“Ice Age: Collision Course” stars Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, and Simon Pegg. Released on July 22, 2016, the film has Manny, Sid, Diego, and the rest of the crew trying to save their world from an incoming asteroid.
The film is directed by Mike Thurmeier, who also directed Ice Age: Continental Drift and served as a supervising animator for Ice Age, Robots, and Ice Age: The Meltdown. It is the fifth installment in the Ice Age film series. This is one of those animated franchises that I grew up watching that isn’t a part of Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks Animation. Come to think of it, this latest installment of the cartoony, yet entertaining, franchise does make me feel a bit older since I was about eight years old when the first film was released in 2002. So it should feel like a nice stroll down ‘Memory Lane’, right? Well, that’s where things get a little...complicated. I usually thought that Ice Age: Continental Drift was going to be the last film in the franchise, but boy, was I wrong. Thanks to the overseas success of Continental Drift, we are officially at numero cinco in Blue Sky Studios’ ‘box office sensation’. But is it a sequel worth getting?
The main cast reprised their roles as the main characters from the previous films, such as Romano as Manny, Leguizamo as Sid, Leary as Diego, and Latifah as Ellie. All I can say is that they did a nice job. Oh, remember that one-eyed weasel from Dawn of the Dinosaurs who is voiced by Simon Pegg? Buck? He’s back too, along with some of his craziness. He makes a return to help the heroes save the world from an asteroid that’s heading towards them. There’s also a brand new cast of colorful characters that made an appearance, such as Shangri Llama (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Sid’s ‘love interest’, Brooke (Jessie J). These new characters aren’t really that memorable nor do they stand out compared to the main characters, especially the Dromaeosaurs, or dino-birds. They’re just there to make kids laugh instead of adding some character development. The animation, while not as spectacular as the other great animated films of 2016, is quite good. Sure, it’s got that slapstick, cartoonish feel to it, but it’s got plenty of colors and texture to compensate.
If there’s one thing that made the Ice Age series enjoyable, it’s how they blend in the amount of charm with the silly antics of the characters, especially Sid. This sequel, however, seemed to have lost that blend for two reasons. One of them is the story. Compared to the other installments, this one is the weakest of them all. There’s this one part, without spoiling it, that may be important to the relationship between Manny and Ellie, but they only brought it up once or twice. There’s also a “Meet the Parents” plot point that involves Peaches (Keke Palmer) and her fiance, Julian (Adam DeVine). In short, it does feel like that they’re fitting in three stories into one sequel in case the next installment doesn’t get made. The second reason is that they made it way too cartoony for the adults. Everything in this movie is a WTH moment, even its modern pop culture references and Scrat’s pursuit for the acorn didn’t help as much. In fact, the scenes with Scrat and the acorn made me feel like I was watching some torture porn...in cartoon form (poor little guy). Although, I do find the sequence with Buck and the dino-birds to be the biggest WTH moment in the history of WTH moments, in a good way. There were a couple of moments where I laughed, especially Wanda Sykes as Sid’s grandmother, but other than that, the film’s humor is either dumb, obnoxious, or just plain bizarre. Most of the charm found in the franchise just got destroyed by a huge asteroid.
Overall, “Ice Age: Collision Course” is a bizarre, cartoony, and colorful sequel that failed to develop the amount of charm and storytelling that made the franchise a huge success for Blue Sky Studios. I can admit that the animation was good and that some moments made me smile a bit, but they’re not enough to save this species from its weak and generic plot, obnoxious cartoonish humor that appeared every minute or so, and some bland new characters. Like Norm of the North, this film is more suitable for little kids as they seemed to like it more than I do. If you like it as well, that’s perfectly fine. Other than that, it’s a silly, childish sequel that is just as brainless as Buck.