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I recently sat down with Sid,
Diego, Manny, and Scrat too,
To ask them of the good ol’ days
In Ice Age, movies one and two.
“Yeah, I was just fine by myself,
A single sloth all on my own.
Oh, sure, my family migrated
And left me in the tree alone.
And, yeah, I ticked some rhinos off
And made them want to crush my head.
That’s why I teamed with Manny here,
Since I prefer not being dead.
A mammoth’s good to have, you know,
When you’re the food chain’s bottom rung.
He seemed a little standoffish
And didn’t have the nicest tongue.
But then we found a human boy,
A baby, all forlorn and such.
And then, what’s more, Diego came
And seemed to want it very much.
I love the guy, but didn’t then.
(You know how sabretooths can be.)
Together, we all took the boy
To bring him to his family.
I thought it was a great road trip,
Our trio braving miles of snow.
Diego didn’t eat me too.”
“Don’t think I wasn’t tempted though.
I’ll take it from this point now, Sid.
I led the way, since I could track.
My plan, though, was to lead our group
Back to my waiting sabre pack.
The human men had hunted us,
So vengeance was our only goal.
Yet, as I went, I grew to like
The ankle biter, on the whole.
And then when Manny saved my life,
I couldn’t trick them anymore.
I told the truth and all of us
Outfoxed my former pack, all four.
Though I was hurt, my buddies here
Returned the squirt without a word.
But I rejoined them afterward.
Our motley bunch was now a herd.”
“I’ve asked myself why ever since.
It’s one long headache with these two,
Mainly Sid. Why, once he tried
To start a camp for kids. It’s true.
Of course, they would have buried him
If I had not been there to save
His sorry hide. That’s ‘bout the time
We almost met a watery grave.
The ice was melting all around.
We had to journey to a boat
Because a flood was coming soon,
And mammoths don’t exactly float.
See, I was feeling rather down.
I thought perhaps I was the last.
I once had had a family,
But that was in the painful past.
Then, Ellie dropped down from a tree,
Another mammoth! That was awesome.
And yet I was a bit perplexed
To see she thought she was a possum.
Apparently, she’d been alone,
And possums raised her from her youth.
Though first she was oblivious,
Eventually she saw the truth.
Her stubborn streak, and mine as well,
Got in the way of love at first.
But when the flood caught up to us,
I helped to get her through the worst.”
“All of you have had your time
To talk about your silly herd,
But I, through four whole Ice Age films
Have never said a single word.
But I feel I must say my peace.
I only ever sought a nut,
Which always has been swept away
By glaciers, floods, and who-knows-what!
I have been stepped on, shocked, and stretched,
Squished and thrown and frozen too,
That acorn still just out of reach.
I don’t know how I’ve lived; do you?
Why, I remember this here flood
These other three have spoken of.
I broke a wall to let it drain
And had a vision from above.
A lovely wonderland of nuts,
An acorn heaven void of strife,
Was to be mine, but then this sloth
Came by and brought me back to life!
I want a nut! Is that too much
For some filmmaker to arrange?
Why, even now it’s out of reach.
I tell ya, some things never change.”

Ice Age is a franchise that has spanned a decade, and, while it may have gone on a bit too long for some people, there’s no denying the charm and entertainment value of the original. True, the animation is lackluster and the story is derivative, drawing from previous films like Dinosaur and Monsters, Inc., and it falls prey to the he’s-dead-no-wait-never-mind cliché. But, as with The Road to El Dorado, the main appeal is in the characters and their voice actors. Ray Romano as Manny, Denis Leary as Diego, and especially John Leguizamo as Sid become such endearing characters that it’s easy to see why the film spawned three sequels. Not to mention Scrat, one of the greatest slapstick characters of recent years.

I myself have only seen the first film and its immediate follow-up Ice Age: The Meltdown, which I like just about as much. Blue Sky Studios’ animation had greatly improved by then, and the action, laughs, and lovable characters were still plentiful, even if some elements are inexplicable, such as the existence of that MacGuffin of a Noah’s ark and the sudden appearance of the other mammoths at the end. I have thus grouped the films together since they are more of a piece than some franchises, but both films are definitely list-worthy.

I will also say at this point that this review marks the end of my long string of animated films. These films are all worthwhile, but I felt that better, more adult movies deserved a higher place. Thus, these were somewhat clumped together. Thanks to those still hanging with me.

Best line (from the first): (Manny, when Diego has Sid in his mouth) “Diego, spit that out. You don’t know where it’s been.” (Diego complies)
(Sid) “For a second there, I actually thought you were gonna eat me.” (Diego) “I don’t eat junk food.”


Artistry: 3
Characters/Actors: 8
Entertainment: 7
Visual Effects: 3
Originality: 3
Watchability: 6
TOTAL: 30 out of 60

Tomorrow: #321: Hitchcock

© 2014 S. G. Liput