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July 12, 2012

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift — The DadCentric Review

IceAge4

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift is (obviously) the fourth in the animated Ice Age series following the adventures of Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary), and Sid (John Leguizamo) as they bond in ways that society frowns upon (e.g., multi-species herds are for hippies) and find like-minded characters to expand their group of mutual respect and friendship. As far as cartoon messages go it's a good one.

It starts, as it always does, with Scrat (Chris Wedge) the saber-toothed squirrel and his obsessive passion for the elusive acorn, which, as you may recall, he has been chasing since the big bang. Per usual his pursuit has world-changing consequences — namely the creation of the continental plates and their subsequent drift, hence the title of the film. (Note: Some of the scenes are a bit dark and intense, but like a storm at sea that you are watching from a dry, comfortable seat, they pass quickly.)

In all of the the confusion/danger the guys are separated from Manny's wife (Queen Latifah), daughter (Keke Palmer), and as an added bonus, land. Together with Sid's cantankerous Granny (Wanda Sykes) they set out to find their loved ones and something solid to stand on. Also, pirates.

The humor is consistent with the rest of the series in that it balances between the cheap, crude laughs (farts, snot, etc.) that kids love, and some pretty funny nods to pop culture, parenting, and life in general.

There are also a number of PSA/messages woven into the plot that deal with being true to oneself, the importance of family and friendship, and other chestnuts that parents love to talk about on the car ride home.

The cast list is fairly impressive and features the likes of Drake, Seann William Scott, Jennifer Lopez, Joy Behar, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Patrick Stewart, and DadCentric favorites Peter Dinklage and Aziz Ansari. Friend of the show Ashley Albert (The Jimmies) also lends her voice to the film, which is really cool. (Note: Nicki Minaj also provided voice work and was, in my opinion, the most annoying aspect of the movie, grating on my ears like fingernails on a Spotify suggestion. Your response may vary. On the bright side, that may be what they were going for, in which case Nicki Minaj is a genius.)

My boys found the film to be very entertaining, and I laughed heartily more than once (no, I wasn't drinking). Overall, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift is a nice way to get out of the heat and share some fun with the family. It is sure to delight the kids, most parents, and all fans of the franchise and/or plate tectonics.

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift opens Friday, July 13.

My boys and I attended a free media screening of the film for the purpose of this review. Photo courtesy of FOX.



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