Review by Diana
Director: Carlos Saldanha, Chris Wedge
This is a tale of four non-compatible beings who are traveling together. They are incompatible because they are of different species. When the rest of the known world is migrating away from the glacier fields, Manfred the Mammoth, Sid the Sloth, and Diego the Sabre-tooth Tiger are heading north. They have stumbled across a human baby. Sid insists the baby needs to be reunited with it's "tribe," Diego needs to bring the baby alive to Soto, the head of his pack (who is out for vengeance against the humans who have slaughtered members of his pack), but can't get a hold of the baby as long as Manfred is there. Sid, who is so annoying that his family migrated without him for the second year in a row, has attached himself to Manfred, and Manfred goes along because once this mission is accomplished, Sid promises to leave the mammoth alone. Diego doesn't reveal that in addition to conveying the baby to certain death, he's also promised to deliver the other two to his pack, who are hungry and looking for blood. The fourth member of this band is the human baby, who charms them all, learns to walk while in their care, and gets comfortable with his foster family.
It sounds like a common Disney tale, but unfortunately, it's not a Disney tale. The craftsmanship that marks a Disney product wasn't there. More importantly, Disney writes a story, then fits the elements into it. This movie suffers from a desire to be clever and funny -- it was built around a running gag concerning a ratty-type of creature trying to bury his acorn during an impending ice age. In addition, having three accomplished comedians like Romano, Leguizamo and Leary is bound to be a problem with some aspects of the story. Do you showcase the comedians? Or the story? (As for the comedians, it's John Leguizamo in the lead -- Leary and Romano don't shine so well, being relegated to being straightmen for Leguizamo's brand of looniness. Works okay, but I kept wanting the tiger to go off on a rant ...)
That said, it was still an enjoyable movie. The comic geniuses strain to be contained in the script. The computer-generated images were a bit plasticky, but they matched the whole "modelled" look of the movie. They were not going after the more realistic efforts of Shrek. Watching Sid waddle through the snow made me laugh every time.
There are deliberate tear-jerker moments and purposefully structures suspenseful scenes (both which sometimes lasted too long), and a happy ending and resurrection. A good family movie, but there is a fight and deaths, so parents of young children beware.