While recent animated blockbusters have aimed to viewers of all ages starting with fantastical concepts and breathtaking visuals but tackling complex emotional issues along the way Ice Age: Continental Drift is crafted especially for the wee ones — and it works. Venturing back to prehistoric times once again the fourth Ice Age film paints broad strokes on the theme of familial relationships throwing in plenty of physical comedy along the way. The movie isn't that far off from one of the many Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels: not particularly innovative or necessary but harmless thrilling fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Unless they have a particular distaste for wooly mammoths the kids will love it.
Ice Age: Continental Drift continues to snowball its cartoon roster bringing back the original film's trio (Ray Romano as Manny the Mammoth Denis Leary as Diego the Sabertooth Tiger and John Leguizamo as Sid the Sloth) new faces acquired over the course of the franchise (Queen Latifah as Manny's wife Ellie) and a handful of new characters to spice things up everyone from Nicki Minaj as Manny's daughter Steffie to Wanda Sykes as Sid's wily grandma. The whole gang is living a pleasant existence as a herd with Manny's biggest problem being playing overbearing dad to the rebellious daughter. Teen mammoths they always want to go out and play by the waterfall! Whippersnappers.
The main thrust of the film comes when Scratch the Rat (whose silent comedy routines in the vein of Tex Avery/WB cartoons continue to be the series highlight) accidentally cracks the singular continent Pangea into the world we know today. Manny Diego and Sid find themselves stranded on an iceberg once again forced on a road trip journey of survival. The rest of the herd embarks to meet them giving Steffie time to realize the true meaning of friendship with help from her mole pal Louis (Josh Gad).
The ham-handed lessons may drag for those who've passed Kindergarten but Ice Age: Continental Drift is a lot of fun when the main gang crosses paths with a group of villainous pirates. (Back then monkeys rabbits and seals were hitting the high seas together pillaging via boat-shaped icebergs. Obviously.) Quickly Ice Age becomes an old school pirate adventure complete with maritime navigation buried treasure and sword fights. Gut (Peter Dinklage) an evil ape with a deadly... fingernail leads the evil-doers who pose an entertaining threat for the familiar bunch. Jennifer Lopez pops by as Gut's second-in-command Shira the White Tiger and the film's two cats have a chase scene that should rouse even the most apathetic adults. Hearing Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) belt out a pirate shanty may be worth the price of admission alone.
With solid action (that doesn't need the 3D addition) cartoony animation and gags out the wazoo Ice Age: Continental Drift is entertainment to enjoy with the whole family. Revelatory? Not quite. Until we get a feature length silent film of Scratch's acorn pursuit we may never see a "classic" Ice Age film but Continental Drift keeps it together long enough to tell a simple story with delightful flare that should hold attention spans of any length. Massive amounts of sugar not even required.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
Earlier this year (11), ABC network bosses announced All My Children will come to an end in September (11) after 41 years on air, while One Life To Live will also be scrapped following a 43-year run.
But the shows look set to dominate the 38th annual Daytime Emmys - All My Children, which has 13 nominations, is up for Outstanding Drama Series, competing against The Bold and the Beautiful, General Hospital and The Young and the Restless, while its stars Alicia Minshew, Debbi Morgan and Ricky Paull Goldin will all do battle in the Leading Drama Actor categories.
All My Children's Melissa Claire Egan will go up against One Life To Live actress Bree Williamson for Best Supporting Drama Actress title, alongside the likes of Julie Pinson (As The World Turns), Heather Tom (The Bold and the Beautiful) and Tricia Cast (The Young and the Restless), while Williamson's co-star Brian Kerwin will fight for Best Supporting Drama Actor, a category which includes Jonathan Jackson and Jason Thompson from General Hospital.
Medical drama series General Hospital leads the nominations with 21, while The Young and The Restless garnered 20 and children's show Sesame Street earned 16.
Comedienne-turned-talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is also set for a big night after taking 12 nods, including Outstanding Talk Show - pitting The Ellen DeGeneres Show against The View, Regis & Kelly and Rachael Ray.
DeGeneres' hit programme also gained recognition for direction, set design and make-up, although the star herself failed to land a nomination for Outstanding Talk Show Host - a title she has won four times before. Instead, The View's star-studded line-up - consisting of Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Barbara Walters - will battle against the presenters of Regis & Kelly, Rachael Ray, The Doctors and Dr. Oz for the top TV category.
The nominees for the 2011 Daytime Emmy Awards, which celebrate the best in U.S. TV production, were announced early on Wednesday (11May11).
The winners will be unveiled at a ceremony in Las Vegas on 19 June (11). Actor/comedian Wayne Brady will host.