Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Goran Visnjic, Jack Black, Cedric the Entertainer
Director: Chris Wedge & Carlos Saldanha
Series: Ice Age #1
Release Date: 15 March 2002
Length: 81 minutes
Movie Rating: PG
View Format: TV
“With the impending ice age almost upon them, a mismatched trio of prehistoric critters – Manny the woolly mammoth (Ray Romano), Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary) and Sid the giant sloth (John Leguizamo) – find an orphaned infant and decide to return it to its human parents. Along the way, the unlikely allies become friends. But when enemies attack, their quest takes on far nobler aims.” — Netflix.com
This is one of my favorite non-Pixar/Disney CGI movies that I have seen in recent years. I wouldn’t say that the movie in its entirety is my favorite, but there are so many clever sequences that I always have a fun time watching this movie when it is on TV. The little rat-squirrel is by far my favorite character and is absolutely hilarious! He spends the entire movie trying to keep a single nut, but is doomed to fail each and every time. I also enjoyed the rather cynical woolly mammoth, Manny (voiced by Ray Romano), who tries to convince everyone that he doesn’t care about anyone or anything, but is just a big softy underneath it all. I love the line where he tries to convince everyone that he is not fat, its just that his hair makes him look “poofy.” Sid the Sloth (voiced by John Leguizamo) was a bit too dippy for my tastes, but I know that children absolutely adore him and his silly antics. Diego the saber-toothed-tiger (voiced by Denis Leary) adds a touch of danger and the unexpected to help move the story along. I enjoyed watching these 3 lonely characters bond together and try to save a human baby despite their differences in species, style, intelligence, and roles.
There are so many funny sequences in this movie that it is difficult to choose which one is best, but I would have to say that the dodo scene ranks pretty highly up there. I love that they chose to deal with the extinction of the dodo bird and tried to show that they were literally too stupid to live. They have 3 melons, no females and think that they are going to make it through the Ice Age. Seriously, my favorite couple of minutes in the film! Another scene that I thought was really funny was the part where the characters were in the ice caves and saw various objects frozen in the ice. They saw evolution, an alien space ship and lots of other funny items that Sid didn’t quite know what to identify. There was a very short sequence featuring the squirrel trying to act out a warning via charades towards the end and it was hilarious trying to watch the animals guess what he was trying to act out! Okay, I could just go on and on about which scenes are hysterically funny and why, but these 3 are pretty much my favorites. I am sure that, if you have seen this movie, you have your own favorites and the parts of the movie that you look forward to watching over and over again, but these are mine.
I rarely enjoy watching movies multiple times, but I like watching this movie whenever I am given the opportunity. There are some scenes that I could take or leave, but I will watch it over and over again just to catch the dodo sequence, as well as the other scenes that I really enjoy. The voiceover talents are top notch and really bring the characters to life. The animation is bright, colorful, simple, yet appealing. I feel like all of the pieces were put together to make this an animated comedy worth remembering!
There is some crude potty humor, a few scenes of mild peril and some deaths in the movie (nothing is explicitly shown so younger children will probably not realize what is happening, but someone might need to be on hand to explain the whole circle of life thing). Recommended for ages 3 and up.