Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
Ice Age (2002)
U

Though the narrative style of "Ice Age" has been around for almost as long, superb animation, a droll script, and excellent vocal talents make this a compelling and surprisingly moving addition to the computer-generated canon (where it sits alongside the likes of "Monsters, Inc." and "Shrek").

As glaciers slowly cover the earth, a mis-matched group of prehistoric animals reluctantly club together to return a lost human baby to his tribe. Sid, a lackadaisical sloth (Leguizamo), falls over a lot and annoys a serious but kind mammoth, Manny (Romano), and a duplicitous sabre-toothed tiger, Diego (Leary).

As the trio make their perilous way towards the humans' winter camp, Soto (Visnjic), the evil leader of a pack of tigers, plans to cut the group off, kill the child, and have the mammoth for breakfast. Meanwhile, a frustrated squirrel tries to bury his one, precious acorn - with disastrous results...

Although "Ice Age" doesn't match "Shrek" for animation and wit, it still manages to remain consistently entertaining and delightful throughout.

That's not to say it's cute - far from it. Part of the characters' appeal is that they're actually rather grotesque - all bulging eyeballs and distorted features. But this makes them funnier and somehow more fragile as the tigers and elements conspire against them. A scene where Sid discovers the freakish stages of evolution frozen in ice is particularly quirky and amusing.

Of course, there's some overly-sentimental nonsense during the final reel and an ending left wide open for a sequel, but as far as entertaining family films go, this one's cool.

End Credits

Director: Chris Wedge, Carlos Saldanha

Writer: Michael Berg, Michael J Wilson, Peter Ackerman

Stars: John Leguizamo, Ray Romano, Denis Leary, Goran Visnjic, Jack Black, Stephen Root, Jane Krakowski

Genre: Animation, Family

Length: 81 minutes

Cinema: 21 March 2002

Country: USA

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