Manny the cuddly Woolly Mammoth and Sid the ever so endearing yet not-too-wise sloth are back for the 4th time in ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT! This 4th installment comes with a special bonus for Simpson fans out there. Before the actual film rolls, there will be a short Simpson clip shown titled “The Longest Daycare“, featuring one of the world’s most famous and well loved babies Maggie Simpson. The clip is pretty good fun, though brief it successfully delivers an entertaining short that is filled with the clever yet slapstick kind of hilarious satire that fans have come to love about The Simpsons. I have heard that there are more of these shorts lined up to be specially screened before upcoming animated movies, so keep a lookout for them!
The Story: The world is breaking apart with lands dividing and drifting away from each other, slowly creating the process that leads to the formation of the continents as we know them today. In the process, Manny the mammoth, together with his friends Sid and Diego, are separated from his family. Manny then goes through an adventure while seeking a way to get back to his family. A crew of drifting pirates and mysterious sea creatures are some of the obstacles that Manny and his friends encounter on their journey back home.
My Rant: Ice Age 4 still packs a punch in the laughter department but I must say that the story this time round isn’t as good as the other 3 movies before it. In fact I would say it feels rather cold and lackluster.
As ever, Scrat the nut crazy squirrel doesn’t fail to crack me up and his seemingly “crucial” role in setting the plot of this movie is just so crazy and thus funny. His little side story of chasing after nuts/acorns is the only consistently endearing and funny story line of the movie. Scrat ends up on an island where there’s a skeleton pointing at something, following that Scrat finds a map that contains directions which lead to a heavenly place full of nuts/acorns. Though it sounds lame its really quite hilarious.
Moving on to the main characters of the film, the other really hilarious character for me is Sid the sloth. His gullibility is just spot on and is what makes his character so irritating yet lovable at the same time. In this film, Sid’s family returns only to dump their ailing and aged grandmother on Sid before scooting off. At this moment, you really got to feel for the poor guy but then again he always ends up all good in the end.
As mentioned, this film involves Manny and his friends being separated from their family and friends with the trio (and Sid’s granny) left drifting out to open sea. And with the open seas involved, it is no surprise that pirates and mysterious sea creatures come into play. The piratey aspect of the movie did not really appeal to me, none of the characters in the crew succeeded in making me fall in love with them. But I was pleasantly tickled and surprised by the siren segment of the film. Though they appeared only but briefly, those mysterious sea creatures really gave me a good laugh.
Looking at the film as a whole, the story felt pretty rushed and some characters seemed put together just to fill up time and some of the gaps between the story. The few new mammoths characters who are the friends of Manny’s daughter felt obsolete and totally unnecessary. But then again they featured some famous voice talents like Drake and Nicki Minaj, so maybe they were really just side characters created to let these famous people get in on the action of the movie. Their real contribution I believe is in the soundtrack and theme song of the movie.
Despite the lackluster storyline, this film still works as according to statistics, Ice Age 4 trampled The Amazing Spider-Man and wrestled from it the top spot in the US and Canadian box offices. I guess this film appeals to children and so with visually appealing characters, coupled with good laughs here and there plus a passable storyline, it makes a pretty fun film for families with little children. Being a more matured audience myself, though I was hugely disappointed by the story and plot (felt that it failed much in comparison to its predecessors), I still enjoyed the laughs it had to offer!
Here are 2 videos about the movie; the first is my favourite Scrat segment in Continental Drift, and the other is the video of the movie’s theme song featuring all their star voice talents. These include Jennifer Lopez, Drake, Nicki Minaj and Queen Latifah!