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Ice Age (2002)

  Directed by: Carlos Saldanha, Chris Wedge
Starring: Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Ray Romano, Chris Wedge
Links: Ice Age on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Cartoon/Animation

This movie gets: 6.00 (3 ratings) Ranking: Ranked equal 129th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

Ice Age (2002) is also mentioned in mino's review of Gone Nutty (2002), pearly's review of Gone Nutty (2002), andy-j's review of The Day After Tomorrow (2004) and em_fiction's review of The Incredibles (2004).

"Meh" - a review by mino

In a way, it seems kind of harsh to compare the output of any other animation studio to that of Pixar. Pixar have raised the bar so high for computer-rendered animation (with movies like Toy Story (1995), Finding Nemo (2003), etc.) that it's going to be almost impossible for anyone else to compete. However, as they're by far the biggest and the best in the field, compare to them I must. Unfortunately, Fox's Ice Age just doesn't stack up.

Sure, Ice Age has all the elements of a Pixar/Disney-type smash. It's got cute animals, big-name celebrities doing voices, high-quality computer-generated graphics, a heartwarming plot, and plenty of gags. But, somehow, it all falls a little bit flat.

The prehistoric mammals who star in the movie are cute, sure, but they're not cute enough. They just don't seem very loveable, for some reason. And the celebrities are there, but they're not such enormous celebrities that you go ‘oh, wow — what a cool idea, getting him to do a voice!’. I mean, Ray Romano is all well and good, but he's not exactly Tom Hanks when it comes to star power, is he?

Likewise, the other areas also fail to measure up against the Pixar movies. The animation itself is OK, but somehow seems more — ‘artificial’? — than the Pixar films. If your living, breathing animated characters are less lifelike and ‘organic’ than a bunch of toys, well, you've got problems. The plot is fine, too, if a little formulaic, but it doesn't really seem to be central to the movie. Instead, the plot is a kind of loose excuse to string together a bunch of little sketch-like vignettes.

Most importantly, the humour: maybe it's just me, but I didn't find these sketches particularly funny. Toy Story, say, is a genuinely funny movie, with plenty there for both adults and kids. Ice Age, alas, tries to be funny, but I just didn't find it very amusing. Unlike the clever, character-driven humour of Toy Story, Ice Age relies on some rather feeble slapstick which, while maybe hilarious to little kids, didn't really float my boat.

There are some funny bits, I'll admit. Nearly all of them come from John Leguizamo's deranged sloth, Sid: unfortunately, Romano's mammoth and Denis Leary's sabre-toothed tiger just aren't nearly as funny as they ought to be. I'm not sure if the ‘bad guys’, another bunch of sabre-tooth tigers, are supposed to be funny: I think they are, but, as they're such a shockingly unfunny rip-off of the hyenas from The Lion King (1994), it's kind of hard to find them very amusing.

Look, Ice Age is probably wonderful for little kiddies. Just don't go into it as an adult, thinking you're going to be as amused as you were by A Bug's Life (1998), that's all.

mino gives this movie 5 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 19 Jan 2004

"Have fun just chillin'" - a review by pearly

Aren't animated kid's movies fun? The answer is yes. I'm all for an intellectual piece, but I am just a sucker when it comes to any cute, cuddly one dimensional series of pictures. And, as far as they go, Ice Age is a great one.

The storyline is quite similar to Monsters, Inc. (2001); a bunch of non-humans find themselves caring for a baby, and as they try to return the baby, they have enemies to dispense. In Ice Age, the non-humans are woolly mammoth Manfred (Ray Romano), sloth Sid (John Leguizamo) and saber-tooth tiger Diego (Denis Leary). They're brought together when Sid misses his migration and uses depressed Manfred for protection, and after finding the baby, Diego joins the gang on the pretense of helping them save the little bub.

The movie is quite funny - mainly in the form of visual gags (what would be called slapstick in a non-animated film), and silly one-liners, especially from Sid the slurring sloth. But, more than this, it's a family film with likeable characters that, despite being only one-dimensional in appearance, are two-dimensional in personality. Ice Age also seems to manage something that films like Shrek (2001) did not - they're funny for all ages without resorting to making jokes that will go over the kids' heads in order to satisfy the older types.

You could do a lot worse.

pearly gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 8 Nov 2002

Movie review statistics

Ratings given without reviews:

Number of reviews: 2
Number of ratings: 3
Average rating: 6.00
Lowest rating: 5 (by mino)
Highest rating: 7 (by pearly)
Rating Percentage

Reader comments

  1. great movie. really touching. john leguizamo's sloth brought life to the film

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from chancha on Sat 17 Jan 2004 13:55 #

  2. "Ice Age" is a wonderful film! Great scene! The cartoon effect is lifelike.
    The elephant was so courage that dashed ahead regardless of its safety to save the tiger. That was like human.

    A comment from Creford ( on Wed 23 Mar 2005 00:39 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (1 rating)

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