In the late 1980s, filmmakers Don Bluth, George Lucas and Steven Spielburg combined forces to produce the children’s animation The Land Before Time. The movie, which told the story of a group of young dinosaurs, sparked the creation of 12 more direct-to-video releases. None of them involved the big name trio.
The Ice Age franchise may not be at the double digits yet, but with the release of this fourth film in the series, these prehistoric creatures could be lining up for a long chain of appearances.
Like the previous three movies, this one sandwiches two storylines together. The first is about the acorn-obsessed Scrat who constantly tries to accumulate the little nut. When the squirrel-like creature poises the tip of his acorn on the icy landscape, it causes a crack that divides the landmass into the continents we know today.
Meanwhile Manny (voice by Ray Romano), Diego (voice by Denis Leary) and Sid (voice by John Leguizamp) are separated from the rest of the animals when they are caught on a chunk of ice that breaks off from the shifting terrain. Calling out to his wife Ellie (voice by Queen Latifah) and his daughter Peaches (voice by Keke Palmer) as he floats away, Manny promises to find his way back to them.
However what the trio and Sid’s tag-a-long grandma (voice by Wanda Sykes) don’t expect to encounter on their journey is a nefarious band of pirates led by the ape Captain Gutt (voice by Peter Dinklage).
While some of the humor in the past productions has had a decidedly adult overtone, most of the jokes in this story are aimed directly at the under ten crowd. Pre-chewed prunes, slapstick antics and rude bodily humor are among the subjects mined for jokes. However, the film’s frequent portrayals of comedic violence and moments of peril may frighten younger children—especially when characters are repeatedly hit, squashed, poked, tossed and put at risk. The seafaring pirates also fashion weapons out of shells and pieces of sharpened bones that they threaten their captives with. And the heroes encounter some scary sea monsters on the journey to reunite with the rest of their “herd”.
Promoting an alternative definition of family, Ice Age: Continental Drift brings out the best in this group of friends who commit to watch each other’s backs. If your children enjoyed the previous films, they will likely be ready to float away on this oceanic adventure.
Content Details: Beyond the Movie Ratings...
Violence: Characters are repeatedly slapped, squashed, poked and tossed. Little creatures are enslaved and threatened with a whip. Other weapons are fashioned out of bones and shells. A character is hit by a runaway sled. An animal is burned by a hot geyser eruption. A family deserts an elderly parent. A family is separated during a natural disaster. Characters fall off a cliff. Numerous characters experience moments of peril and threats. Characters engage in swordplay. A character is swallowed by a fish. An animal burns his paws.
Sexual Content: Seductive sirens tempt the characters while at sea. Two male characters mistakenly kiss one another. Brief rude jokes revolve around anatomy and other bodily functions. Mild, veiled sexual innuendo is included.
Language: Name-calling and some rude terms are used on numerous occasions.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A character eats a berry that paralyses him.
Note: In the short film that precedes the movie a child in a daycare eats paste. A child repeatedly smashes butterflies against the wall. Characters are threatened, chased and pushed.
Discussion Ideas: Talk About the Movie...
How does Sid’s family treat their elderly member? What role can grandparents’ play in the lives of their children? What does Sid learn about his granny? How does she help save the animals?
What challenges do Manny and his daughter Peaches deal with? Why is he reluctant to let her grow up? How does Peaches’ mother encourage her to stay true to who she is? How does Peaches’ friend demonstrate forgiveness?
Home Video Notes
Home Video Notes: Ice Age: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 7 October 2014
The Ice Age franchise releases in a Complete Collection. Blu-ray copies of the following are included:
- Ice Age
- Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas
Home Video Notes: Ice Age: Continental Drift
Release Date: 11 December 2012
Ice Age: Continental Drift releases to home video (Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray/DVD) with the following extras:
- Party with a Pirate! Mode
- Sign Along Mode: Through a Pirate’s Spyglass: Voices Ahoy and Capturing the Crew, Granny and the Stink of the Sloths, Scrat Got Your Tongue? and Whale of a Tale: Drifts, Rifts, Beasties and Myths
- Shimmy Shake Music Section: Gutt’s Sing-Along Shanty Shimmy Shake, “We Are” Extended Music Video, “Chasing the Sun” by The Wanted Music Video and “The Sid Shuffle” Dance Along
- Deleted Scenes: Dr. Granny and Shell Game
- Ice Age: The Story So Far
- Original Theatrical Trailers
- The Scratist