Retro Review: Ice Age

Twentieth Century Fox jumps into the computer-animation arena with the new animated film “Ice Age”. The film tells the story of four “sub-zero heroes” who team up to escort an adorable and very lost baby back to his tribe.

First there is Diego (Denis Leary), a saber-toothed tiger who is harboring a secret. Second is Sid (John Leguizamo), a sloth who won’t stop talking. Third there is Manfred (Ray Romano), a woolly mammoth who is searching for a new family. Fourth and finally there is Scrat, a cross between a squirrel and a rat who is obsessed with eating an acorn that keeps eluding him.

“Ice Age” is another adorable family movie that features some very memorable cast members. Scrat steals the show as he sort of pays homage to those lovable “Looney Tunes” of yesteryear through hilarious slapstick gags. He was the funniest and my favorite.

I also enjoyed Denis Leary’s very out of character turn in this animated film. His voice just seemed to fit that scraggily tiger. Romano as the steadfast mammoth is a typical depiction of an elephant like seen in “Disney’s The Jungle Book”. Leguizamo’s Sid is probably the second funniest character on the squad and makes you howl when Scrat isn’t on film.

The film talks about family and what it means to be apart of one. It also doesn’t seem to be shy away from what it was like during the days of the “Ice Age”. During that time, man and animal was locked in a desperate struggle to survive. This struggle affects all the characters on many levels. That aspect is probably what gives the film its PG-rating. The first half shows why it would be so unlikely that these heroes would team-up. It also sets the stage for the journey.

The only thing that bugged me about “Ice Age” was the animation. Audiences are used to the flawless execution of such films as “Monsters Inc” and “Shrek”. The style depicted in “Ice Age” is a lot different and the characters are animated with a lot of hard edges. They are still adorable and cuddly but don’t amplify the same realism as the other films. Maybe I am just spoiled but it did catch me off guard.

“Ice Age” is a lot of fun for families and the slapstick humor of poor Scrat is side-splittingly hilarious. The message of “Ice Age” is pure and should delight both children and adults.

(4 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer

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