Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)
★★★ / ★★★★
This third installment of the “Ice Age” series, directed by Carlos Saldanha, is one of the more visually impressive of the three even though story-wise, it’s not as strong as its predecessors. While Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) prepare for the arrival of their baby, Diego (Denis Leary) decides to leave and pursue his own adventures. Sid (John Leguizamo) begins to feel lonely because he feels like he doesn’t have a family so he steals three T-Rex eggs from underneath the ice in order to feel like a mother. Meanwhile, the mother T-Rex returns and finds her babies missing so she hunts for the perpetrator. A series of funny things and loads of adventures ensue as the group of friends discover an underground habitat full of dangerous plants and even more menacing dinosaurs. I always look forward to each “Ice Age” movie because of the very amusing one-liners and the way it applies human characteristics to its animal characters. In this film, it focuses on parenting but the jokes are easy to understand so the little kids would not feel left out. There were more than a handful of highlights in the picture including the three baby T-Rex as they follow Sid around because they think he’s their mommy, the venus flytrap-like plant sticky situation and the battle in the air using some of the flying dinosaurs. While they may be interesting to look at, I enjoyed the fact that there were still jokes being thrown at the audiences while all the action was happening so it didn’t at all feel mindless or pointless. A new character was introduced, a weasel with an eye-patch and a British accent voiced by Simon Pegg. He really increased the manic factor of the film which was a good move because when he arrived on screen, all the other characters didn’t feel as energetic. The only problem I had with the movie is that it didn’t really have defining storyline as it did in the first installment. Like the second, this one is more about the fun and the adventures rather than dealing with real emotions. Still, I consider this a good movie for kids because it’s fast-paced, there’s a plethora of colors and attractive images. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I see Sid being his silly self and the infamous Scrat as he tries to (desperately) obtain an acorn from another rock rat. “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” may not be deep, but it’s satisfying enough.