screenplay by Michael Berg, Peter Ackerman, Yoni Brenner
directed by Carlos Saldanha
by Walter Chaw It's not entirely accurate to say that I've hated the Ice Age movies. They're not, after all, the Land Before Time series, the post-classic Disney output just prior to the Pixar revolution, or, heaven forefend, the Shrek trilogy. No, better to say that the Ice Age franchise is at worst merely the quintessence of inconsequence: they're films so bereft of wit and vigour that their biggest crime isn't the constant shit and hit routines, nor the predictable parade of unearned sentimentality, but rather that they're as inert as the right side of the Periodic Table. The message in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (hereafter Ice Age 3)--that no matter what our heroes look like on the outside (two mammoths, two opossums, a giant sloth, a sabre-toothed tiger), on the inside, they're members of one tribe--is the same as in the first two instalments, and by this time, its constant mantric recitation begins to take on the air of unaware self-parody. Of course, despite its incessant championing of a non-traditional family unit, like Shrek, it still has a mammoth (Manny (voiced by Ray Romano)) marry a mammoth (Ellie (Queen Latifah)), leaving cross-species miscegenation, unlike the otherwise execrable Madagascar sequel, to the actors voicing them. What I wouldn't give for the same premise in live-action with Romano married to Latifah, the latter morbidly knocked-up and royally pissed-off.