10 November 2012 | ashfox
Entertaining, but not so much as before
I have always liked the Ice Age series up to the third one. In fact, this is the first time that I thought I would watch it in theater rather than getting a DVD later. The 3D was spectacular in terms of visual appearance, but I would not rate it as good as the previous Ice Age movies.
The plot during this adventure is short and simple. There's no surprises, and everything is pretty much along the line of a typical friendship/family/hero type story. The whole story took place in 3, 4 "in-movie" days, much shorter than the previous ones which had a constant string of events. By the end of this movie, I couldn't believe the story's over. Not a lot happened before the villains are apprehended and the world returns to peace and harmony, as in any of the Ice Age movies. However, this probably means their target audience are younger than the ones before. I guess this is the biggest drag down for fans who have been watching since the first one.
They also did a sub-par job in the music. Despite having no improvement in quality, they recycled music from the second movie in the series, "the Meltdown". I bought the soundtracks after watching that movie thinking it was spectacular. After listening to it for years now, I could virtually name the tracks as they come up in the Continental Drift. From the title sequence to the Ending, pretty much everything without a vocal voice was identical to something I've heard before. It feels like they just copied and pasted from before - The soundtracks are awesome, but when it's used once too many, it just doesn't have the same impact anymore.
I still gave this movie a 6 because of, well, what Fox and Blue Sky has always been best at. The vivid colors and the "just right" graphical presentation is sure a feast on the eyes. And don't forget about Scrat, who's never involved but just somehow miraculously leads the story. This movie is definitely great for fun, there are many (supposedly deliberate) punch lines. Although some puns fail when I go "huh? that's lame", I can feel that they are trying to make it as funny as possible. I'd say that they are making this movie more like a feature-length, high quality TV cartoon special rather than a real theatrical movie. There's just not that much thrill to it.
The addition of the new characters seems only to provide a villain to the storyline. There doesn't seem to be much careful consideration - from what I see, it's perfectly fine to replace any of them with another animal or personality and the story stays valid. The characters' specialties just do not come together and contribute to the story, another reason why it feels like the story was written without the context of the movie. Not even the prolonged characters like Manny, Diego, Sid and Peaches.
Bottom line: This movie is mediocre. It could do as a really nice cartoon, but it lacks the punch in the planning.