The weirdest herd in the history of man and animals is back: Sid The Sloth, Diego the Sabretooth Tiger and Manny the Mammoth. Their new friends from Ice Age: The Meltdown have also returned: Ellie and her two “brothers” Crash and Eddie. This time Manny and Ellie are expecting a baby, while Sid also wants a family of his own and Diego is going to leave the herd. What started out as a rather surprise hit, it being the first 3D animation movie from a small studio called Blue Sky is now one of the bigger franchises out there.
Also returning is the beloved Scrat; as always hunting for nuts which are far more difficult to find and keep than one could imagine. This time he comes upon a female counterpart who turns into an object of affection (he’s nuts about her, ha ha) as well as a competitor for nuts.
Feeling alone and a bit jealous about Manny and Ellie starting a family Sid thinks it’s a good idea for him to take some eggs that he found in an underground cave and become a mother figure for what’s ever in it. The fact that these eggs are almost as big as he is doesn’t seem to bother him, but hey, this is Sid we’re talking about. Turn out the three eggs contain some T-Rexes who immediately see Sid as their mother. But life as a mother of three is tough especially when your kids try to eat the other kids at the playground. As in Jurassic Park: The Lost World mommy T-Rex is none too pleased about her eggs being missing and comes to reclaim them taking Sid back also to her home: a lost world under the ice where Dinosaurs still roam free and rule the world. Now the herd has to face dangers that were supposed to be extinct in order to get Sid back.
Was the first somewhat original in it’s idea to use extinct animals that are not dinosaurs, this time the use of these strange characters that existed between the dinosaurs and man is something we’ve gotten used to. This makes the characters in Ice Age now nothing better than the gazillionth animated movie starring talking animals. To down the originality even more the makers have chosen to incorporate Dinosaurs into the story. And yet, while this movie’s lack of originality is a major flaw, the movie is fun to watch. Sid’s antics are still en-joyous and Manny is still a grump to love. The character that is undeveloped in this movie is Diego. There is a subplot about him leaving the herd before they go out and rescue Sid but other than that he’s as flat as Ellie’s brothers who only serve the purpose of being comic relief. They’re out-shined by a new addition to the cast; the survivor weasel Buck who lives in the world of the Dinosaurs and knows a thing or two about surviving in this world, but his long state of solitude has taken a toll on his sanity. He is fun to watch and nicely voiced by Simon Pegg, who is slowly becoming Great Britain’s greatest export product I think. His track-record is growing with an impressive rate.
The dinosaurs in the movie have the same function here as they do in the Jurassic Park series and the movie refrences these movies multiple times. The only dinosaur-characters which have been developed more than just to function as a hunting carnivore or dimwitted herbivore are the T-Rexes. This strange family consisting of mother T-Rex, father Sid and 3 kids is a sight to behold. Especially when Sid wants to raise “his” kids as vegetarians. A nice plot but also taken directly from Madagascar. Making it once more clear that the originality of the first movie has been exchanged for the too easy over-referencing.
Once again the movie jumps to seemingly unrelated adventures of Scrat who has become a bit of a Road Runner cartoon: constantly the same plot but never tiring. This time his adventures jump between his beloved nut and his love for a female. His adventures are as funny as they were in the other two movies.
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is harmless fun and will appeal to everyone who loved the first two movies. Buck is a fun addition but the original characters do seem to have run their course, especially Diego. It’s a movie for all ages but maybe the makers ought to consider of putting the series to rest as it does seem to have run its course.