Ice Age: Continental Drift

This is something I forgot to post about two months ago.  Just some thoughts and initial reactions I had on Ice Age 5.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going entirely against the grain of critics and a $21 million opening, but, hey, Ice Age: Continental Drift, in animation terms, was not entirely atrocious.  Sure, it’s easy to rip this family film for its weak disjointed story, honest-to-God annoying characters, horrific dialogue, and generally frustrating resolutions.  However, let’s use our heads here: this isn’t a film being made by filmmakers.  It’s a sequel designed to fuel the fire of a franchise that has been overextended in the United States — but apparently not abroad.  The guys who wanted this film read textbooks for fun when they were kids.  The guys who ended up making had to do the best they could with a property they honestly probably don’t want anymore and regret ever putting on paper.  So as easy as it might be for me to rip on this, I want to highlight what bits of brilliance I feel the production team snuck into this film.

Blue Sky Studios is making a pretty strong case for me to hope on their bandwagon.  Charlie Brown last fall, and just today I got around to Ice Age: Collision Course.  Ferdinand and Mutts further down the pipeline, the future is solid for this group.

Collision Course issues:

– Absolutely hate voice casting on Crash and Eddie.

– Throwaway lines for way too many characters, too crowded, consequence of this franchise’s history.  75% of characters were entirely unnecessary.

– Dino birds complication felt very forced, too many conflicts spread the film thin

It’s easy to nitpick at a family film, though.  These were the major flaws that I felt could have at least somewhat easily resolved.

Why it was great though:

– Such fantastic energy to the animation.  Unfortunately, older characters seemed to be stuck on those older models.  You had almost a conflict between the zany, pure animation characters and the straight-man, grounded characters.

– Sid is an incarnation of Roger Rabbit, all the way.

– Really highlighted the key poses. Reminiscent of Bugs being scared in Hare-um Scare-um or the one where he ends up sleeping through a flood and ends up in the doctor’s evil lair  Buck, Sid, crash and eddie, Scrat.  Great energy reminiscent of Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry.  (Scrat obviously exists in the vein of those shorts, but it was nice to see this extended to Buck).

It’s refreshing to see these guys pushing their character animation to wider fringes within computer generated animation.  This entry in the franchise has its moments of animated achievement, you just have to work around the agonizing story and predictability.

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