidentally falls into a strange underground world full of lush tropical foliage and creatures of every shape and size, the rest of the gang heads down to try and rescue him. They get some help from a one-eyed weasel named Buck (Simon Pegg) who’s like an animal version of Crocodile Dundee.
The journey puts the group in grave danger, especially Ellie, who’s just about ready to have that baby Mammoth.
Of course, we can’t forget Scrat (Chris Wedge), who’s still on the hunt to grab and hold onto that elusive acorn. But that dream is seriously hindered by the appearance of a female sabre-toothed squirrel named Scratte.
This movie is cute as all get-out, and the storyline moves along fairly well. But there’s not a lot of new ground here (well, aside from the lush new ground beneath the ice floes). If you have kids in the 5- to 8-year-old range who like cute, animated movies, this is a good choice.
NOTE TO PARENTS: The violence is mainly cartoonish, with Scrat’s quest to get the acorn and a few close calls from other characters (a gazelle being chased, but not caught and eaten). Some of the dinosaurs are pretty scary, but for the most part, they don’t inflict any real damage on any characters. Sexual innuendoes are limited to Scrat and his new love interest, as well as Manny and Ellie acting sweet towards each other. In one scene, Sid tries to milk an animal that turns out to be male, and in another scene, he thinks a baby mammoth is a boy until Diego says, "That’s a tail." Language includes mild insults, usually directed at Sid, as well as "poop" and "barf."
DVD Bonus Features:
- Trailer: Alvin and the Chipmunks:The Squeakquel
- Trailer: Percy Jackson
- Trailer: Aliens In The Attic
- Trailer: Night At The Museum 2
- Trailer: Glee
- Filmmaker Commentary
- Marley Meets Purina Puppy Chow
Photo Credit: Blue Sky Studios, TM and © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.