There's considerably less drift in “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” the latest in a long line of lucrative cartoons from Blue Sky Studios and their friends at Fox. It's all sight gags and action beats, which tends to cover the shortcomings these assembly-line farces are infamous for. And at a brisk 94 minutes, it's less reliant on charm-starved chatter among its increasingly overstuffed voice cast.
Yes, there are even more big names doing the talking for the various Ice Age critters — pop stars Nicki Minaj, Drake and Jennifer Lopez join up, with Peter Dinklage, Wanda Sykes, Joy Behar, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. But that old rule that “They only add more big names to the voice cast when they're worried about the animation” doesn't apply, as this is the least chatty film of this series.
The “Ice Age” movies are known for their sloppy science, and this one has the growing extended family of mammoths (Ray Romano, Queen Latifah and now “daughter” Keke Palmer) split up by the splitting of continents.
Yeah, Scrat, that nut-obsessed saber-toothed squirrel, had something to do with it.
Manny the mammoth (Romano), Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary), Sid the innocent but accident-prone sloth (John Leguizamo, always funny) and Sid's Granny (Sykes) are adrift on an iceberg, wondering how to get back to the others.
That's when they meet the pirates. Of course there are pirates!
Capt. Gutt is the primate who has figured out how to turn icebergs into buccaneer boats, and his scurvy crew of rabbits, sea lions and bloodthirsty gulls has designs on Manny & Co.
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‘Ice Age: Continental Drift'
Starring the voices of: Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo. (Mild rude humor and action/peril)