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Review: Ice Age 4: Continental Drift
Categories: movies, reviews

It’s been 10 years since the Ice Age franchise first sprang to the screen heralding a new era in movie making which brought with it fantastic animations such as Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Madagascar and The Incredibles. The poignant story line of the first film Ice Age; where a group of animals reunite a child with its father after a long odyssey was mixed with the mayhem and pathos of prehistoric creatures and amazing graphics, was great.

We are now a decade along and accustomed to this kind of animated excellence. Demand for plain old DVDs has been replaced by HD and 3D and we’ve been spoiled by advances in screen technology. Ice Age 4: Continental Drift is no exception, as it’s released this week in Triple Play, Blu-ray 3D & DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. There’s no doubt such a timely release will make a perfect stocking filler for Christmas.

This light-hearted animation features the usual characters and some new ones; Manny, Sid and Diego who are joined by Granny, the stinky sloth and Captain Gutt, an orangutan pirate in need of an orthodontist. The trailer below will give you a taster of what’s to come in this fourth outing from the Ice Age franchise. For newcomers to Ice Age, make sure you have a look at extras on the DVD as there is a catch up feature; Ice Age: The Story So Far. The film is the fourth in the series, so it’s hard to ignore the woolly mammoth elephant in the room; is it a tired format? I don’t think so; it’s another adventure and the story line is based around reuniting the family, an enduring theme of Ice Age, but for the audience it’s aimed at, it’s great and there are plenty of laughs for adults. My criticism of the plot is that the omission of any humans was a mistake and leaves a gap; and there seemed to be too many sub stories. This is largely down to the fact that the Ice Age family is bigger. The original cast of characters has grown, so the voices of Ray Romano/Manny, Denis Leary/Diego, John Leguizamo/Sid, Queen Latifah/Ellie, Chris Wedge/Scrat are joined by new cast members with musical appeal including Jennifer Lopez as Shira, Nicki Minaj as Steffie, and Nick Frost as Flynn, The Wanted also feature on the soundtrack.

This film broke box office records on release earlier this year, so there’s no denying it’s a blockbuster. If you have a look around online, you’ll find the film has received mixed reviews; it gets a 6 out of 10 on IMDB and 61% liked it at Rotten Tomatoes. As a cinema release, I would rate it the same but there’s a big difference between a cinema outing and watching a movie in the comfort of your own home which is why I am giving it a 7 out of 10. It is the kind of film which works for the whole family, and will last beyond Christmas.

Things have changed massively since Ice Age first came out; Twitter, Facebook and movie fan sites are all the norm. This means there’s lots of amazing content around which brings the back story of the film to life; so whether it’s this video posted on Youtube which is an interview with one of the animators talking about how he developed the family of sloths, or the bounty of content on the Ice Age website. It’s safe to say, there’s a lot more to a film than there used to be.

More about the release from Fox:

The world’s most beloved prehistoric herd is back and this time they’re setting off on a hilarious high seas adventure! ICE AGE 4: CONTINENTAL DRIFT sails into stores this Christmas. Loaded with a treasure trove of pirate-themed special features, ICE AGE 4: CONTINENTAL DRIFT is the coolest animated Blu-ray this Xmas. Adding an extra layer of enjoyment, the Triple Play and Blu-ray 3D offers families the opportunity to watch the film in “PARTY WITH A PIRATE!” mode. Here, the Pirate SQUINT will guide viewers through the Blu-ray menus and even ride along for some added swashbuckling entertainment.

In addition, kids can get their groove on with the “Shimmy Shake Music Section,” a feature consisting of four fun-filled music videos to get you singing and dancing along with the herd. Adding to the ICE AGE fun is the Ice Age Village app, available for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad & Android smartphones and tablets. This mobile social game boasts over 30 million installs worldwide. Consumers purchasing the ICE AGE 4: CONTINENTAL DRIFT Triple Play or DVD will receive 10,000 free coins (in-game currency), an exclusive species and a chance to win an additional 10,000,000 free coins.

Blu-ray Disc Special Features

Ultraviolet (UV) digital download of the feature
Party with a Pirate (feature-length)
Shimmy Shake Music Section
Gutt’s Sing-Along Shanty Shimmy Shake
“We Are” Extended Music Video
“Chasing the Sun” by The Wanted
The Sid Shuffle
Through a Pirate’s Spyglass
Voices Ahoy!
Capturing the Crew!
Whale of a Tale: Drifts, Rifts, Beasties and Myths
Scrat Got Your Tongue?
Granny and the Stink of the Sloths
Missing Links (unfinished deleted scenes)
Dr. Granny
Shell Games
Ice Age: The Story So Far

Standard DVD Special Features

Shimmy Shake Music Section
Gutt’s Sing-Along Shanty Shimmy Shake
The Sid Shuffle
Ice Age: The Story So Far

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