Review: Ice Age (2002)

Ice Age (2002)

Directed by: Chris Wedge, Carlos Saldanha | 81 minutes | animation, comedy, adventure, family | Original voice cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Goran Visnjic, Jack Black, Cedric the Entertainer, Stephen Root, Diedrich Bader, Alan Tudyk, Lorri Bagley, Jane Krakowski, Peter Ackerman, PJ Benjamin, Josh Hamilton, Chris Wedge, Denny Dillon, Mitzi McCall, Tara Strong

The animation genre is quite crowded and with big players like Dreamworks and especially Pixar, a studio has a hard time coming up with a film that is fresh or original enough, or knows how to entertain the audience as well as the work of the aforementioned. studios. Fox tried to make a name for itself with the ‘Ice Age’ series and while something completely new shouldn’t be expected, the studio does a great job of conjuring funny and engaging characters on screen and substantiating them in a story. dipping that is adventurous, cute, and funny. The film’s greatest assets ultimately turn out to be two characters. One is the bumbling and gooey sloth Sid, voiced by John Leguizamo, and the proverbial rabbit in the top hat: saber-toothed squirrel Scrat, who tries in vain to bury his acorn in a thread in the film and parallel to the main story. . The antics of this hilarious creature would not have been out of place among the adventures of classic Warner Brothers cartoon characters such as Daffy Duck and Wile E. Coyote. This, together with the unpretentious story and the heart of the film, makes ‘Ice Age’ a great movie to enjoy.

The story is simple and straightforward, but offers a more satisfying backbone than the story in the sequel ‘Ice Age 2: The Meltdown’, in which a group of animals were simply fleeing the rising water. This turned out to be just a peg for a series of skits. This first ‘Ice Age’ is a bit more modest in the amount of pranksters performed, but can therefore pay more attention to the relationships between the characters and their mission. This mission is to return a human infant whose mother has drowned and her ilk have been chased away by saber-toothed tigers to his own tribe. Those who take on this task are a sloth, a mammoth, and a saber-toothed tiger. However, the latter has a double agenda and is (initially) only interested in (killing) the child. It’s a quirky flock, but the idea, of course, is that it doesn’t matter and friendship and love know no bounds. In short, they live in a kind of ultimate multicultural society, just the four of them.

The film’s heartwarming messages are a bit sentimental here and there, but it never gets too melodramatic and a fun joke isn’t far away, so there won’t be any moments of annoyance for the viewer. And the other side of the coin is that the film is sometimes quite touching, even though these moments are usually, and quite simply, achieved with the help of a cuddling baby. This baby, who only makes cute babbling sounds, is very reminiscent of Pixar’s ‘Monsters, Inc.’, in which Boo was also made to laugh through glee. Similarities to ‘Shrek’ are also there, both in the overall structure – with several animals going on a mission together, with one large, dangerous beast and one annoying sidekick who won’t stop talking – and in independent scenes – Sid crossing the road is thrown back from a gorge by a tipping ice floe (which a tree did to Donkey in ‘Shrek’) – but the film still has enough individuality to not let this be a bummer. The slapstick moments work well – whether it’s Sid, squirrel Scrat, or minor characters like the dumb Dodos – the action – sliding down a glacier, jumping over ice floes over a pool of lava, skiing and snowboarding with Sid – is all right , and the heart (of the characters, and the film itself) is in the right place. The editing is often dynamic, and there are some nice finds in the film, such as cave drawings that come to life. And the fact that the animation is a bit less detailed than the work of competitors Dreamworks and Pixar – especially the people look a bit coarse, wooden and smooth – is hardly an obstacle to the involvement in the story and the humor.

‘Ice Age’ can be called entertaining and entertaining in its story and characterizations to say the least, but in the end the character Scrat – who introduces and closes the film and provides variety in the story itself several times – lifts the whole thing to a higher level. plan. His attempts to save his precious acorn as a nest egg repeatedly fail magnificently, resulting in lightning strikes and avalanches. It is cute and pathetic to see him again and again, after frantic efforts, separated from his acorn, but above all it is hilarious to see him go wrong in a grand way. His squeaking sounds and scratching nails, with which he tries to bury the acorn, are very well applied, and the taps he gets when something has just gone wrong – a convulsive paw or twitching eyelid – are the comic icing on the cake. No disrespect to mammoth Manfred, sloth Sid, and saber-toothed tiger Diego, but Scrat is truly the hero of the Ice Age.

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