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]
Ortega was choreographing Jackson's comeback concerts when the King of Pop died in June (09).
After he finishing work on This is It, Ortega stepped away from the limelight and even cancelled plans to direct a remake of Footloose - starring Chace Crawford - revealing he wanted to "kick my shoes off and walk in the sand".
Six months after Jackson's death, Ortega is ready to return and has signed up to take the Tony Award-winning In the Heights to the big screen.
And he wants Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the musical about his upbringing in New York neighborhood Washington Heights, to reprise his starring role in the movie.
Ortega tells Daily Variety, "I've seen the show six times on Broadway since it opened. Lin blew me away with his presence and charisma."
Rocker Ozzy Osbourne, whose reality show The Osbournes recently became the biggest hit series in MTV's 21-year history, had a pretty wild childhood, according to excerpts released Monday from the new book Ozzy Unauthorized.
Author Sue Crawford reveals in her book that a young Ozzy tried to commit suicide, joined in gang fights and drank hard.
"The 14-year-old made a noose out of his mother's clothesline, put it over his head, fixed the other end securely to a high gate and jumped from a chair," said an excerpt published in the UK newspaper The Sun.
"My mother was an amateur singer, my father was an amateur drunk," Osbourne was quoted as saying. He also witnessed his father beating his mother and became violent himself.
"In breaks at the age of only 7, he would organize 'hanging squads' where he and his mates would find rope, grab an unsuspecting victim, then 'hang' them in the toilets before letting them go, frightened but unharmed, " Crawford goes on to say.
Osbourne was also a hard drinker who, by the age of 17, spent six weeks in jail for breaking into a shop. During his prison stint, he reportedly smashed another inmate over the head with a metal chamber pot to deflect unwanted advances.
The book also reveals that Osbourne left school at an early age to work several jobs, one as a slaughterman, killing 250 cattle a day and gutting sheep. "It fostered his weird reputation for a fascination with animals and death," it said.
Osbourne, now 53, recently sang at Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee concert, also known as the Party in the Palace, which attracted well over a million people to Buckingham Palace on June 3.
Ozzy Unauthorized will be published in July 2002 by Michael O'Mara Books.
After Anne Heche's heartfelt interview with Barbara Walters on ABC's 20/20 Wednesday night, where she talked about her own mental illness due to years of sexual abuse by her father, it was revealed by Walters that Heche is indeed 3 months pregnant. She and the baby's father, Coleman Laffoon, were married Saturday.
On the other side of town, Ellen DeGeneres is keeping tight-lipped about her ex-girlfriend's recent news. Instead, DeGeneres is concentrating on promoting her new CBS sitcom The Ellen Show, as well as hosting the upcoming Emmy Awards, Sept. 16. "My life is back on track now and I'm really grateful and thrilled to be working again. I've got so much going on right now that I don't need to be distracted. I'm just working on me," DeGeneres told reporters during a press conference yesterday.
Super model Cindy Crawford has given birth to her second child with husband Rande Gerber, a girl, Kaya Jordan Gerber. The baby was born Monday in Los Angeles and weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces. The couple already has a son, Presley Walker Gerber, 2.
Country singer Trace Adkins and his wife, Rhonda, had their second daughter, Brianna Rhea Adkins, Tuesday. The couple has another daughter and Adkins has two teen-age daughters from a previous marriage.
The Kennedy Center announced Wednesday the recipients to their prestigious 23rd annual Kennedy Center Honors, including actors Julie Andrews, 65 and Jack Nicholson, 64; opera star Luciano Pavarotti, 65; composer and music producer Quincy Jones, 68; and concert pianist Van Cliburn, 67. The gala event will take place on Dec. 2.
Rapper mogul Sean Combs has had a series of incidents with the court system. Most recently Combs was ordered to pay $350 for pleading guilty to clear-cutting environmentally protected plants around his East Hampton estate, which he also had to restore. As well, he is being threatened with arrest for failing to appear in New York City's family court, where he is being sued for child support by Kim Porter, mother of Combs' three-year-old son. And finally, he was cleared of charges in Miami of passing several cars in a motor scooter last April 14; the case was dismissed.
A federal grand jury indicted country singer LeAnn Rimes' former bodyguard and personal trainer, Robert Lavetta Iadevaia Jr. for extortion. He allegedly threatened to sell personal information and photos of Rimes to the tabloids if he wasn't paid off. Lavetta has pleaded innocent.
Aaliyah's family will make their first public statement about the tragic death of the R&B singer at the MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday night at New York's Lincoln Center. Aaliyah's brother, Rashad Haughton, is scheduled to make the address following a tribute to his sister. As well, Michael Jackson is reportedly going to perform at the show with a surprise guest. The show will air on MTV at 8 p.m. ET.
Carlos Santana and Spanish recording artist Hevia will perform at the 2nd Annual Latin Grammy Awards, joining Christina Aguilera, Marc Anthony, Nelly Furtado and many others. The show airs on CBS Sept. 11 at 9 p.m. ET.
VH1 and VH1.com announced the return of My VH1 Music Awards, the first only fully interactive music awards show. The first show aired in November 2000; music fans were able to design the show from start-to-finish by logging onto VH1.com to suggest and vote for categories, nominees, winners and more. The second show will air on VH1 Dec. 2 at 9 p.m. ET from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
25,000 specially-made Harry Potter coins were sold out in under five hours in London. Fans of the novels revolving around a teenage wizard and his adventures scrambled to get a hold of the collector's coin, which on one side features Harry casting a spell and on the other the image of the British monarch, which was apporved by Queen Elizabeth herself. The coins are official legal tender on the Isle of Man only.
The world's longest-running musical, The Fantasticks, will finally shut down production Jan. 6, 2002, due to dwindling grosses and the rising cost of production. The show, a classic boy-meets-girl love story with some memorable tunes including "Try to Remember," had been playing the Sullivan Street Playhouse, a theater in Greenwich Village, since May 3, 1960.
Anchorwoman Paula Zahn, who was recently fired from Fox News Channel for breach of contract, landed a job anchoring a new morning broadcast on CNN. According to Fox News, Zahn, whose contract with them was to last through February 2002, was let go when it was discovered her agent, Richard Leibner, had been talking with CNN.