Ice Age: Continental Drift: "No Matter How Long It Takes, I Will Find You"

Director: Steve Martino
               Mike Thurmeier
Writer:    Michael Berg
               Jason Fuchs
               Mike Reiss
Starring: Ray Romano
               John Leguizamo
               Denis Leary
               Chris Wedge
               Queen Latifah
               Seann William Scott
               Josh Peck
               Keke Palmer
               Jennifer Lopez
               Wanda Sykes 
               Peter Dinklage 
               Josh Gad
               Nick Frost
               Nicki Minaj
               Heather Morris
               Rebel Wilson 
               Aziz Ansari
               Kunal Nayyar
Rating:    ****

Release Date: Out Now

I can hardly believe that it has been 10 years since the first Ice Age movie was released, which means that the misfit gang of friends (Manny, Sid, Diego and Scrat) have been entertaining children, and adults, around the world for 10 years also. In that amount of time we have been treated to short films, video games and of course we are now onto the third sequel (after the slightly off Dawn of the Dinosuaurs); Continental Drift is the fourth entry to the franchise, and it is most definitely the best one since the original (it may even be better).

(L-R) Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo,
Wanda Sykes & Jennifer Lopez
The movie starts just like all of the other ones did (why fix it if it isn't broken), we begin with the lovable and fan favourite Sabre-Toothed squirrel Scrat (Wedge), still desperately trying to find somewhere to store his precious acorn. His frantic searches have always gotten him into trouble, but this time it sees him plummet to the centre of the earth, where he accidentally manages to split the world into 6 segments...that's right, Scrat is responsible for the worlds continents.

Thanks to Scrats accidental splintering of the Earth our gang are split up and must do what ever they can to reuntie themselves as one big family again. Manny, Sid, Diego and new character Granny (Romano, Leguizamo, Leary & Sykes) set off on an adventue across the deep blue sea, and find themselves battling a band of oddball pirates who are trying to get in the way of their mission. On the other side of the story we have Ellie (Latifah) and her daughter with Manny, Peaches (Palmer), as they try to reach the meeting point Manny told them to meet whilst the ocean swept him away. They battle the elements along with Ellie's brothers, Crash and Eddie (Scott & Peck), Peaches best friend Louis (Gad), and a group of popular mammoths (Minaj, Drake & Morris) Peaches desperately wants to be friends with.

Keke Palmer & Queen Latifah
We all know and love the old characters and of course they are just as zany and entertaining as always, which is why we love them. The thing that really sets this film apart from the others is the gaggle of new characters, each one brilliantly written, fantastically performed and funnier than the one before. The pirate crew (Wilson, Ansari, Nayyar & Lopez) are absolutely fantastic together, every single member of the crew is as incompetent as the last, all except Lopez's Shira, yet they all stick together and try their hardest to stop the lovable gang. They are lead by the menacing Captain Gutt (Dinklage) who provides his voice wickedly to this terrific villain.

The group of popular mammoths also provide some fab entertainment for the audience, Minaj and Drake do really well in their first major "acting" roles, but for me Glee's Heather Morris really stole the show, providing that famous ditz to the character that only she can. The greatest addition to the film for me though has to be Sid's Granny, voiced hilariously by the fabulous Wanda Sykes. Whatever she does I always find side-splittingly funny, and she is absolutely no different here, delivering her lines with impeccable timing and with smart characterisation.

Nicki Minaj, Heather Morris & Keke Palmer
As well as the terrific cast and characters, something really has to be said for the animation and effects themselves. This has to be some of the best wok I have seen in a animated film for quite some time, the water (which is a huge apart of the film) is so unbelievably realistic that you often forget that it is a CGI cartoon you are watching. The merry animals that we have loved for 10 years also seem to have even more emotion and heart to their personalities, and not just because of the voice work, as the years go by the technology improves and you can really notice the difference between this one, and the very first one.

The story isn't the most original, but what you have to remember is that this film is for children, and whilst it is no different to the last 3, it is still just as entertaining and definitely worth a watch. The kids will love the characters, the adventure and the physical comedy, and the adults will also enjoy the characters, but also the brilliant animation and sneaky jokes aimed more towards the mums and dads forced to watch. If you love the first and the second films (not the third...) then you will, with out a doubt, love this one; with even more comedy, even more laugh-out-loud funny characters, and plenty more adventure, this is most definitely the coolest film of the franchise.

Ice Age: Continental Drift - Trailer