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Overall Rating
4.19

Awesome51.3%
Worth A Look: 26.62%
Average: 16.23%
Pretty Bad: 1.3%
Total Crap: 4.55%

7 reviews, 112 user ratings


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Ice Age
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Fast and funny. Scrat rules."
4 stars

Normally I don't much go for computer-animated movies ('Antz' was an exception), but 'Ice Age' -- released, ironically, by 20th Century-Fox -- is about as close as digital feature-length toons have come to the glory days of Warner Bros.' Looney Toons.

This is really the first computer-generated movie I can recall that couldn't have been done almost as well in stop-motion, and its technique doesn't feel like the tail wagging the dog -- it wears its visual virtuosity lightly. Perhaps all this is only a roundabout way of saying that Ice Age, almost alone among these bits-and-bytes things, is funny enough to win me over.

Take Scrat, the squirrel-rat mix instantly beloved by anyone who saw him exerting himself in the ads (that's only the beginning of his trials in the movie). Scrat, easily the runaway star of Ice Age, is a wonderful wordless creation -- an icon of mute, hapless indomitability to rival Wile E. Coyote. Every time he shows up toting his cherished acorn, the audience perks up, and the movie always rewards our anticipation. Resilient and single-minded, Scrat exists to be trampled and defeated. It's terrible to say this, but Scrat is probably the best character we've gotten in any new movie during this wretched first quarter of 2002. You understand exactly what he wants, you want him to succeed, and you laugh when he doesn't.

The main throughline of Ice Age is a rather routine quest. An infant boy has been separated from his village by a pack of vengeful sabertooth tigers. Enter Manfred (voice by Ray Romano), a slow-moving, jaded mammoth, and Sid (John Leguizamo), a motormouth sloth. The baby shows up at their feet; they determine to bring him back to his people. This is all Manfred needs: sighing heavily with disgust, he's already been pushed near the limits of his patience by the craven and incurably annoying Sid. There's a bit of Shrek-and-the-Donkey dynamic in this, but Shrek was far from the first movie to work that angle, and the perpetually dissatisfied-sounding Romano and the eager, extroverted Leguizamo make a likable team. Sighing even more heavily, Manfred agrees to help the baby.

Complicating matters is the sabertooth Diego (Denis Leary), charged by his leader with the task of capturing the infant alive. Diego hooks up with the trio, offering to lead them to the baby's family, but really plotting to lure them into an ambush. Of course, he gradually grows to like his companions, setting up a genuine redemptive character arc -- in a computer cartoon for kids? This might not have worked so well if not for the voice of Leary, who specializes in characters who growl and snarl but grudgingly let themselves soften into compassion. When a sourball like Denis Leary goes human, it counts for something, even if he's a tiger.

There are a couple of fine setpieces -- a whizzing trip through a mountain of ice (featuring some good sight gags involving things preserved in the ice), a volcanic eruption that forces our heroes to hop from peak to peak. The baby toddles along, giggling and cooing, saved from terminal cuteness by his Icelandic features -- he looks like a miniature Bj÷rk and stares at everything with fascinated incomprehension. There's a moral -- "Work together and watch each other's back" -- but it isn't pressed too hard. The animation has a deadpan-skittish quality; the comic timing harks back to Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones. There's hardly a whiff of Disney anywhere near Ice Age, a vast relief for the Mouse-phobes among us.

There's a slight, somewhat disquieting subtext: At least two of the heroes, Manfred and Diego, are helping a species that has been known to decimate their kind. Except for the burbling baby, mankind is not viewed fondly in Ice Age; it's the critters' story, and eventually a detente of sorts is reached between the species -- not that it ultimately did the mammoths or the sabertooths any good.

When the heroes wander off towards the frozen horizon, we may note with some sadness that two-thirds of the group wouldn't be around much longer. But then Scrat is brought on for one last bit of business, and all of that is forgotten.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5798&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/26/07 04:20:44
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User Comments

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11/14/14 Fredric Could you transfer $1000 from my current account to my deposit account? <a href=" htt 3 stars
11/14/14 Porfirio What's the last date I can post this to to arrive in time for Christmas? <a href=" h 3 stars
11/13/14 Lindsay What's the last date I can post this to to arrive in time for Christmas? <a href=" h 5 stars
11/13/14 Hannah What's the last date I can post this to to arrive in time for Christmas? <a href=" h 3 stars
11/10/14 Pierre Could you transfer $1000 from my current account to my deposit account? <a href=" htt 2 stars
10/24/14 Jose I'd like to open a business account <a href=" ">bimatoprost online reviews</a> In the pas 4 stars
4/14/13 Homo habilis I would rather be gored by a woolly rhinoceros than watch this movie again 2 stars
12/24/09 Jeff Wilder Not bad. But Shrek and Monsters Inc were better. 3 stars
5/03/09 Dane Youssef Ice Age melts you heart. Dreamworks' "Ice Age" brings more magic than Disney has in ages. 4 stars
1/13/09 Anonymous. a really good animated film and there are cmnts of a major perv under this. :D 4 stars
8/23/08 Little Buddy Released after Titan A.E and Anastasia. 5 stars
7/24/08 Shaun Wallner My daughter loves this movie! 5 stars
5/19/08 PAUL SHORTT CRACKLES WITH SLICK, EYE-CATCHING ANIMATION AND OFF-THE-WALL-HUMOUR 3 stars
2/18/08 Pamela White just like Jungle Book in the snow 4 stars
10/19/07 mb Not Lasting 3 stars
10/15/07 MP Bartley Better than the overrated Shrek and Finding Nemo 5 stars
5/23/07 caity IT WAS GREAT!!!! 5 stars
2/03/07 David Pollastrini great animation 4 stars
1/26/07 JR The whole fam watched with glee...and a few tears as well. Great! 5 stars
11/13/06 cody one better pixar disney movies that even good for older kids to watch. 4 stars
11/04/06 becky this one was not even close to great. it was average at best 3 stars
10/02/06 Lisa Craven One best kids' movies out there...loved the characters and plot 5 stars
6/05/06 Wipef Funny and touching 5 stars
4/10/06 chris f totally rocks great movie!!! 5 stars
12/14/05 cartoon mania i LOVE Sid, he is some character 5 stars
11/26/05 Kimberly wang It is the best movie i ever saw! 5 stars
11/16/05 Steven Brady Piece of Garbage 1 stars
10/12/05 Tom Burns a good kids movie. adults can enjoy it too. 5 stars
8/22/05 kerry smith best movie ever 5 stars
8/11/05 ES meh 3 stars
7/31/05 rdb I loved it, it rocks, ice age rules!!!!! 5 stars
7/25/05 Luke BlackAdder This is the worstest film ever made 1 stars
7/05/05 Mark Radburn Prehistoric mammals Suck. Thumbs way Down! 1 stars
5/04/05 Quigley the football spoof was totally funny, but the one who steals the show is the dinky squirrel 5 stars
4/01/05 Carolyn Cherry I liked It 4 stars
3/26/05 hannaho Fun, but still no match for any Pixar film. 4 stars
3/26/05 Denise Very funny! 5 stars
3/24/05 me It ain't bad, but I found it somewhat empty 3 stars
3/16/05 Chris Stephens Great Movie lots of fun 4 stars
3/12/05 Alice Colwell loved it 5 stars
3/12/05 STEPHANIE BERMEA THIS FILM IS CUTE AND FUNNY. 4 stars
3/04/05 Littlepurch Perhaps not as good as the Pixar ones but stil great and my 9-year-old cousin jus loves it" 5 stars
2/14/05 Angela Saunders Hilarious, great addition for a child or adults DVD librabry. 4 stars
1/22/05 veronica Cruz i think is a really good movie. it,s one of my favorites. i love it! 5 stars
1/09/05 Luke Blackadder Ice Age is Gay and it sucks 1 stars
12/01/04 bob Great movie, loved it, classic 5 stars
11/20/04 Mark Ice Age is the Worst Movie ever, Prehistoric Mammals suck 1 stars
10/23/04 mike kinnish very good film for kids and adults 5 stars
7/08/04 Denise cute 4 stars
6/03/04 Daveman Good, but not very original. 3 stars
5/31/04 Nobody Funny the first time...boring after a while 4 stars
3/26/04 bikehorn I have animated films. But I love this one. I even cried, worth a look 5 stars
2/18/04 Adrian Swift Fantastic! But wheres the Talking Sid the Sloth plushy? 5 stars
1/27/04 Katie Malone Great film, animation could've been better . . . 4 stars
12/10/03 Tdeee the best 5 stars
8/19/03 I Would Once again, as they did in Antz, Dreamworks demonstrate their inferiority to Disney/Pixar. 3 stars
6/16/03 monkey slayer not the most original one on the block, but makes up for it in humor and style. excellent. 5 stars
6/10/03 Goofy Maxwell Not a glacial shift in CGI, but when parched, even the clink of ice-cubes is refreshing. 4 stars
5/23/03 Mr. Do Breathtaking animations, superb expressions on the faces.. I love this one. 5 stars
4/17/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" Lyrik Hilarious homage to Looney Tunes. 5 stars
3/24/03 Jenny This is a movie that no one can beat 5 stars
3/03/03 Francy This movie gives freshness to old cartoon clichÚs with new interesting ideas. 5 stars
2/07/03 Turtle It reminded me a lot of Shrek and Monsters Inc., but only better. 5 stars
1/07/03 Maggie The squirrel was absolutely spectaculat :D 5 stars
1/06/03 Charles Tatum Funnier than "Shrek," love David Newman's score 5 stars
1/05/03 Punk_Ass The characters were funny, predicatible story but wtf, i was entertained. Scrat Rocks! 4 stars
12/26/02 Chad Wonderful-- Sid is God 5 stars
12/12/02 Josh Makes you appreciate the hard work of Disney and Pixar 3 stars
12/10/02 Keith Good graphics, but boring and predictable. 3 stars
11/23/02 Jon Gotta love that squirrel... 4 stars
10/28/02 Zaharin Hamid aka The Movie Samseng A combination of Shrek and Monsters Inc. It's worth a watch. Ray Romano you rock! 4 stars
9/03/02 palaboy101 its in the same league as "Toy Story", "Shrek", and "Monsters Inc." 5 stars
8/08/02 ! Entertaining stuff! 5 stars
7/05/02 TEUN:) Very GOOODDDDD 5 stars
6/02/02 Chris If this dones't seem all that fresh, know it was made before Shrek or Monsters Inc. 5 stars
5/30/02 Keith Comeford A fun movie, but feels awful derivative of Disney and Pixar stuff. 3 stars
4/29/02 ReD_OrB SCRAT IS THE SUPREME RULER OF THE WORLD i'm gona buy an acorn see ya 5 stars
4/25/02 AgentDS I just looooooove that squirrel 4 stars
4/25/02 Rachel B. Kickass film...especially Sid..."Uncle Fungis?" 5 stars
4/21/02 Katrin Mechler und Matthias FŘchtenkordsjŘrgen The best we have seen !!! Laugh laugh and laugh ..... laughpain when you see this film 5 stars
4/19/02 john deven this movie is the shit!!! must see this film 5 stars
4/19/02 Richard vause I am a retard 5 stars
4/18/02 Steve Brown Average - lots of animation cock-ups 3 stars
4/18/02 Hannah Ritz SCRAT RULES 5 stars
4/17/02 ESta GREAT! I love it! Very funny at all! 4 stars
4/17/02 reinhard Lambacher Very good, lovley 1 stars
4/16/02 kelvin torres this movie is even better than shrek 5 stars
4/15/02 Emele Darkstar This movie was friggin' cool...even for a kid's movie. Denis Leary is great. Go Diego! 5 stars
4/14/02 sevasti giannaki i never stoped laughing! I also cryed once 5 stars
4/13/02 Thor-Leo Didn't laugh once 3 stars
4/12/02 Lyndsi I loved this movie. It was brilliantly advertised too. 5 stars
4/11/02 Jimmy This is truly a film for all ages. I loved it! Now where in the hell are the film's action 4 stars
4/11/02 Sputnik I laughed harder than all the little kids in the theater put together! 5 stars
4/09/02 Ilia B. Best CG Cartoon Ever! 5 stars
4/04/02 Spanky Beginning and the end are the only funny parts. I hope you like animal falling down jokes. 1 stars
4/04/02 lauren mccreight it's no Shrek....buts its good. 4 stars
4/01/02 spaceworm Yet another CGI animated film better than the over rated SHREK. 5 stars
3/25/02 Michael Grimm don't understand the average reviews, I'm 28 and I laughed ALOT!!! 5 stars
3/22/02 orpy Not bad, great for kids 4 stars
3/21/02 Nightwing Better then Fianl Fuckingpee 5 stars
3/19/02 James It lacked some of the humor that I've come to expect from other cgi movies. 3 stars
3/17/02 Julian LOL, I absolutely loved it! 5 stars
3/17/02 Rampage much better than Antz 5 stars
3/16/02 J I dunno OK, I'm in agreement with 95% of the raters here. 5 stars
3/16/02 Overkiller Fucking Awesome? It's only Friday morning! Just how many people were at YOUR sneak preview? 3 stars
3/15/02 TimmyTomorrow Best movie this year!!! 5 stars
3/14/02 kathesmith Best cartoon I seen this year! Layouts are incredible! 5 stars
3/14/02 linda higham all your thumbs up & then some 5 stars
3/14/02 Mike Kaz awesome!! very funny, and a VERY differnt look. 5 stars
3/13/02 skafunkrastapunk a great film. it has heart. you won't be disappointed. 5 stars
3/12/02 Jesus Christ The world is only 4000 years old, this could not have happened. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  15-Mar-2002 (PG)
  DVD: 14-Mar-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  21-Mar-2002




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