It’s really a shame when an original, family-friendly film is followed by multiple disappointing sequels. A movie should only be made when the story is absolutely necessary to tell, otherwise we get three “Ice Age” installments and don’t remember why we enjoyed the original film in the first place.
“Ice Age” debuted in 2002, making a whopping $176 million at the box office. The characters were clever, the story was touching and who could forget the cute little saber-toothed squirrel, Scrat? Now, 10 years later, Scrat is still running around searching for the perfect acorn and squeaking so much, the mini rodent is getting annoying.
“Ice Age: Continental Drift” brings back the unthinkable pack including the lovable mammoth Manny (Ray Romano), the silly sloth Sid (John Leguizamo), the saber-toothed tiger Diego (Denis Leary), Manny’s wife Ellie (Queen Latifah) and Scrat (Chris Wedge).
Manny and Ellie have a teenage daughter, Peaches (Keke Palmer) who has a crush on the cutest mammoth in town, Ethan (voiced by rapper, Drake). But Ethan hangs out with the cool mammoths Steffie (Nicki Minaj) and Katie (Heather Morris). While Peaches is busy flirting, her homeland is falling apart, literally, breaking into pieces.
Ellie, Peaches and some others get separated from Manny, Sid and Diego, but Manny swears he will come and find them soon. While off on their crazy adventure to try and get back home, Manny and pack run into Captain Gutt, a yellow-toothed Gigantopithecus (voiced by the talented Peter Dinklage) and his band of pirates who want to hijack their ice ship and their land. Dinklage is not only one of the best actors working today, he’s an amazing voice actor, too. He makes Gutt the perfect animated villain, boisterous, rebellious and rowdy.
The cast is too full-packed with voice talent that it doesn’t leave any room for them to distinguish themselves. The voice talent includes, but not limited to Jennifer Lopez, Wanda Sykes, Patrick Stewart, Aziz Ansari, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Alan Tudyk.
One good thing about “Continental Drift” is it doesn’t shove the environmental message down your throat. The premise focuses on explaining how the seven continents came to be in a self-aware and family-friendly way, although completely false.
Where “Continental Drift” does succeed is during the ending credits sequence. Although not everyone may consider the credits to be a part of the movie, the animators and directors give the audience a fun treat by showing the actors in the recording studio singing in a musical number, paired side-by-side with the character they voiced.
Although “Ice Age: Continental Drift” offers an all-star and ecclectic cast, the fourth installment is an unnecessary edition to the once-popular franchise.