16 September 2009 | fred-kolb
Enjoyable for kids and adults, but the concept starts to become old
--Some minor spoilers, skip the part that describes the plot if you don't want to know anything about it--
Personally, I didn't like the second "Ice Age" movie that much. I thought it just wasn't original enough, and couldn't make an impact compared to the great original. So, since movies franchises often have the tendency to get worse with each sequel, I wasn't expecting very much of the third Ice Age movie "Dawn of the Dinosaurs". But, I have to admit, it was quite entertaining and funny, with many jokes and funny situations. The change of location from the white ice world, the main characters inhabited in the first two films, to the lush and green jungle, also did the movie some good, because the optic is just different and more exciting. While the first Ice Age movie still remains unreached by either of the sequels, the third one considerably improves on the second one, with more humor, better action and interesting ideas.
Manfred and Ellie, the two mammoths, are expecting a baby, and Manfred, who is really happy to become a father tries everything to make his wife more comfortable and happy. Meanwhile, the saber-toothed tiger Diego, has to deal with the fact, that he is not the youngest anymore, and that his instincts and reflexes are getting worse. He decides to leave his herd, because he feels his life is coming to an end. Sid, the sloth, wants to have children of his own, and when he discovers three abandoned eggs in a cave, he decides to take them with him. One morning, he realizes that three dinosaurs have hatched from the eggs, and to make matters worse their mother is already looking for them. She attacks Sid and her three babies and abducts them to her world, a large, lush and green jungle, that is located directly under the thick layer of ice. Manfred, Ellie, the two opossums Crash and Eddie, decide to save Sid and eventually meet up with Diego on the way again. They are then joined by the mad wannabe pirate Buck, a weasel, who lost his eye to a gigantic monster, named Rudy, that lives somewhere deep in the jungle. Sid, meanwhile, tries to convince the dinosaurs' mother, that he can provide more for the children than her, but eventually has to accept that children belong to their real mother. The squirrel Scrat, once again reunited with his precious nut, has to deal with an entirely new problem. A femme fatal squirrel, who uses her charm to take Scrat's nut away from him. Being a lot smarter and trickier than him, she gets to keep the nut for most of the time, but eventually falls in love with Scrat, after he saves her from deadly lava. But what is more important to Scrat, his nut or his new girlfriend?
With so many animated movies flooding the market these days, it becomes quite hard to come up with new ideas. Talking animals certainly isn't one, but if the characters have enough history and emotion, it really doesn't matter. "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" really profits from a slightly new approach to the material, which includes some very obvious parodies. The new character of Buck was most definitely inspired by Jack Sparrow from "Pirates of the Caribbean" and the final battle could have directly come from one of the "Star Wars" movies. Then we have the dinosaurs, who are, of course, extremely evil and always hunt down the main characters. All in all, the movies appears slightly stretched and has some relatively slow bits, for which the beginning and ending compensate, though. Especially the first 20-25 minutes, are some of the funniest in any Ice Age movie. And the scenes involving Scrat and his new girlfriend are just as funny as they have always been.
Then we have once again, the actors who give the characters their voices. Ray Romano, who has such a unique voice, speaks Manfred, Denis Leary is Diego, John Leguizamo is Sid and Queen Latifah is Ellie. Buck, the pirate, is voiced by British actor Simon Pegg. Animated movies can never be judged according to acting, because the true leading actors here are the animators. But just as we are used to, the previously mentioned actors put their best effort into providing their character's voice.
So, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is entertaining and enjoyable, but certainly not the best animated movie of the year. Still it is a good 90 minute time filler, and those who enjoyed the previous Ice Age films, will definitely also like this one. (3.5/5)
The third installment in the Ice Age movie franchise is funny and entertaining, with some very original ideas, but certain lengths throughout the entire film.