Rika and I went and saw Ice Age: Continental Drift in 3D on Friday. Hit the jump for my quick-ish review, WARNING: SPOILERS!
Like I said before: SPOILERS! Last warning..............ok you good? Let's go.
I want to start out by saying that before I saw this movie I had only seen the first Ice Age film, and that was in theaters ten years ago, I didn't remember all the details of it, I just knew that it wasn't awful. The two sequels before Continental Drift had gotten gradually worse reviews, with Ice Age 2: The Meltdown at 57% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs at 45%, as compared to the first film's 77%. The current installment sits at around 40%, so I didn't expect anything special going in. Buuuuut surprise, surprise, I had a great experience going to see this movie, and heres a few reasons why:
It had great trailers, yes, I know that has no impact on the movie, but my philosophy here at DBR is that I want to let you know of my experience going to the movies. Otherwise I would watch everything at home in my pajamas. First up was The Hobbit, which was shown in the standard 24 fps rather than the semi-controversial 48 fps that we will see in December. It looked incredible and I have no doubts that it will live up to the hype. Despicable Me 2, Hotel Transylvania, and Epic are three animated films that also showed fun, visually pleasing trailers.
Then we had Maggie Simpson in: The Longest Daycare, a 3D short film that I had totally forgotten we were going to see, which was not a surprise since it had the shortest trailer of the Summer. Long story short, it reminded me of the early days of The Simpsons, minus the crappier animation, meaning it was fantastic:
On to the main event (and I'm gonna try to keep this real short).
I loved this movie, and it was one of the more enjoyable experiences I've had at the movies this year. It helped having Rika next to me, who laughed louder than anybody in the building. Three factors made it worth-while and more than just another run of the mill animated movie:
1. Voice Acting
This movie has a MASSIVE voice cast. Some of my favorites: You had Lord Tyrion himself, Peter Dinklage, as Captain Gutt, the ruthless monkey who commands the pirates. This was a pleasant surprise, I had no clue he was involved. Parks and Recreation's Aziz Ansari as Squint, the knife wielding rabbit who faithfully served Captain Gutt. Nick Frost, of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fame, played Flynn, an elephant seal who doesn't seem to get anything right in the whole movie, but with his sunny disposition he doesn't give one shit, nor is he smart enough to. Alan Tudyk, who may be best known as Steve the Pirate in Dodgeball, plays Sid's (John Leguizamo's sloth character) redneck father who ditches his grandmother on the crew. The bigger names (in smaller roles) included Nicki Minaj, Drake, Queen Latifah, and Jennifer Lopez. And theres still a few big names I left out, check out the full cast here. Ok, Ray Ramano did get a little annoying.
2. The Animation
Rika and I agreed that the animation far exceeded what we saw in Pixar's Brave a few weeks back, and she should know, she just got her Masters in the subject. Sure, experts might argue that Brave might have had much more difficult shots to pull off with all the darkness, but I'm not buying it. The scene in which the main characters become separated from their families in particular was fantastic. It was all brought on by Scrat, the little saber-toothed squirrel who can never seem to get his acorns in order.
3. It Was Flat Out FUN
I'm gonna get my dose of seriousness on Thursday night when I see The Dark Knight Rises, but for this one I just wanted to be not bored if you know what I'm sayin'. There was some great, and darkly humorous dialogue, my favorite was when the three main characters were just realizing that they weren't going to be able to paddle back to their families on the giant iceberg they were stranded on:
Sid: My mom always said that bad news is just good news in disguise.
Manny (Dennis Leary): Was that before she abandoned you?
Sid: Yes it was.
You also had the little gerbil-like things that acted as the Ewoks from Jedi, joining the main crew and spoiling the pirates plans, and on, and on, and on. I don't need to say anymore. If you have kids, definitely go see it, if you don't, but love a fun animated movie, go see it. Once again I've had the advantage of only seeing the first Ice Age film before this, so I wasn't tired of the characters. Not one bit. Grade:A- (Not everybody loves Ray Ramano)