I’ve enjoyed all the “Ice Age” movies, even though they are really made for kids—it’s my inner child trying to escape. “Ice Age 4: Continental Drift” continues the story of the first three movies with pretty much the same cast of characters as the first. There’s Manny the Mammoth, Ellie the Mammoth with Peach the daughter of the two mammoths, Diego the Saber Tooth Tiger, Sid the Sloth, and also Sid’s Grandmother Granny. And, of course, it would be a mistake to leave out Scrat the Squirrel, renowned for his insatiable hunger for acorns.
The story begins, as many stories do (ha ha!), with Scrat questing after his acorn only to fall into the center of the earth with it. There, while trying to desperately recapture his acorn, he sets the core of the world spinning in various and sundry directions. This, of course, cracks the surface of the earth breaking up Pangaea (or whatever the super-continent was called) and sends the smaller sub-continents adrift in the ocean, thus wreaking havoc on the world above. The mammoths, along with Diego and Sid suddenly find themselves in a world where the land is moving about. Manny, Diego, Sid, and Granny find themselves floating on an iceberg out to sea away from Ellie and Peach who are stuck on land. They try but are unable to turn the iceberg around. Soon, they encounter a fierce storm, then they encounter a pirate named Captain Gut (an ape). Manny and company’s attempts to find his family and Captain Gut’s attempts to stop them form the central conflict in the story. There is also a subplot concerning Peaches, Manny and Ellie’s mammoth daughter, growing up and learning what friendship really means. And, of course, Manny’s over-protectiveness of his daughter. Oh, and there is also a budding romance between Diego and one of Captain Gut’s crew members.
Overall, this was an excellent movie. The humor was clean and suitable for young children. The story kept one’s interest and was easy to follow. And the lessons learned were good lessons. And, a big plus for a kid’s movie, I, as an adult, enjoyed it. The only thing I might question was the activity of Sid’s biological family. It comes out in the beginning of the film that they did actually and deliberately abandon him; then, they find him just to drop Granny off into his care and promptly abandon both of them again. It’s presented humorously, I guess, but I’m not sure that belongs in a kids movie—at best, the whole point would be lost on the very young. I’m not sure it doesn’t belong, either … I’m kind of iffy about the whole thing.
Anyway, I’ll give this movie four out of five stars.