Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Ice Age: Continental Drift

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild rude humor and action/peril
Profanity:Very mild language ("screwed up")
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:Paralysis-causing berries
Violence/Scariness:Cartoon-style action violence and peril
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters, very strong females
Movie Release Date:July 13, 2012
DVD Release Date:December 11, 2012

The “Ice Age” folks have the formula down very well, and this fourth entry is one of their strongest, with enough of the familiar to be satisfying and enough that is new to keep things interesting.  The real expertise is the mixture of heart, humor, and adventure, in what is now one of the most reliably entertaining series for families.

It begins, as “Ice Age” must, with Scrat, the saber-toothed squirrel who is the Sisyphus of the pre-historic era.  Scrat (voiced, or, I should say, squeaked and squealed, by  director Chris Wedge) wants an acorn, but it is his destiny to have it always just beyond his reach or to create chaos when he tries to bury it.  Both happen right off the bat as inserting the tip of the acorn into the ice has results that are literally earth-shattering.  Yes, it turns out that the reason the continents separated and moved to opposite sides of the oceans was because of a squirrel.

Meanwhile, our old friends Diego the cranky saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary), Manny the anxious Mammoth (Ray Romano), and Sid the silly sloth (John Leguizamo) are on the wrong side of the dividing tectonic plates and become separated from Manny’s mate Ellie (Queen Latifah) and his tween daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer).  Just as Manny and Peaches are in conflict because she wants to hang out with her friends and he thinks she is too young, the ground buckles and cracks underneath them.  Diego, Manny, and Sid are adrift on an ice floe along with Sid’s dotty grandmother (Wanda Sykes).  Like Daniel Day-Lewis in “Last of the Mohicans,” Manny promises, “I will find you.”  But they have no cell phones or GPS or even maps.

And then things get worse, as they run into a pirate crew on a ship made from ice led by the piratical Captain Gutt (a sensational Peter Dinklage of “Game of Thrones”).  His first make is a female saber-toothed tiger named Shira (Jennifer Lopez).  Our heroes must battle Gutt’s gang and find their way back home.  Gutt and Sid’s granny are welcome additions to the cast, adding vitality and flavor to a cast whose conflicts have subsided in the previous chapters.  The animation is exceptionally well executed, especially the roiling water and a very funny reaction to a paralyzing plant.  The action scenes continue to be crisply executed and the happy ending includes lessons on loyalty for friends and family.  If it merrily ignores any historical or scientific legitimacy, it shows its value with wit and heart.

Parents should know that this film includes cartoon-style peril including threats to a character’s family, some parent-teenager struggles, brief schoolyard potty humor, and mild language (“screwed up,” “holy crab”).

Family discussion: What is the difference between a herd, a pack, and a family?

If you like this, try: the other “Ice Age” movies — and go to a museum to see what the real mammoths, sloths, and saber-tooth tigers were like.



  • Quotes

    The movie was okay but I liked the first Ice Age movie the best. As with most sequels and follow up movies, this one was missing the “newness”. Also, that squirrel is invincible.

Previous Posts

List: My Favorite Movie Ghosts
Happy Halloween! Here are ten of my favorite movie ghosts.  (NOTE: Some of these have inferior remakes -- stick with the originals.) Topper Cary Grant and Constance Bennett are the most s

posted 8:00:42am Oct. 30, 2014 | read full post »

List: Sam Rockwell
Sam Rockwell is one of the most versatile leading me in Hollywood. This week, he stars with Keira Knightley in "Laggies," playing a single dad. Here are some of my favorite Sam Rockwell performances: Moon Rockwell takes on the biggest possible acting challenge -- he in alone on screen for the ent

posted 3:50:02pm Oct. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Lauren Bradshaw's Terrific New "Before They Were Famous" Column
My friend and fellow critic Lauren Bradshaw has a great new series on the very earliest appearances by some of Hollywood's biggest stars. You can see Emma Stone, Brad Pitt, and Jessica Chastain in their very first roles, and give her suggestions for who she should report on next.

posted 8:00:27am Oct. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Big News From Marvel: Black Panther, Dr. Strange, and Much, Much, MUCH More
Wow, Marvel really knows how to make an announcement. Get out your calendars: May 6, 2016: Captain America: Civil War Nov. 4, 2016: Doctor Strange May 5, 2017: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 July 28, 2017: Thor: Ragnarok Nov. 3, 2017: Black Panther May 4, 2018: Avengers: Infinity War – Part I Ju

posted 6:46:42pm Oct. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Nell Scovell Pays Tribute to the Under-Used Women Alumnae of SNL
The wonderful Nell Scovell, who helped Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg write Lean In and is now working on a screenplay based on the book, has an excellent essay in Time about the talented women who appeared on "Saturday Night Live" but never transitioned to the kind of high-profile careers that some of

posted 3:37:33pm Oct. 28, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.