Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)
Directors: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier
Screenwriters: Michael Berg, Jason Fuchs
Starring: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary
Blue Sky Studios have taken advantage of the promotional opportunity of their new Ice Age stage production to release Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, but have they risen to the heights of previous works or have they suffered the Dreamworks curse of going one too many with such a lovable bunch of pixels?
Ice Age 4 suffers from the same problems almost every animated feature in the history of cinema has suffered from: awful stereotypes, an over-inflated demand for you to suspend your disbelief, crowd-pleasing jokes and so on and so forth. But, what the Ice Age franchise does, and has done significantly better than most of its non-Disney-associated rivals ever since its inception as one of the so-called “other guys’” productions, is keep such an admirable amount of innocence in its presentation that, as an animated film fan, you can’t help but open your heart to.
The story here centres around our beloved characters. Their adventure is less ‘typical’ of the famed Sloth, Mammoth, and Sabre-Tooth, and instead more of an opening into a slightly different side of their personality than we’ve seen before. Within the realm of mainstream Western animation, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift does it better than the majority and certainly doesn’t let down its predecessors.
Visually, it’s at a whole other level in comparison to the first instalment given the advances in technology that the 10-year time difference has allowed. The water effects alone are worthy of note, but it’s the colour which truly resonates.
The colouration of modern day animation is something so vitally important to the reception of the films that it has now become a mainstay for almost every type of animation anywhere. Continental Drift offers many different colour-filled landscapes and creatures to offer the chance for children and adults alike to feast themselves on all the visual goodness that we’ve come to expect.
Ice Age 4 is not without its problems but they’re issues that can be lived with in the search for entertainment, and 90-minutes worth of entertainment is what you’ll get. An easy no-thinker – watch for a social occasion or feel-good moment. Continental Drift is not as good as Ice Age but still pretty damn good… If you’re a fan, at least.
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