Finally, we’ve got a bit of a break. The last couple of months have been relentless in the movie world. The studios have piled on the big-budget blockbusters every weekend and, frankly, it’s been exhausting.
But this weekend, Ice Age: Continental Drift is the only movie being given a wide release. Mostly that’s because the studios know that in a couple weeks one of the most anticipated films of all time is hitting theatres. We’ll all be lining up to get in and see the next instalment of one of the most beloved film franchises of all time.
Yes, we’re only two weeks away from Step Up: Revolution.
Also, I guess there’s a new Batman movie being released next week. But whatever guys, Step Up: Revolution! They’re taking it to the streets. But harder this time. I’ll see you at the 12 a.m. screening on the 27th.
But back to Ice Age: Continental Drift for a little while. Culturally, it’s long been acceptable for intelligent adults to be seen at Pixar movies, but other than Shrek there really haven’t been any other animated films that have broken through with older audiences.
Whether it’s the Ice Age franchise or Madagascar, most of Dreamworks’ and 20th Century Fox’s animated releases have felt completely interchangeable. There are funny animals that sing and dance and go on wacky adventures, but there’s not much substance.
From a critical standpoint, every bone in my body wants to stand on top of a mountain and praise Pixar while bashing all the other animation studios. I’d like to believe that they can, and should, be aspiring to the same storytelling standards we’ve come to expect from Pixar.
But I’m probably wrong. Kids love this stuff. In fact, they probably love watching a woolly mammoth fart way more than the five-minute silent vignette at the beginning of Up. And you know what? The idea of a woolly mammoth farting is hilarious. If scientists ever clone a woolly mammoth (and good God I hope they clone a woolly mammoth) and I get to see it at a zoo, I really hope it farts. Some things are just timeless.
So I’m not going to get on my high horse about the higher standard to which we hold Pixar. Especially because, as it turns out, there’s a whole lot to like about Ice Age: Continental Drift.
For one thing, we’re finally seeing the collaboration between Ray Romano and Drake that we’ve spent so long begging for. Yes, Drizzy loves Raymond, and yes, someone needs to make a buddy cop movie starring these two right now.
Also, the plot summary on IMDb promises “the greatest adventure of all” for the franchise’s three main characters, but the next sentence immediately explains that Sid reunites with his grandmother. That’s apparently a major plot point. Major enough to merit one of the four sentences in the plot summary. She’s described as cantankerous (which is a weirdly long word for the plot description of a kids’ movie), but the two sentences don’t really seem to relate to one another.
I really mean no disrespect to any of my hordes of adventurous elderly readers here. Y’all are the lifeblood of Reel Talk’s readership and you know we love you around these parts. But as much as I adore both of my grandmothers, the majority of great adventures in my life haven’t involved reunions with either of them.
Anyways, Ice Age: Continental Drift is a movie. It’s probably not worth getting worked up about one way or another. I hope the mammoth farts.