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Ice Age

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Ice Age

Starring: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo
Director: Chris Wedge
Rated: PG
RunTime: 84 Minutes
Release Date: March 2002
Genres: Animation, Comedy, Kids

*Also starring: Denis Leary, Goran Visnjic, Jack Black, Tara Strong, Stephen Root, Denny Dillon, Mitzi McCall, Diedrich Bader, Peter Ackerman

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review
2.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie review
3.  Susan Granger read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review
4.  Edward Johnson-Ott read the review movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review

Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

You've probably seen the trailers for ICE AGE by now. You know, the one in which a prehistoric squirrel tries with all of his might to bury an acorn in the ice, but his partial success causes a massive avalanche. It is easily one of the best trailers ever, and that one long sequence shown in the trailer turns out to be the opening scene of the movie.

With animals so realistic that you feel like you must be wearing 3D glasses, Chris Wedge's ICE AGE is a technologically striking movie. The humans and the backgrounds, however, are an order of magnitude less impressive.

The good-spirited story, set when the ice age is beginning, concerns a rag-tag herd of animals who are trying to return a human baby to its tribe. The film's on-going joke is that the humans don't know how to speak, but the animals do. The guy sitting behind me kept remarking "Look at his eyes!" about Scrat (Chris Wedge), the squirrel. Although the guy behind me was right about his eyes being visually the most impressive part of the computer generated animation, I must admit that he was one human I wish had not learned the gift of speech.

The herd consists of a nameless human infant, a loquacious sloth named Sid (John Leguizamo), a nefarious saber-toothed tiger named Diego (Denis Leary) and a woolly mammoth named Manfred (Ray Romano) who protects them all. Diego has his own agenda and plans to lure the herd into an ambush by his fellow tigers. As is traditional in animated movies, one wise-cracking animal, Sid in this case, gets most of the best lines. One of my favorites is when Sid tells Manfred, "It's hard to get fat on a vegan diet." The herd comes across a troop of hapless dodo birds showing off their "tae kwon dodo" skills, which provides some good physical comedy. But nothing is as good as the opening comedy routine. In fact, my one small complaint about the movie is they may have blown it by opening with their best number. It's better to have the story build to a crescendo. On the other hand, everyone knows the beginning of Beethoven's most famous symphony, the fifth, but who can remember the ending?

ICE AGE runs 1:24. It is rated PG for "mild peril" and would be acceptable for all ages.

My son Jeffrey, almost 13, gave the film *** 1/2. He said the film was funny and never had a dull moment. His only criticism was that it needed better music.

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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