Manny the mammoth (Ray Romano) is separated from his beloved wife (Queen Latifah) and daughter (Keke Palmer) when the Earth takes a sudden shift thanks to the antics of acorn-obsessed Scrat.
The first Ice Age movie was funny and original, and the next two funny and original enough. This latest offering in the wildly successful animated franchise is, unfortunately, neither. With a thin storyline--Manny and his friends Diego (Denis Leary) and Sid (John Leguizamo) struggle to get back home--and way more action than drama, the movie moves at a frenetic pace but very little actually happens. Because the most engaging scenes all involve Scrat's perpetual pursuit of his one true love, pity the poor teachers who will have to convince young students that the continents were really not formed by a squirrel.
This movie is intended for older children.
The movie probably won't hold the attention of very young viewers, who won't understand much about the Ice Age or the formation of the continents--or why Sid's family abandons him. Five-year-olds will enjoy the eclectic cast of prehistoric characters.
Kids will find it hilarious when a young animal asks Ellie, "When you drink water through your nose, does it taste like boogers?"--and they'll eagerly await her answer! They'll get a kick out of Sid's sassy granny (Wanda Sykes) and will be intrigued by the pirates Manny, Sid, and Diego run into during their journey home. They'll laugh when Diego's friends tease him about being in love, and Manny says, "I know what you've got--the L word," only to have Sid chime in, "Leprosy!"
The story is too predictable and uneventful for most tweens, who will roll their eyes at some of the spelled-out messages including, "You never leave a friend behind." They will appreciate the father/daughter conflict and will understand how terrible Manny's teenage daughter feels after she tells him, "I wish you weren't my father."