Let it be known up front that I’m not a fan of the ‘Ice Age’ series. The voice cast is sub-par. (Who honestly believes that Ray “Monotone” Romano is a good choice for an animated kids’ movie?) The characters aren’t interesting; they’re barely likeable. And the stories are flat. Having said that, I found ‘Continental Drift’ to be the most tolerable of the batch. It flows better and actually features some fun sequences. Even so, if you put it up against the animated greats out there, it doesn’t hold a candle.
‘Continental Drift’ takes the same approach that ‘Fast Five‘ used for the ‘Fast and Furious’ series. Since the story at hand has been completely depleted over the course of the previous movies, this latest installment takes the characters into a completely different genre. ‘Fast Five’ moved the car-racing series into the heist genre, and ‘Continental Drift’ takes ‘Ice Age‘ into the pirate genre. Strange, right?
The big changes in this story are the following: The mammoth and his wife are having troubles with their teenage daughter. The daughter is also having social troubles because she likes a popular boy mammoth, but her marsupial best friend is ruining her image. The saber-toothed tiger is still mopey. Nothing new there. (If you want a dose of Denis Leary, go see ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ instead.) The sloth is still annoying, but this time he brings his grandma for extra shenanigans. Voiced by Wanda Sykes, grandma is pretty fun, a much better sloth than the one voiced by John Leguizamo.
If you’ve seen any Fox family movie over the last year, you’ve seen the animated short where the ragged, nut-hunting squirrel Scrat causes Pangea’s break-up. Well, that’s actually used as the opening to ‘Continental Drift’. Scrat breaks the world, and a horizontally sliding rock wall constantly pushes our central characters towards the ocean. The three main characters get separated from the land, encounter pirates on the open sea, and have to save their family and friends before the rock wall pushes them into the water.
I’m still not a fan of the ‘Ice Age’ movies and their characters, but ‘Continental Drift’ is at least tolerable. There are many other kids’ movies out there that I wouldn’t want my daughters to watch in my presence. ‘Continental Drift’ is an average family flick. The kids will love it, but parents won’t care if they ever see it again. If you end up loving it, power to you. If you end up hating it, no worries – you’ll forget about it in no time. I did.