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Movie Reviews

Ice Age  
Sid (John Leguizamo)
Manny (Ray Romano)
Diego (Denis Leary)
Soto (Goran Visnjic)
Leke (Jack Black)
Directed by Chris Wedge
Written by Peter Ackerman, Michael Berg and Michael J. Wilson

Running Time: 85 minutes Distributed by 20th Century Fox

Ice Age is a wonderful family computer animated film full of laugh-out-loud moments and warmth. This film doesn’t have the elaborate storytelling of Toy Story or the eye-popping visuals of Shrek or Dinosaur, but it is an entertaining piece for all audiences.

The story is set in an “ice age”, where the animals are heading southward to migrate. The three main characters are Manny (Romano), who is a huge and smarter than average mammoth, Sid (Leguizamo), who is a funny looking and always asking for trouble sloth, and finally there is Diego (Leary), who is an aggressive saber-toothed tiger with secrets of his own. The three are brought together when they stumble upon a human baby that is lost from its parents. Even knowing the risk of being killed by the humans for meat and fur, the three team together to return the baby to its kind. As the unlikely team move along their journey, a common friendship forms between them in many comedic situations.

Director Chris Wedge and his writers Peter Ackerman, Michael Berg and Michael Wilson create a fun tale that appeals mostly to children, but also catches the inner-child in all of us adults. Though the computer animation in the film isn’t as magnificent as the recent films of the genre that audiences have seen, Ice Age is unique in its own way. It is because this film is computer animated, but the physical comedy of the characters is consistent and humorous enough that Ice Age could have worked just as being a cartoon. The characters are all identifiable and every audience has met them before and their comedic wit reminded me of watching a Warner Brothers Merry Melodies episode.

The writers also balance the film well with drama that is heartfelt. Ice Age is not only a comedy, but a story about friendship and growth. Which are aspects that I believe should be the premise of films aimed at very young audiences.

The voices by the actors are recognizable and it is almost as if you could see John Leguizamo doing the goofy things that Sid does. The Ray Romano character, Manny, sarcastically tells Sid of his stupidity, and constantly wants him to bug off, which reminds me of his sarcasm on Everybody Loves Raymond.

The by standard of the film is a saber-toothed squirrel named Scrat, that only wants to protect his acorn. Scrat is the scene-stealer of this film, even though he is on the screen for a maybe ten minutes. The producers of the film used the opening sequence of Scrat escaping from an avalanche as the film’s trailer, and it ultimately paid dividends in attracting audiences. Ice Age broke box office records last weekend, pulling in over 45 million dollars in the three day take. So, if you were the least bit intrigued by the trailer, there are a lot funnier things from Scrat throughout the film.

I loved Ice Age, it isn’t the best made computer animated film by any means, but it works. Kids will absolutely fall in love with this one. I saw Ice Age in a theater packed full of kids and there was strong connection and a very loud applause when the credits began to roll.

Report Card Grade: B+

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