| Two Reviews below by Keith Cohen and Jolene Mendez.
The third entry in this animated family-friendly franchise is a worthy addition with just enough fresh ideas and new characters to keep things rolling merrily along.
Woolly mammoth Manny (voiced by Ray Romano) and his significant other Ellie (Queen Latifah) are now a couple. Ellie is pregnant and about to give birth. Anxious father-to-be Manny tries to baby-proof his natural surroundings.
Saber-toothed tiger Diego (Denis Leary) thinks he is getting too soft and losing his edge.
The sloth Sid (John Leguizamo) envies Manny's domestic life and wants to have a family of his own. Feeling alone and abandoned, Sid falls through the ice and finds three large eggs in a prehistoric underground world. He brings the eggs to the surface, where they hatch into adorable baby tyrannosaurs. The angry mother dinosaur retrieves her babies and takes Sid prisoner. This forces Manny, Ellie and the two "brother" possums Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck) to go on a search and rescue mission.
A colorful new character named Buck (Simon Pegg), a one-eyed, swashbuckling, dino-hunting weasel, leads the "herd" on this exciting adventure through the Chasm of Death and the Plates of Woe to their ultimate destination, Lava Falls.
The squirrel Scrat is also back in an alternate story running simultaneously throughout the movie. He continues to go after the elusive acorn, but a new wrinkle involves romance with a female saber-toothed flying squirrel named Scratte.
The CGI animation from Blue Sky Studios is first-rate with creatively designed, vibrant creatures. Despite a few dull spots, the filmmakers hold your interest while adeptly juggling three stories (the search and rescue, the impending birth, and balancing love and nut-gathering desires) in one movie. A variety of popular children's games are referenced in the easy-to-follow narrative.
This fun and exciting crowd-pleaser generates lots of laugh-out-loud moments. Kids will be able to identify with the distinct personalities of these familiar lovable characters.
Love and romance are the driving themes in the Scrat segments, which feature a choreographed tango and appropriate mood music including the Lou Rawls hit single "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine."
The main storyline's message is that being a parent is a lot of work. The kiddies should gain a thankful appreciation of everything they take for granted provided by mommy and daddy.
The arrival of the new baby mammoth named Peaches should set the stage for a fourth installment in the near future.
The eye-popping visuals and exciting action sequences are even better in the Digital 3-D version (complete with special glasses), which is available at several theaters in Johnson County including AMC Town Center 20 and Cinemark Merriam.
Keith Cohen "The Movie Guy"
Review Below By:
2 out of 4 Stars
Too much of a good thing can go terribly wrong. Take “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” for example. The first two were comical masterpieces that the whole family loved. The latest version is far from it. Following Ice Age: the Meltdown, life begins to change for Manny (Ray Romano) and his friends. Scrat (Chris Wedge) while on the hunt for his beloved acorn finds a possible romance with a female squirrel named Scratte.
Manny and his new mate Ellie (Queen Latifah) are expecting a baby, leaving Manny demanding perfection for when his baby arrives. Diego (Denis Leary) is frustrated with his lack of physique and wonders what he has to offer his herd. Sid (John Leguizamo) finds himself wanting a family of his own, and winds up stealing dinosaur eggs.
Ultimately this leads Sid into danger, landing in the unknown underground world where dinosaurs roam free. Ellie, Manny and Diego are on a rescue mission to save Sid, while dodging dinosaurs and danger at every corner; they meet a weasel known as Buck (Simon Pegg) who helps rescue Sid with his survival skills.
From “Land of the Lost” to “Dawn of the Dinosaurs” it is not the year for the pre-historic comebacks. This “Ice Age” was lifeless, dull and only had a handful of select 3D effects. Lacking dialogue and lively scenes it ultimately lets down its predecessors. The saving point is that kids will enjoy the film and find the 3D awesome, but we adults will find it contrite, boring and un-amusing. Extinction may not be so far off for these “Ice Age” characters as this film was a complete disgrace to the series. When all else fails ditch the dinosaurs and head back to the sketch book.