a critiQal film review Ice Age (2002)

Plot: After a tribe of humans is attacked by saber-toothed tigers, a woman hands over her baby to Manfred (Romano), a wooly mammoth, and Sid (Leguizamo), a sloth who won’t leave him alone, who decide to bring the baby back to it's herd. Diego (Leary), one of the tigers, sees them with the baby and decides to play along, pretending to help them, all the while setting them up for an attack by the rest of the tiger herd.

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  • ...the voices of Ray Romano and Denis Leary help make this animated film float a bit higher than the rest.

The trailer for Ice Age looked promising. The animation looked decent, and the jokes seemed funny. So I decided to check it out. Not sure if it would be worth seeing in the theaters, I waited until it came out on DVD. After seeing the film, I almost wish I hadn’t waited.

Character voices can make or break an animated film. If the character voices are badly chosen, the movie tends to fall apart rather quickly. On the other hand, good character voices can make the movie a smash, even when the animation lacks a bit.

The voices in Ice Age were chosen well. Ray Romano as Manfred and Denis Leary as Diego both stand out as exceptional choices. Ray’s dry wit plays well against Denis Leary’s dripping sarcasm and John Leguizamo’s wild and crazy Sid.

The plot was well thought out. The whole journey depicted in Ice Age allowed for a lot of interaction between the three main characters, and the story was basically told through their conversations with each other. It also led them into a few fun situations, especially the ice slide sequence. Each scene seemed to fit in well, and you could see the friendship blossoming as the film progressed.

On a soundtrack note, it was nice to see the film revive the band Rusted Root a little bit. Maybe they’ll get it together and come out with another album. One can always hope.

The animation was very well done, as well. The animals were all realistic, right down to their walk, especially the tigers. You could tell they’d done their homework here. The humans looked more caveman-like than is typical of films like this, which was a nice touch as well. The scenes with lots of action fitted in very well, with no noticeable mistakes.

If you’re a fan of Disney animated films, you’ll be sure to appreciate Ice Age. It combines the humor and action of the Disney films, with a bit more of a heartwarming appeal than the latest Disney features. It may be a little more sentimental then the usual animated film, but it doesn’t go out of it’s way to be too sappy, a flaw when animated films take this route.

Basically, with the good plot, the excellent voice talent, and the very well done animation, you won’t want to wait for the next Ice Age to see this film.

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