Ice Age

Neolithic nirvana. This hilarious computer-animated feature about three ice-age animals and a human baby turns an age-old story of unlikely allies into something as fresh as the driven snow. It's 20,000 years ago, and as the ice age approaches the early mammals start migrating south. Resigned to the facts of global climactic change, evolution and the food...read more

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Reviewed by Frank Lovece
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Neolithic nirvana. This hilarious computer-animated feature about three ice-age animals and a human baby turns an age-old story of unlikely allies into something as fresh as the driven snow. It's 20,000 years ago, and as the ice age approaches the early mammals start migrating south. Resigned to the facts of global climactic change, evolution and the food chain, these comically self-aware creatures discuss it all like a bunch of prehistoric Seinfelds and serve as droll counterpoint to a mute, cute, saber-toothed squirrel thingy (he's called Scrat in the credits, but is never named onscreen), whose slapstick attempts to bury an acorn constitute a very funny running gag. Plodding the wrong way — north against the migratory flow — is misanthropic wooly mammoth Manfred (voice of Ray Romano), who wants nothing to do with anyone. Basic mammalian decency, however, forces him to intervene when two pissed-off rhinos (Cedric "The Entertainer," Stephen Root) try to kill an annoying-but-harmless motor-mouthed sloth, Sid (John Leguizamo). (Named Frank and Carl, the rhinos obsess about salads, hot-tub together and essentially embody the new stereotype of the buffed-up gay couple. What hath Timon and Pumbaa wrought?) Manny couldn't be less interested in Sid's ongoing company, but the sloth, knowing that in a world of predators he's a side dish, clings to Manny like Donkey to Shrek. Before long, the two discover a human infant, Roshan, whose mother drowned after escaping from vicious saber-toothed tigers; the tigers, led by the vengeful Soto (Goran Visnjic), attacked the Native American-looking village in retaliation for being hunted. Soto dispatches Diego (Denis Leary) to bring the infant back alive for who-knows-what evil-tiger purpose, but when Diego runs into Sid and Manny he finds they're not about to hand over a baby to a saber-tooth. The scheming Diego, however, volunteers to serve as their tracker so they can return the infant to the humans before a certain pass gets snowed-in. Let the bonding begin! Made with obvious delight by true students of comedy — homages to everything from The Honeymooners to the classic Warner Bros. cartoon about a squirrel obsessed with a coconut abound — this rib-tickler balances humor with well-earned emotion that only occasionally dips into sentimentality; when Manny's backstory is eventually revealed, the depth of his pain and selflessness will move you. Diego's inevitable character transformation isn't sufficiently well developed to be completely convincing, but no matter your age, this is one great AGE to be at.

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  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Neolithic nirvana. This hilarious computer-animated feature about three ice-age animals and a human baby turns an age-old story of unlikely allies into something as fresh as the driven snow. It's 20,000 years ago, and as the ice age approaches the early ma… (more)

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