Film: Ice Age (2002)

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Film:

Ice Age

Director: Chris Wedge, Carlos Saldanha
Honors:
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Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Just as A Bug’s Life was a computer-animated comedy inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai, the funny and often enthralling Ice Age is a digital re-imagining of the Western Three Godfathers. The heroes of this unofficial remake (set 20,000 years ago, during the titular Paleolithic era) are a taciturn mastodon named Manfred (voiced by Ray Romano), an annoying sloth named Sid (John Leguizamo), and a duplicitous saber-toothed tiger, Diego (Denis Leary). The unlikely team encounters a dying, human mother who relinquishes her chirpy…

Reviews

Amazon.com

Just as A Bug’s Life was a computer-animated comedy inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai, the funny and often enthralling Ice Age is a digital re-imagining of the Western Three Godfathers. The heroes of this unofficial remake (set 20,000 years ago, during the titular Paleolithic era) are a taciturn mastodon named Manfred (voiced by Ray Romano), an annoying sloth named Sid (John Leguizamo), and a duplicitous saber-toothed tiger, Diego (Denis Leary). The unlikely team encounters a dying, human mother who relinquishes her chirpy toddler to the care of these critters. Hoping, against all odds, to return the little guy to his migrating tribe, Manfred and his associates need to establish trust among themselves, not an easy thing in a harsh world of predators, prey, and pushy glaciers. Audiences that have become accustomed to the rounded, polished, storybook look of Pixar’s house brand of computer animation (Monsters, Inc.) will find the blunt edges and chilly brilliance of Ice Age—evoking the harsh, dangerous environment of a frozen world—a wholly different, and equally pleasing, trip. Recommended for ages 4 and up. —Tom Keogh

Barnes and Noble

One of the biggest box office hits of 2002, this pre-hysteric comedy echoes John Ford’s 1948 western, Three Godfathers, as a mismatched trio of creatures teams up to return a wayward human infant to its family. Emmy winner Ray Romano is the voice of Manfred, a woolly mammoth who is migrating north instead of south. John Leguizamo voices Sid, a sloth who becomes to Manfred what Donkey was to Shrek. “We make a great team,” the hyper-verbal Sid exclaims. “Isn’t there someone else you can annoy?” Manfred replies. Denis Leary is the voice of Diego, a saber-toothed tiger who joins them on their treacherous journey and has his own agenda. But the character who runs away with Ice Age is Scrat, a hapless squirrel/rat who tries desperately to make off with his hard-won prize, an acorn. There is one heart-tugging moment in which Manfred sadly observes cave drawings of an ill-fated woolly mammoth family, and some tooth-and-claw fight scenes may send chills through younger viewers. The computer animation throughout is quite good, and the storytelling will warm the hearts of young and old for ages to come. Donald Liebenson

Related Works

Album:Ice Age: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Ice Age: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

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