Genre: CG Animation
Director: Carlos Saldanha, Michael Thurmeier
Cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Simon Pegg, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Chris Wedge
RunTime:1 hr 34 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Official Website: http://www.iceagemovie.com/
Opening Day: 1 July 2009
The sub-zero heroes from the worldwide blockbusters "Ice Age" and "Ice Age: The Meldown" are back, on an incredible adventure...for the ages. Scrat is still trying to nab the ever-elusive nut (while, maybe, finding true love); Manny and Ellie await the birth of their mini-mammoth, Sid the sloth gets into trouble when he creates his own makeshift family by hijacking some dinosaur eggs; and Diego the saber-toothed tiger wonders if he's growing too "soft" hanging with his pals. On a mission to rescue the hapless Sid, the gang ventures into a mysterious underground world, where they have some close encounters with dinosaurs, battle flora and fauna run amuck - and meet a relentless, one-eyed, dino-hunting weasel named Buck.
The money-spinning Fox/Blue Sky’s franchise Ice Age reaches its third instalment with Dawn of the Dinosaurs. With this year lukewarm summer line-up and the apparent backdated release of Disney’s Up, the local summer blockbusters are in desperate need of an entertaining CG animation flick to fill in for the younger (and CG lovers) crowd.
Fox should get ready to welcome the ringing of the registers as our familiar Ice Age buddies are back for more adventure. Manny the mammoth is soon to be a father as his mate Ellie is now heavily pregnant ignoring his other two buddies (for those married guys with single friends, you should be familiar with the predicament), Diego the saber-tooth tiger and Sid the goofy sloth whom have personal crisis of their own to deal with.
But once Sloth got himself into deep trouble for adopting three baby dinosaurs, nothing could stop the buddies from once again embark on a rescue mission together with the boisterous possum brothers, Eddie and Crash from the second instalment.
It’s not a surprise to find new characters added as more sequels are churned out of an existing franchise. Consider DreamWorks’ Shrek series has lots more secondary and new characters, Ice Age 3 has a newcomer as well, a swashbuckling weasel (think a furry Captain Sparrow), Buck voiced by Hot Fuzz’s Simon Pegg to stir up the craziness and kids’ attention. Seriously, it’s really a straight-forward attempt to wring out more adventures for the creatures.
The adrenalin is cranked up even higher as compared to its predecessors as the Ice Age buddies ventures into the prehistoric world of Dinosaurs. With the addition of 3D elements, the many exciting sequences are given more depth and instill a sense of realism. Take the impressive pterodactyls flying attack sequence which flows like a smooth theme park ride. Quite a surprise, consider the recent 3D animation releases (Bolt, Monsters Vs Aliens) were a bit letdown in the 3D department.
The crowd’s favourite, the lovable acorn-obsessed Scrat found a new love this time round, a scheming lady nicknamed Scrattie. As usual, the Scrat universe exists like an interlude, unlike those Pixar shorts that begin before the feature movie, the Scrat sequences are littered throughout the movie instead. His trademark antics will definitely ignite a laugh or two (courtesy of executive producer Chris Wedge) without entirely disconnect you from the rest of the movie. This one maintains the usual wackiness which many will look forward to.
The wizardry team at Blue Sky have outdone themselves again, always the poorer counterparts (Pixar first and DreamWorks second) they deserved credits for coming up with such brilliant imaginary and eye-popping CG (the amazing landscape and creatures), each topping their prior efforts.
To be fair to the adult viewers, Ice Age 3 indeed lacks the intricate plotting of a say typical Pixar’s animation feature. With the occasional funny one-liners and throwaway gags (unless you are one that is easily satisfied like the lady behind me who laughed at the rate of 24 frames per second), the dialogues on the whole are nothing witty nor is it offensive. They don’t really deal with any brainy topics that could brighten your kid’s intelligence except the importance of friendship. The setup is just one excuse after another to toss you in the midst of the action. If you are looking forward to something that is less repetitive and more adult-like then Ice Age 3 is strictly not your cup of tea because this one offers nothing you have not seen before in the first two. Okay maybe the cutesy dinosaur younglings.
One advice to the guys at Blue Sky: The technology is there, it’s time to improve on the script.
(The above rating includes a half star for the digital 3D presentation. The gimmicky 3D technology greatly enhances the action but not the pedestrian storytelling)
Review by Linus Tee