Family comes first for ‘Ice Age 4’s’ furry protagonistsBy Rito P. Asilo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE fourth instalment of the “Ice Age” film franchise doesn’t veer too far away from the formula that has kept the animated series afloat since 2002—but, “Continental Drift” creates a diverting twist on its narrative that allows its dysfunctional protagonists to avoid the tedium of retelling exactly the same story.
This time, in his neverending hunt for the elusive acorn, the sabre-toothed squirrel, Scrat, is responsible for woolly mammoth Manny (Ray Romano), sabre-toothed cat Diego (Denis Leary) and arboreal sloth Sid’s (John Leguizamo) latest adventure—when the squirrel triggers the breakup of the Pangaea land mass into the continents as we know them today!
Soon after Manny figures in a huge fight with his rebellious 19-year-old daughter, Peaches (Keke Palmer), he is separated by the breakup of the continents from his daughter and wife, Ellie (Queen Latifah), and gets stuck on a drifting ice raft with Diego, Sid, and his 80-year-old Granny, who isn’t as senile as she initially appears.
The quartet is then captured by a band of animal pirates led by the giant ape, Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage), and his sabre-toothed cat assistant, Shira (Jennifer Lopez), who take offense when Manny refuses to join them.
As the embattled friends find their way back to their families, they encounter narwhals (toothed whales), enchanting sea sirens (who lure drifters and strangers alike in order to eat them), a humongous sperm whale, and gentle, chipmunk-like hyraxes—who end up helping Manny and his friends battle Gutt and his moronic underlings!
Meanwhile, Scrat ends up on Scratlantis, a floating island filled with other sabre-toothed squirrels and nuts—but, his excitement gets the better of him when he…well, watch the movie!
As far as animated features go, we’ve had it up to here with redundant stories about annoying flightless birds or smart-alecky animals whose existence is threatened by the effects of a global thaw.
But, 20th Century Fox’s “Ice Age” franchise evolves with its sequels—and its humor has a distinct Pinoy tone and sensibility. Sample: When Diego starts falling for Shira but refuses to acknowledge it, somebody suggests that the fierce cat just might be “infected” with something that starts with the letter L. So, Sid ventures a guess: “Leprosy?” No, it’s a four-letter word that ends with E. Sid tries again: “Lice?” —Get the picture?
Moreover, “Ice Age” manages to keep its prehistoric protagonists interesting—and endearing—because of the spirited performances of its voice cast, as well as its stirring thematic focus on loyalty and the indispensability of family!
Recent Stories:Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.