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Ice Age Leaves You Cold

Watch the trailer not the movie

One of my favorite parts of going to the movies is watching the trailers. Sometimes, the movie is so bad the previews become the best part of the experience. For one or two minutes you are enticed with quick edits, loud music and what, increasingly, are the best parts of the film. The trailers for Ice Age cracked me up every single time I saw them over the past year. The movie, however, produced less laughs.

Comedian Ray Romano provides the dumpy voice of Manfred the Mammoth, a solitary animal with a big heart who finds himself the center of an unusual, makeshift herd consisting of Sid the Sloth (John Leguizamo), a sabertooth tiger (Dennis Leary) named Diego and a human baby called Roshan. While the rest of their peers are migrating to warmer climates to avoid the onslaught of the so-called Ice Age, the four are somewhat outcasts the mammoth is a mysterious loner, the sloth is abandoned by his people, the tiger is part of a ruthless pack and the baby is lost who were brought together by fate.

The three animals wander around trying to get the kid back to his own people. Their interactions are like that of old married couples; they bicker and squabble lovingly the whole way through. I was expecting an animated flick jam-packed with barrel laughs but all I got was a few chuckles. There was a really humorous scene in which the group slip and slide through an ice cave that seemed to pay homage to the juxtaposing scene in the 80's classic Goonies. Another comedic motif is the reoccurring image of a scrappy prehistoric squirrel who runs around trying to horde acorns while causing a great deal of trouble.

The funniest moment though occurs when Sid, after talking about the dynamics of what a herd should be, quips that, "This is the weirdest herd I've ever seen!" The delivery was outstanding. In fact, the actors who provide the three main voices are seasoned comedians that know exactly how to deliver a punch line. Although it is strange that someone as brash as Dennis Leary whose in-your-face act used to focus on the joys of smoking, eating red meat and having sex with Cindy Crawford is now playing a mildly disgruntled cartoon character.

Director Carlos Saldanha and Chris Wedge have managed to get some of the best comedic talent out there (including Jack Black who does the voice of a character called Zeke) but ended up with a movie that doesn't garner the laughs it should and is not up to par with the latest breed of animated movies such as Shrek, Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story. This is especially disappointing due to the barrage of marketing and promotion that have hyped the movie for nearly a year.

The animation is good but nothing particularly special, the humor prods along inciting periodical laughs in an effort to keep your attention and the plot is a feel-good story with a moral bang. However, all in all, Ice Age is an easily forgettable feature that is worthy only of 'rent the video while babysitting young children' status.



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Ice Age
Rated PG
1 hour 25 minutes

Ray Romano
John Leguizamo
Dennis Leary
Goran Visnjic
Jack Black

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