Ice Age Review
The lure of fantastic computer generated imagery in today's animated feature films is no longer enough of a draw to audiences and their kids. Therefore, studios such as Pixar, Dreamworks, Fox and Warner Brothers have realised that due to the recent dents in their bank accounts, their animated offerings not only have to compete with innovative computer animation techniques, but also have to ensure that their films are interesting enough to sit through on the plot level.
Hence, Ice-Age, Fox's latest computer-animation film for kids, hedges its bets on the plot level and is nothing more than a mishmash of other films. It's an enjoyable film that kids will love, but you'll find pleasure in guessing the plot events before they even happen, as you'll have seen them from another, more superior film.
With regards to plot, Ice Age is obviously set thousand of years ago during Earth's great Ice age, in which animals migrated to warmer climates. Sid the Sloth (voiced by John Leguizamo) however, has through a heavy bout of sleeping managed to miss his species advance, and is all alone. After crossing paths with Manny the Mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano), who saves him from instant death from two rhinos, Sid latches himself onto Manny, who is more than annoyed with the constant verbal over-powering of the hapless sloth. Manny and Sid stumble upon a helpless small human child, and determine to deliver it back to its tribe. They are joined by Diego the Sabretooth (voiced by Denis Leary), an untrustworthy creature who harbours an alterior motive in tagging along with Manny and Sid; Diego's fellow Sabretooths are angry at the human tribe for murdering half of their number, and want revenge.
One of the best elements of Ice Age is its dialogue-free sub-plot, involving an Ice Age squirrel determined to safely secure a safe place for its acorn, and yet managing to cause monumental trouble on its quest. The opening sequences, which feature the first chapter of the squirrel's struggle are so funny and promote the benefits of computer generated imagery so successfully that they were used in their entirety as the film's trailer. Indeed, there's no reason why more mileage can be squeezed out of the squirrel character in another format (possibly Tom & Jerry type shorts).
The directing, pacing and visual exterior of Ice Age helps create a winning formula, and there is much for both adults and their kids to enjoy. The use of icy landscapes in an animation feature is a new-ish type of location vista, and is 'refreshing' to watch. Again, the only problem with the film is the tired script, which manages to combine elements of Shrek, 3 Men And A Baby, The Lion King and Monsters, Inc. There are times when Sid so closely resembles Eddie Murphy's Donkey in Shrek that Fox could face a suit from Dreamworks.
Cunningly released to capitalise on the Easter holidays, Ice Age is a worthy diversion for both adults and kids alike. The plot will provide nothing new, but the film is a slick and well crafted exercise on how to combine expert CGI animation with an entertaining formula.
Last updated: 19/04/2018 18:03:10