Continental Drift is not a movie I expected to like. So it's really no surprise that I didn't. The fourth installment in the wildly popular animated series is just a retread of previous installments. These movies are all the same. Something bad happens to the animals, and they try to get back home. But this one really proves that the series has run its course.
Continental Drift begins with the Scrat short that has been shown in front of several movies. Scrat's acorn falls to the center of the earth and he goes and retrieves it and starts the continental shake-up. The film then changes to Manny (Ray Romano) who is living his life with his wife Ellie (Queen Latifah) and his daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer). When the continent the animals are living on breaks apart, Manny, Diego (Denis Leary), Sid (John Leguizamo) and Sid's Grandma (Wanda Sykes) are stranded on an iceberg. They try to get back home, but run into a crew of pirates who they clash with. Meanwhile, Peaches hangs out with a crowd of mammoths all played by rappers and Ellie leads the other animals to a point where they will be safe and they can meet back up with Manny.
First things first, the voice cast is terrible. Romano and the other leads from the previous films are solid again but rappers Nicki Minaj and Drake along with Keke Palmer are absolutely terrible. I've never noticed such poor voice casting as there was in this film. Maybe, they had nothing to work with, but it sure didn't seem like it. The film is entirely predictable as well. I knew pretty much everything that was going to happen in the movie. There are so many subplots too that don't mesh with the story. The directors and screenwriters throw so many plots and so many new characters that you really don't get to know any of them. Heck, I couldn't name half the new characters in this movie. Grandma was mildly funny but she was annoying after a while too.
The worst thing about it is that it is not that funny. At all. I don't remember laughing a ton in other animated movies this summer like Madagascar 3 and Brave, but there was a certain freshness and fun about them that I didn't notice any lack of humor. Ice Age 4 is a plain retread of a film that we've already seen three times and therefore there is no fun in it at all. The pirates are somewhat entertaining, but I swear that Jennifer Lopez's character was in the film only so she could have a musical number with Peter Dinklage's monkey pirate Captain Gutt. The other fact is that this plot doesn't make any sense. The iMDB goofs board points out that continental drift happened way before the ice age even happened. I don't know if that is true, but if that is true then that summarizes the film: dumb. Which actually does summarize the humor and story of the film. There are great animated movies that have something to offer for both kids and adults and those are the good ones. This is purely a kids movie with humor only a five year old will find funny. There are snippets of clever humor that I thought was funny and enjoyed but there is not enough. Some of the action scenes star well but don't go anywhere.
Also, there is a Simpsons short that accompanies the film called The Longest Daycare starring Maggie. It is completely silent and has some funny moments but overall I can't recommend that you drop $10 to see this short.
Ice Age: Continental Drift is a below average animated movie. It's boring and tiresome and appeals directly to kids but because there is nothing else out there but I don't recommend it and I think that the series has run its course. I have an idea for a fifth film though: Ice Age 5: Extinction.
THE FINAL GRADE: D- (2.5/10)