Ice Age is the third animated movie made by Fox. I had seen previews for the movie for a long time and thought it looked cute. I did want to see it, but I wasn’t in a big hurry. I recently got Anastasia on DVD, the first animated movie by Fox, and there was a coupon to see Ice Age for free in the DVD. So one evening off to the movies I went.
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A little animal, that sort of looks like a squirrel, is running around with a nut, looking for some place to store it. He tries to dig some holes, but that isn’t working because the ground is frozen. He keeps trying and ends up starting an avalanche.
The animals are heading south for the winter. Sid, a sloth, wakes up to discover that his family has left without him again. They do it every year. Sid ends up in some trouble after he eats the last dandelion and ruins some other grass two rhinos were planning to eat. While running for safety, Sid literally runs into Manfred, a wooly mammoth who is going north instead of south.
A group of sabertooth tigers, lead by Soto, are planning an attack on a human camp. The humans have killed several of the sabertooth tigers and made clothes out of the skins. Soto wants the baby for revenge. The tigers attack at dawn, but the baby’s mother escapes, with the baby. Manfred and Sid end up with the baby. Sid wants to return him to the camp. At first Manfred isn’t interested, but then Diego, one of the sabertooth tigers, shows up. Diego says he will take the baby back to the camp. Manfred doesn’t trust Diego, so they all head off to return the baby to his family. The three of them have to learn to trust each other during their adventure. They encounter many obstacles and meet some other interesting animals, like a flock of dodo birds, on their journey. Along the way, the little squirrel keeps showing up with his nut, looking for some place to store it.
CAST of VOICES
Ray Romano - Manfred the Wooly Mammoth
John Legizamo - Sid the Sloth
Dennis Leary - Diego the Sabertooth Tiger
Jack Black - Zeke
Goran Visnjic - Soto, leader of the Sabertooth Tigers
Carlos Saldanha - Director
Chris Wedge - Director
Michael J Wilson - Story
Michael Berg IV - Screenplay
Ice Age is rated PG. There are a few scenes with some mild violence and a few other scenes that could be upsetting to young children. The movie is 75 minutes long. The movie is now available on VHS and DVD.
Ice Age is an animated movie adults and children can enjoy. It isn’t so long that children will get board, but it isn’t extremely short either. There are a lot of funny scenes throughout the movie. The plot keeps the interest children without being so stupid that it annoys adults or bores them. When I saw the movie, it was just adults in the theater. All of us really enjoyed it, including my step dad - yes, I still go to the movies with my mother and step-dad once in a while - who usually doesn’t enjoy animated movies that much. I heard him laughing several times throughout the movie. He seemed to be really amused by the squirrel and his nut. The fact that my step-dad enjoyed it so much really shows how this movie appeals to adults too. Even adults who don’t normally like animated movies.
There are a few scenes that have some mild violence here and there in Ice Age. Those scenes, and the results of the violence, may upset some children. I don’t think very young children should see the movie because of those scenes. They could be very upsetting to young children. Those few scenes are the only thing parents have to be concerned about in Ice Age. There is no swearing in the movie.
The animation in Ice Age is very good, but it wasn’t quite as good as the animation in Shrek or Monsters, Inc.. People looked more life like in Shrek. In Ice Age, the people didn’t look that realistic at times. The movements of the people didn’t look that natural in places. The movements of the people were a little more jerky, instead of smooth and natural looking. The animation in Monsters, Inc. was incredible, especially for the character of Sully, the tall, blue, furry monster. Individual hairs on Sully would move in the wind or with his movements. The movement of his hair was very realistic looking, even though Sully was a giant blue monster. In Ice Age, the animation doesn’t reach that level. Manfred was a wooly mammoth, so he is covered in hair. His hair did move a bit here and there, but not as much or as realistically as the movements of Sully’s hair. I’m not saying the animation in Ice Age is bad. It isn’t. It is really good. It just doesn’t reach the level of the animation in Monsters, Inc..
The plot of Ice Age isn’t really that original. The setting and the characters are original, but the plot itself isn’t. It seems like the writers of Ice Age threw the plots of Shrek and Monsters, Inc. into a blender, mixed them up, and out came Ice Age. I know that it takes several years to make an animated movie, so it’s not like the writers did take elements from Shrek and Monsters, Inc. once they saw the movies and they became so popular last year. Ice Age would have already been in production when those two movies came out. Similarities to Shreck and Monsters, Inc. are obvious if you look.
Manfred likes to be alone. Sid is loud and is rescued by Manfred. Sid then decides to tag along with Manfred. In Shrek, Shrek liked to be alone. Donkey was loud and talked a lot. Shrek rescued him, and then Donkey decided they were best friends. They end up going on a journey together to rescue a princess. Manfred and Sid end up going on a journey to return the baby to his family. In Monsters, Inc., Sully and Mike are best friends and work together. They are afraid of humans. A little girl, Boo, ends up in their world, and they try to get her back home. The animals in Ice Age are scared of humans too. Manfred and Sid end up with a human baby, and they are trying to return the baby to his family.
There is a scene in Ice Age that takes place in an ice cave. All the characters are sliding through the cave at very high speeds. It is sort of like a roller coaster made of ice. In Monsters, Inc., there is a scene where Mike, Sully, Boo, and Randal are riding on the doors hanging from conveyor belts in the Monsters, Inc. factory. The doors go very fast, and twist and turn like a roller coaster. That scene and the ice cave scene from Ice Age are very similar to each other.
Since Ice Age isn’t a really long movie, the characters aren’t extremely well developed. The characters are developed enough for the movie though. Not a lot is known about the characters, but a little more is learned about a few of them later in the movie. The humans that are in the movie only show up briefly in a few scenes, so not much is known about them at all. The baby is in more of the movie, but he is a baby, and not talking, so there is only so much development possible for his character.
Manfred - A wooly mammoth that decides to go north instead of south for the winter. He has been alone for a long time and he seems to prefer being alone. He does save Sid from two rhinos, but he isn’t happy when Sid decides to tag alone with him after that. Manfred tries to ditch Sid, but it doesn’t work. They discover a human baby. Sid wants to take him back to his village, but Manfred doesn’t want to bother with that. Then Diego shows up. Manfred doesn’t trust him, so he decides that all three of them will return the baby. Once Manfred decides to do something, he doesn’t change his mind. He grows to care for the baby.
Sid - He is a sloth. He wakes up to discover that his family left to go south without him. He talks a lot. He manages to anger two rhinos, but Manfred saves him. Sid decides to go with Manfred after that. Once they find the baby, Sid wants to take him home. Sid is happy most of the time, and seems to be unaware that he annoys the other animals.
Diego - He is a sabertooth tiger. He was supposed to get the baby when the tigers attacked the village. Since the mother got away with the baby, Diego is sent to find the baby and bring it back. Diego tries to convince Manfred and Sid to let him take the baby home, but they don’t trust him. Diego goes along, all the time, trying to figure out how he can get the baby. He seems to soften as the journey goes on. He also enjoyed the ice cave.
Soto - He is the leader of the sabertooth tigers. He wants revenge against the humans. The baby’s father has killed several sabertooth tigers and used their skins for clothes. Soto decides that taking the baby will be good revenge. He is upset when Diego didn’t get the baby during the attack. Soto sends Diego to find the baby. Soto is not a nice sabertooth tiger. He is determined to get revenge.
Baby - His father seems to be in charge at the human village. His mother died saving him from the sabertooth tigers. He likes Manfred, Sid, and even Diego. He doesn’t talk any during the movie.
Scrat - He looks sort of like a squirrel, but his nose and mouth are much longer and larger. He is more of a sabertooth squirrel, if there is such a thing. He just shows up from time to time trying to find a spot to store his nut. He is determined to find somewhere to stash his nut. Nothing seems to work for him though.
Ice Age is a really good family movie that adults and children both can enjoy. The plot isn’t the most original, and the animation isn’t the best, but it is still very good and worth seeing. I did add this movie to my DVD collection.
Other Animated Movie Reviews
The Emperor's New Groove ~ Sleeping Beauty ~ Monsters, Inc. ~ Lilo & Stitch ~ Finding Nemo ~ Treasure Planet ~ Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius ~ Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas ~ Brother Bear ~ Looney Tunes: Back in Action ~ The Cat in the Hat ~