In “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” shift happens.
As in tectonic plates shifting, which means the land on which our friends Manny, Ellie, Sid and Diego live, is also shifting.
As the land breaks apart, Manny (voiced by Ray Romano) is separated from his wife Ellie (Queen Latifah) and daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer), and drifts out to sea on a small piece of Ice. Lucky for him, he’s accompanied by his pals Sid (John Leguizamo) and Diego (Denis Leary) and Sid’s grandmother, a wisecracking, toothless old sloth named Granny (voiced by Wanda Sykes).
After being being abused by a storm, our gang drifts into dangerous waters inhabited by a pirate monkey (sea monkey?) named Captain Gutt, voiced by Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage. His first mate is a saber-toothed cat named Shira (Jennifer Lopez). Predictably, she becomes Diego’s love interest. Gutt hijacks Manny & Co’s piece of ice and takes them prisoner in an attempt to convince them to join his crew. Manny, however, just wants to get back home to find his family.
Oh, I almost forgot about Scrat, the ever-endearing saber-toothed squirrel whose apparently never-ending quest for a good acorn may have actually caused the continental drift. Other than Leguizamo’s Sid, Scrat continues to offer the most laughs in this franchise. Sykes’ Granny will also keep the kids and adults both entertained.
In order for an animated movie to be truly good, however, it needs to transcend the silly characters and offer more than fart jokes. This film looks great but it’s really only adequate, though with enough laughs to entertain.
When it comes to emotional engagement, “Ice Age: Continental Drift: leaves you cold, but it’ll keep the kids happy. And if the kids are happy, the parents are happy.
Three out of five stars.