Ice Age is a good movie, there is no doubt about that. As with most popular animation flicks, it appeals to all ages and has a decent enough mix of humour to keep all the family entertained. I loved Ice Age growing up and have memories of it being one of the favourite animated movies of all time. Having re-watched it at weekend, 7 or 8 years after previously viewing it, I felt a little flat. Sid seriously carries the film, many of the jokes and the majority of the dialogue comes through him. The supporting cast all do a pleasant job, Manny is entertaining and they do share some good chemistry but the film relies heavily on Sid's presence.
I couldn't help but compare Ice Age to two very famous animated movies. The relationship between Sid and Manny and the unlikely relationship that they develop is reminiscent of Shrek and Donkey. The way they take care of the baby, taking him into their tribe, naming him Pinky and looking after him and getting emotionally attached as they search for his parents, reminded me too much of Monsters Inc. I don't know how I didn't see these comparisons in the past but upon recent viewing they were far too blindly obvious.
With a run time of less than 1 hour 20 minutes, Ice Age really struggles with the pacing. It takes 20 or so minutes to introduce all the characters and get the plot in order then it flies through the next hour! We see scenes which could have added a little more depth - the drawings of Mammoths on the cave wall for example, this was brushed aside very quickly which I thought was a shame. I personally think Ice Age could have benefited with being 15-20 minutes longer.
With the negatives that I have mentioned above being considered, I still think Ice Age is a very good film! It is funny, feel good, caring and creative. An aspect that I especially liked was that the animals didn't have a home, they weren't based anywhere, it was essentially a road trip. They moved from place to place, out of their comfort zone with only each other for support and guidance. I appreciated the message behind the story and enjoyed how the movie panned out as it progressed. The on screen relationship between Sid and Manny is very well done and Diego is a decent enough addition to the group. The story is pleasant if not a little clichéd and the comedy is a decent mix of slapstick and subtle humour. This is certainly the strongest film in the Ice Age franchise and certainly worth a watch!
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