Ice Age: Continental Drift attempts to rewrite history
Featuring the voices of Ray Romano, Denis Leary, and John Leguizamo. Rated G.
The tectonic split that shakes up our prehistoric pals in Ice Age: Continental Drift actually happened a mere 200 million years before woolly mammoths and their ilk galumphed about the Earth. (Or roughly three weeks on the creationist calendar.) This literal sea change was, no doubt, caused by the lovable Scrat, as seen in the 2010 stand-alone cartoon that returns to kick off this fourth installment of the Ice Age franchise.
Of course, one doesn’t look to animated family flicks for geological or paleontological certitude: last time, the affable mammals were canoodling with dinosaurs. Anyway, the crisis here could have been caused by any piddling volcano or earthquake. Just as elephantine heroes Manny and Ellie (Ray Romano and Queen Latifah) are coping with a teenage daughter (Keke Palmer) and the junk in her trunk, their comfortable, if glaciated, homeland starts cracking up. The pachyderms are sent packing, and Manny is set adrift with sabre-toothed Diego (Denis Leary) and slothful Sid (John Leguizamo).
Not much shading is added to these familiar characters, but Sid is saddled with his toothless granny (Wanda Sykes), and Diego meets a potential love interest (Jennifer Lopez). Sadly, the sleek female tiger’s booty belongs to an orangutan pirate captain brilliantly voiced by Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage. This slows down the family reunion, because sometimes planet-shattering cataclysms don’t quite do the job.
There’s a lot of falling and fighting, some funny lines, and truly spectacular 3-D technology—especially where water is involved. The cast and filmmakers (including codirectors Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier) also manage to get their offspring into the voice pool, thereby securing evolutionary advantages.
But considering all the frantic action, the film could have been less sentimental and more unpredictably nutty. If the Madagascar crowd had made this, post-Pangaea penguins would be flipping out at ornery armadillos. I mean, if we’re rewriting history, people, let’s get into it.
Watch the trailer for Ice Age: Continental Drift.