Anthony's Film Review

Ice Age (2002)

Blue Sky Studios introduces another lovable set of animated characters...

Here's another review in which I begin with an interesting memory. I was interested in seeing Ice Age not just because I like animated films but also because I was taking a geology course in college at the time of the film's release. It was a class consisting of lecture slides of various living things from the Ice Age and other significant time periods in natural history. There was also a part where we get to look at fossilized specimens, like trilobites and different types of sedimentary rock. What does this have to do with the movie Ice Age? Just the fact that I talked to a classmate about how much the movie would remind me of this class.

The cast of characters include John Leguizamo as Sid the sloth, Ray Romano as Mandred the mammoth, and Denis Leary as Diego the sabertooth tiger. These actors were chosen well. I especially find it amusing that Ray Romano provides a voice because his voice definitely works for animation. The other living things seen in the film include rhinos, dodos, humans, and a comical sabretooth squirrel whom I will talk about in just a bit.

The story begins during a mass migration. Sid attempts to join, but has no one to go with. He ends up with Manfred, who is alone but also reluctant to have a companion. Meanwhile, Diego and his comrades prepare to hunt down a human tribe. In the process, a baby gets lost. In the end, the sloth, the mammoth, the baby, and the tiger all come together. Sid and Mandred want to return the baby and Diego has to just play along until the time is right to strike. These four characters stick together and form an unusual interspecies herd.

And this is where the movie gets heartwarmingly cute. Over time, the baby forms a bond with these animals. Unlike the human tribe he came from, he learns to love them instead of fear them. It's so cute to see the baby sleep in the coiled end of Manfred's trunk and all the animals having some compassion for the child. And during their perilous adventures, including a fun trip through an ice cave, they all stick together. For the most part, the baby looks like he's having a good time more than being afraid.

This adventure is the main part of the movie. As an extra bonus, you also get to watch some silent comedy. The main star of this is Scrat the sabertooth squirrel. Like some silent performers, the show consists of the performer and a single prop. The prop in this case is an acorn. In scenes at the beginning, end, and in between that have nothing to do with the main story, Scrat does various things with the acorn: retrieve it, cook it, bury it, etc. Whatever he does, something always goes wrong. That's where the laughs of the movie really are, even though the main story can also be funny.

Ice Age is only one and a half hours and I wish it were ten minutes longer. Nevertheless, I like the film for its humorous take on this historical time period. This is also a film that introduces another animation studio to the competition. With Ice Age, Blue Sky Studios now competes with Pixar and DreamWorks in the 3D animation department. It makes you wonder how those other two studios would have done a film about the Ice Age. After seeing Blue Sky's film, I don't know if I'd want to see how Pixar or DreamWorks would have done it. I like this one the way it is.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Ice Age, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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