Vail movies: It’s a fast-changing world in ‘Ice Age’ sequel
Denver Post Film Critic
To say there’s nothing new in the latest installment of “Ice Age would mean slighting the fact that woolly mammoths Manny and Ellie are about to become parents.
And a new baby is always cause for celebration, trepidation and a sequel.
“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” plunges its loving, affably voiced herd of Ice Age animals into two daunting worlds: that of parenthood and that of hungry dinosaurs.
Will the new arrival change the meaning of this wonderfully improvised herd? Of course. But that’s the hook as saber-toothed tiger Diego, possums Crash and Eddie, and a sloth named Sid wrestle with their changing roles.
Fast-talking Sid (voiced by fast-talking John Leguizamo wonders what kind of parent he’d make. Then he finds three enormous eggs.
His new brood of razor- toothed baby dinos belongs to a lush and dangerous world beneath the ice.
The only one who seems to know what she’s doing is Ellie (voice of Queen Latifah.
There has always been something soothing and admirable about Ellie, who nudges her various menfolk to understand themselves and the world better. As Manny, Ray Romano is more comfortable taking direction from his brainier mate than figuring out what’s going on with his best friend, Diego (Denis Leary).
If interpersonal lessons are the bread of animated features, then mishaps and mild mayhem are their butter.
Will the herd survive the journey to the center of this land of the lost? This is PG fare, so you needn’t worry. A swashbuckling weasel named Buck, obsessed with a white T. rex, acts as the herd’s guide and protector.
Still, the finest idiosyncratic pleasure of this franchise remains the ongoing relationship of hapless squirrel-rat Scrat to his beloved acorn.
When another character, the flirtatious Scratte, arrives, three’s a crowd and a challenge. And the filmmakers have a fine time teasing us with who the third wheel really is.
The scenes could make an animated short of their own. Instead, they’re strung throughout the larger tale. That clever weaving remains both innovative and old-school cartoon work at its finest.
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