Ice AgeIce Age (2002) Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film
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- Blue Sky Studios, Twentieth Century Fox Animation
- Animated Characters: Manfred, Sid, Diego, Soto, Zeke, Rhino, Start, Saber-Tooth Tiger, Dodo, Sloth, Glypto.
- Awards: Academy Award Nominee, Best Animated Feature, 2003.
Nominee, Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie, Ray Romano, Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, 2003.
Nominee, Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie, Dennis Leary, Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, 2003.
- Originally Released in 2002.
- Running Time: 81 minutes.
Cartoon Production Information:
Canadian title: "The Ice Age."
I couldn't imagine a more hopeless premise than following the adventures of a wooly mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano, no less), a sloth (John Leguizamo), and a saber-toothed tiger ("The Job's" Denis Leary) trekking away from an ice age, in yet another animated version of a "road" movie. If the movie has any weakness--and there aren't many--it's in the story's very derivative set-up. The coming of a new era that causes animals to herd in a new direction is faintly reminiscent of Disney's Dinosaur, while the wimpy sidekick who finds grudging support from a hulking superior is an obvious copy of Shrek's taking-off point.
But from there, this movie defies all expectations. The characters are as richly realized, in voice and in animated expression, as any live-action could hope for. The settings are otherworldly and yet extremely vivid. There's a bit of schmaltz in the reason for the animals' journey, but because the groundwork for it is laid out by the writers, it's heartfelt rather than contrived. And this movie, like Shrek, has such terrific gags and on-the-nose pacing as to make modern live-action comedies an embarrassment.
The voice casting is offbeat and yet oddly perfect. In particular, Ray Romano is the last person I'd have considered to play a Humphrey Bogart, "I stick my neck out for no one" type, even in cartoon form. But he's a delight. The animators have given his character fully realized form and expression; Romano gives him the heart.
The movie's credits are stacked with animation wizards who have very few or no other films on their resume. Watching the movie, you get the feeling that some go-for-broke Fox executive decided to let some cut-ups do something original for a change. It can only mean great things for future animated films.
Review By: Steve Bailey
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