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Ice Age

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Ice Age
Ice Age: ©20th Century Fox

Ice Age

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
PG
runtime:
75 minutes
Wide Release Date:
03/15/02
performer:
Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Ray Romano, Jack Black, Kirsten Johnson, Goran Visnjic
director:
Chris Wedge
distributor:
20th Century Fox Film Corporation
author:
75047
genre:
Comedy, animation

We gave it an A

Surely it couldn’t have been planned this way, but along with ”Shrek” and ”Monsters, Inc.,” Ice Age forms a trilogy of thematically related computer-animated cartoons. Like Mike Myers’ green ogre, woolly mammoth Manfred (voiced by the aptly nasal Ray Romano) is an antisocial behemoth who acquires a pain-in-the-ass sidekick — in this case, a lisping sloth named Sid (John Leguizamo). And like ”Monsters, Inc.”’s Mike and Sulley, these creatures have their hearts melted by a lost baby human (here, a primitive tribesman’s son) whom they attempt to return home.

But ”Ice Age” wisely throws in a wildcat: Diego (the menacing Denis Leary), a saber-toothed tiger who may be leading the makeshift ”herd” into an ambush. Like their digital images, all these characters are pleasingly three-dimensional. The comedy’s real secret weapon, though, is Scrat, a squirrel-rat hybrid whose hysterically Sisyphean quest to bury a single acorn continues in ”Gone Nutty,” a short (included on both the VHS and DVD) that, like ”Ice Age,” boasts some of the most inspired animated slapstick since ”Looney Tunes”’ heyday.

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