After Ice Age 1 and 2 you know what you’re getting yourself into when you choose to take your kids to Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. A short (94 minutes to be exact) kid friendly film that will most likely bore you while your children laugh.
Ice Age 3 aims and hits with its demographic. The usual cast is back Ray Ramano as the voice of Manny the Mammoth. Queen Latifah is his female partner, Ellie, while John Leguizamo and Denis Leary return to lend their voices to Sid the Sloth and Diego the Sabertooth Tiger.
We find that Ellie is pregnant and Manny is in full father-to-be mode getting ready for the baby. He’s made all the preparations and his newly constructed playground is the envy of the herd. Diego seems to be slipping. He can’t chase down prey anymore. His vision blurs and his breath shortens maybe he’s just getting older. Sid is feeling left out, Manny is having a baby and throughout the Ice Age movies Sid has always tried to fit in somewhere. But, now he’s jealous because the new baby may take his place.
Sid finds an underground cave by accident. In that cave are three eggs, which Sid takes as his own children. They soon hatch into…dinosaurs? I know, I thought the same thing when I saw the previews. “Didn’t dinosaurs go extinct millions of years before the ice age?” Well, that isn’t important now, because Ice Age 3 explains that little nugget of knowledge away, by just saying dinosaurs have been living in an underground cavern just under the ice. We’re not here to debate the erroneous claim that it’s completely cold and desolate on the surface, while below a lush rain forest is growing. Maybe the ice creates a greenhouse effect, who knows. I’m pretty sure the filmmakers didn’t know, or care either.
The point is kids won’t be worried about those details, and they shouldn’t be. Ice Age 3 is full of childish jokes, some fun action, and an simple morale they’ll be able to follow. Scrat, the little squirrel-like creature who is eternally chasing that ever elusive acorn, is back. While the children laugh at his antics there are a few things hidden in there for the adults to chuckle at too.
A weasel named Buck, voiced by Simon Pegg, livens up the movie when the entire group goes down to the dinosaur’s lair. Buck has been down there a long time and has gone a little crazy. Buck adds a little bit of adult humor to the film, but overall he’s another running gag to keep the children entertained.
Ice Age 3 is simplistic and not overly done. It’s fine kids fare and not much more. This isn’t Pixar folks, but it’s okay enough to warrant taking children to see it.