Ice Age: Continental Drift Blu-ray Review

The mix of prehistoric creatures from the ICE AGE series has already returned a human baby to its tribe, survived a massive flood and faced off against dinosaurs. Now, in the fourth entry in the franchise, CONTINENTAL DRIFT, the troupe finds themselves lost and threatened by a band of pirates.

Ice Age Continental Drift

In the latest adventure, wooly mammoth Manny (voiced by Ray Ramono), saber-toothed tiger Diego (Denis Leary), sloth Sid (John Leguizamo), and Sid’s Granny (Wanda Sykes, in case anyone wants to hear what Wanda Sykes sounds like as an old woman) wind up on a slab of ice, adrift in the middle of the ocean. It doesn’t take long for it to be overtaken by a simian named Captain Grutt (Peter Dinklage, GAME OF THRONES) and his merry gang, which includes a rabbit named Squint (Aziz Ansari, PARKS AND RECREATION), an elephant seal named Flynn (Nick Frost, HOT FUZZ) and a saber-toothed tiger named Shira (Jennifer Lopez, GIGLI), who we know right off the bat will become a love interest for Diego.

Ice Age Continental Drift

Also making their due appearances are Manny’s mate Ellie (Queen Latifah), their daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer), twin possums Crash and Eddie (Seann William Scott and Josh Peck), the acorn-loving Scrat (Chris Wedge) and plenty more.  No matter where the movies may take these characters, kids (that is, the target audience) love seeing the familiar faces every few years. (Why else would the movies continue to gross hundreds of millions of dollars?) They will likely sit enthralled at the exciting chases and amused at the antics and quips. That’s enough for them to not care or notice that the overall quality of the movies declines with each entry.

Ice Age Continental Drift

But for the rest of us, it’s all just more of the same. Each new ICE AGE addition can bring in as many new animals and as many new voice actors as it wants, but that doesn’t help that we’re watching the same thing Blue Sky Studios has been showing us for a decade now.

The series has gotten very stale since 2002’s original, so far the only in the series to be nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar. Directors Steve Martino (HORTON HEARS A WHO! and a pair of ICE AGE shorts) and Mike Thurmeier (co-director of the third ICE AGE entry, 2009’s DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS, and the Oscar-nominated Scrat-centric short NO TIME FOR NUTS) aren’t necessarily to blame. They do their job of keeping the whole show moving smoothly for its 88-minute runtime and concocting new adventures that will be lively enough for the little ones.

Ice Age Continental Drift

It’s likely that ICE AGE 5 will come to theaters around 2015. It’s also likely it will make more than $750 million worldwide, which will in turn suggest a sixth entry. To maintain interest from parents, Blue Sky and Fox should consider giving Manny and the herd a break from the big screen and letting them survive only in made-for-television holiday specials for a few years.

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video: 2.40:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. As is the case with just about all computer-animated films, ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT looks absolutely incredible on Blu-ray. The high-definition video is pristine, popping with bright colors and presenting flawless detail and dimension throughout.

Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1; French Dolby Digital 5.1. The audio presentation, too, is without faults. John Powell’s score sounds great and all of the effects come through very nicely to add to the adventure.

Ice Age Continental Drift

Party with a Pirate! Mode: Viewers have the option of watching ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT with the occasional commentary from rabbit Squint, voiced by Aziz Ansari.

ICE AGE: The Story So Far (9:29): This compilation offers an overview of the (so far) four movies in the ICE AGE series.

Missing Links (1:46): Only two deleted scenes (that never made it past storyboard) are included. They are: “Dr. Granny” and “Shell Game.”

Through a Pirate’s Spyglass (25:57): This making-of featurette looks the voice talent and new characters of CONTINENTAL DRIFT.

Granny and the Stink of the Sloths (9:12) focuses on Sid’s family. Included are clips and interviews with the crew.

Whale of a Tale: Drifts, Rifts, Beasties and Myths (24:05): Here, a number of interviewees look at both the science-centric aspects of the movie and the similarities to Homer’s “The Odyssey.”

Scrat Got Your Tongue? (7:03) focuses solely on the lovable Scrat and his many misadventures.

The Scratist (2:11): Scrat spoofs 2011’s Best Picture winner THE ARTIST

Shimmy Shake Music Section is divided into four sections: “Gutt’s Sing-Along Shanty Shimmy Shake,” “‘We Are’ Extended Music Video,” “‘Chasing the Sun’ by The Wanted,” “and The Sid Shuffle.”

Theatrical Trailers

Also included is a DVD/Digital Copy.

OVERALL 3.5
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