Copyright 1999-2002 3BlackChicks Enterprises™. All Rights Reserved.

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Bams' review of
Ice Age
3BC

Ice

Ice Age (2002)
Rated PG; running time 85 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Animation (CG)
Seen at: Celebration Cinema (Lansing, Michigan)
Official site: http://www.iceagemovie.com/
IMDB site: http://us.imdb.com/Details?0268380
Written by: Michael Berg, Peter Ackerman, Michael Wilson
Directed by: Chris Wedge
Cast: voices of: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Goran Visnjic, Cedric The Entertainer, Stephen Root, Kristen Johnson, Jane Krakowski, Diedrich Bader

Review Copyright Rose Cooper, 2002


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As lovely and as fun as Ice Age was, I kept getting hung up on one thought: it's deja vu all over again.


THE STORY (WARNING: **spoilers contained below**)
In the Ice Age, a trio of unlikely compatriots - surly Manfred The Mammoth (Ray Romano), wacky Sid The Sloth (John Leguizamo), and scheming Diego The Sabre-toothed Tiger (Denis Leary) - reluctantly team up to deliver a human baby they call "Pinky" back to its tribe, after Diego's tiger packmates, led by Soto (Goran Visnjic), raid the baby's family's village and chase the baby and mother off into the wilderness.

The threesome have Wacky Adventures along the way, due mostly to Sid's encounters with other creatures like Silvia & Jennifer Sloth (Kristen Johnson and Jane Krakowski), and Carl & Frank Rhino (Cedric The Entertainer and Stephen Root). But the scheming Diego has a wee surprise in store for Pinky - and Manfred...


THE UPSHOT
One of the funniest recurring bits in Ice Age was Scrat, the cute little squirrel, tryin'a get a nut. Unfortunately, except for that recurring bit, not much differentiated this movie from blockbuster animated flicks of recent years. The opening (and admittedly cute) montage? Been there in Dinosaur. The (admittedly fun) ice slide? Done that with the rollercoaster door ride in Monsters, Inc. The (admittedly funny) Wacky Schmoozing Sidekick? See for example: Shrek.

Though in that latter case, Shrek himself was heads and shoulders cooler than his Ice Age equivalent, Manfred The Mammoth. Contrary to what CBS would like you to believe, Everybody Doesn't Love Ray...Romano. I found his Manfred to be a complete buzz kill; I vastly preferred Sid (voiced by the brilliant John Leguizamo) and Diego (voiced by the almost-as-brilliant Denis Leary) as a mismatched couple in "the oddest pack I've ever seen". But even I was Moved by the scene explaining why Manfred was so surly. My Non-Loving of Ray aside, that was a fine piece of storytelling, as was the funny - but a wee bit too long - Dodos scene. "Dinner and a show"; very cool.

The videogamish look of Ice Age worked to its advantage. Going for a grand fantasy world instead of photorealism (though some images, such as the waterfall, looked incredibly real), Ice Age certainly dazzles the eye. But I had Issues with the whole layout of the story, from start to finish. Even given an understanding that no, animals don't really talk and yes, a saber-tooth tiger wouldn't really hook up with a wacky sloth and a surly mammoth, and no, Early Man probably didn't make designer winter suits...needless to say, my Belief got quite a workout, being Suspended as long as it was.

Giving props where props are due, 20th Century Fox definitely improved on their previous attempt: 2000's Titan A.E. - and all without the irritating production numbers that far too many Disney cartoons force on the audience. But Ice Age just felt like a nicely animated copycat, with a bummer of a lead mammoth. Still, if the hoards of kids at Podunkville's sold out hour-on-the-hour showings are any indication, you can count on a sequel...Ice Age 2: Pinky The Predator.


BAMMER'S BOTTOM LINE
While this movie is certainly cute enough, there's not enough new stuff in Ice Age to make it worth running out to the theater to see it right away. Younger kids might disagree - and who am I to argue with the target demographic? But animation-loving adults who've Seen This Before in movies like Shrek and Monsters, Inc, might want to save Ice Age for a rainy day.


ICE AGE:   fyellow

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And that's the way I see it.

Rose "Bams" Cooper
3BlackChicks Review™
Copyright Rose Cooper, 2002
EMAIL: bams@3blackchicks.com    ICQ: 7760005
http://www.3blackchicks.com/

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More 3BlackChicks™ review(s) for this week:
(entertainment reviewed week of 3/15/02):
Bams' reviews:
Showtime | Ice Age
The Rookie (sneak preview)

The Diva's reviews:
Showtime | Resident Evil


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