Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) Review

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift
Directors: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier
Plot: As Earth’s continents begin to separate and the ice sheets continue to melt, Manny, Sid and Diego are cast away from their herd and embark on an adventure to return home.
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 it.

The story centres around our beloved characters who have barely changed despite the increase in pressure to please the audience that the franchises success has incurred. Their adventure was less ‘typical’ of the famed Sloth, Mammoth, and Sabre-Tooth, and instead more of an opening to a slightly different side of their personality than we’ve seen before. Sure, there was a lot of the stereotypical elements that filled Manny with the protective father of teenage daughter etc. But we’ve discussed how every animated feature suffers a similar stereotypical fate, haven’t we? Yes. 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. As mentioned above, the colouration of modern day animation is something so vitally important to the reception of the genre’s pictures that it’s now become a mainstay for almost every type of animation anywhere. Continental Driftoffers many different colour-filled landscapes and creatures to offer the chance for children and adults alike to feast themselves on all the visual good-ness that we’ve come to expect.

Verdict: Within the realm of animation, this film is good and something I recommend fans of the franchise watch. 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.

Not as good as Ice Age but still pretty damn good… If you’re a fan, at least.


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