Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Ice Age: Continental Drift": A Good Concept Set Asea 

Wednesday, Jul 11 2012

Geologic time might not register the mere decade that has elapsed since the first Ice Age movie, but in that interval, the animated-franchise world has widened, and now delight dissipates. What keeps this improbably extinction-resistant series alive must be the Sisyphean tenacity of its mascot, the acorn-chasing prehistoric squirrel, Scrat. As is revealed in a Looney Tunes-worthy prologue (formerly the freestanding short Scrat's Continental Crack-Up), it's thanks to this one dotty varmint that the supercontinent Pangaea first went to pieces. Thereafter, filler: a family divided by tectonic upheaval, with mammoth Manny (Ray Romano), smilodon Diego (Denis Leary), and sloth Sid (John Leguizamo), plus Sid's feisty grandma (Wanda Sykes), adrift and imperiled on an iceberg, while on land, Manny's wife, Ellie (Queen Latifah), monitors their teenage daughter, Peaches (Keke Palmer), newly more into fellow-mammoth cool kids (Drake, Nicki Minaj, Heather Morris) than her doting mole hog pal (Josh Gad). And because that's not yet plotty enough, Diego, too, gets a love interest, a big kitty with the voice of Jennifer Lopez. Directors Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier do up the stuff of oceanic epic — pirates, sirens, perfect storms — and seem attuned to their performers, not least an aptly knavish Peter Dinklage as the pirates' primate captain. But the best bits are basic and all but voiceless: those Scrat-intensive set pieces, still inspiredly squirrelly if much too far apart. Poignant, then, to see Continental Drift preceded by a Simpsons short that's also dialogue free — and more dolefully funny and narratively controlled than that series has been in years.

About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"