Ice Age (2002) Dir. Chris Wedge, Carlos Saldahna – Black Box Belfast, 18th April
Who’s in it? Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Ray Romano
What’s it about? Set in the prehistoric era, the film follows grouchy but good-natured woolly mammoth Manny, silly but sweet sloth Sid and their unlikely traveling companion Diego, a sarky saber-toothed tiger, as they make their way South to avoid the oncoming big freeze as the Ice Age edges ever closer. When a human baby is separated from his family the trio temporarily adopt the little tike and try to reunite him with his ‘herd’ while trying to avoid the hungry pack of sabers on their tail. Ever so slightly overshadowed by Pixar’s instant classic Monsters Inc. and Dreamworks’ satiric Shrek, both released a year earlier and obviously a key influence, Ice Age holds its own with some memorable characters brought to life by some top voice talent as well as some lovely exchanges between its three unlikely heroes, not to mention a memorable cameo from gutsy saber-toothed squirrel Scrat. If it does fall short of the Pixar standard it remains the perfect distraction for the wee ones.
Memorable Moments? Resourceful rodent Scrat and his high spirited subplot with the shiny acorn he’s trying to store for the winter is the enduring sequence of the Ice Age series and proved popular enough to warrant its own spin off short Gone Nutty (2002).
Look who’s talking: ‘Ice Age never matches the brilliance of Toy Story or the heartfelt heft of Shrek, but it’s an antic and sweet-spirited pleasure.’ – Entertainment Weekly
Like that? Try this: The Land Before Time (1988), the original kids dinosaur adventure, inspiring the likes of Ice Age and Walking with Dinosaurs, captivated pre-CGI imaginations with its heartwarming story and characters as well as offering some sumptuous hand-drawn visuals, the quintessential prehistoric road trip movie.
Trivia Pursuit: The film was originally envisaged as a straight up character drama.