ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
Overall, I have enjoyed the “Ice Age” movies, even if they haven’t been my favorite animated series of films. However, they play in reverse “Star Trek” order for me, with the odd numbered films being the better ones.
Still, “Ice Age: Continental Drift” is a perfectly fine film for family viewing. It follows the same gang from the previous films as they find themselves adrift and set apart from their family. After encountering prehistoric animal pirates, Manny and the gang have to find a way to protect their herd and save his daughter.
One thing I do like about the “Ice Age” flicks is that they do think a bit out of the box. Comparing these sequels to the original film is interesting because the world has become so much wackier and sillier. It’s also become more grand, with some significant advances in animation.
The story is forced a bit, and like the third “Madagascar” movies, the film struggles to tell a story for everyone. (As in the previous sequels, Diego gets the shaft and ends up with the weakest sidestory.) Still, it has some fun moments, notably from the new cast of pirate characters, as well as the obvious spotlight on Sid the Sloth.
With some fantastic animation and great moments from a strong supporting voice cast that includes Peter Dinklage, Aziz Ansari and Rebel Wilson (tempered by the grating addition of Jennifer Lopez), “Ice Age: Continental Drift” works for the kids. Just expect some painfully forced story moments and pandering to the audience.
The Blu-ray set for “Ice Age: Continental Drift” is actually pretty loaded, especially for a fourth movie in a series. (Many franchises and television series burn out after two or three releases.) Like most children’s releases, the combo pack comes with the Blu-ray and a DVD with UltraViolet and Digital Copy capabilities.
Basic features include multiple featurettes on the making of the film, including the series “Whale of a Tale: Beasties, Myths and Drifts,” as well as some spotlights on character design, voice actors and a look at everyone’s favorite saber-toothed squirrel Scrat. There’s also deleted scenes and music videos.
More interactive features include the “Party with a Pirate!” interactive viewing mode. This includes trivia and sing-alongs, mostly aimed at the younger audience. There’s a separate sing-along feature on the Blu-ray menu, as well as “Pirate Picasso,” which allows kids to create and color characters on a tablet and interact with the film itself.
While I was a little soft on the story of the film itself, the story behind the film was more interesting. I liked how the interviews showed the peripheral use of real science to build the characters and design, as well as the story behind how the film developed. As an adult, I found this to be at least as interesting – if not more – than the movie it supports.