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July 2, 2009
Review - " Ice Age 3D: Dawn of the Dinosaurs "  
- (in Theaters) By Roland Hansen
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What felt so forced, unpolished, and derivative about 2002’s “Ice Age” has been successfully smoothed out during the last
two sequels. “Meltdown” turned botched whimsy into a colorful community atmosphere, inviting more characters and
humanity to inform a concept that was almost strictly played for tiresome gags the first time around. For the first 15 minutes,
“Dawn” endeavors to shake the plot up, sniffing around for something suitably dramatic to coerce the actors to return. The
result is a lethargic pass at third-wheel motivations for Diego and Sid that feels harshly manufactured to give the
screenwriters something to do. Thankfully, “Dawn” quickly waves off the needless psychological obstacles once the
dinosaur adventure begins, settling down to resuscitate old charms and introduce a wonderful new character.

Pilfering cues from Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World,” “Dawn” takes the 3-D lead and targets a lively adventure
inspiration, plunging into the dino landscape to permit the characters a chance to run through numerous slapstick and
action situations. With personalities firmly established, directors Carlos Saldanha and Mike Thurmeier hand “Dawn” over to
the colorful locales, dangerous predators, and adorable infant dino shenanigans. The picture doesn’t strain to find a higher
purpose to justify itself, and the absence of responsibility permits the movie to, gasp, have some fun with itself. Call it
one-dimensional, but it’s never lazy. “Dawn” enjoys an environment of comfort, allowing the characters to interact without
the burden of overt growth. Freshness is actually encouraged by the introduction of Buck, a comedic hunter with a leaf eye-
patch who’s been lurking solo in the lost world for one too many years. The ensemble of voices makes for a silly good time,
but Pegg elevates the material with his take on Buck’s simmering madness and swashbuckling, weasel-elastic heroism. He’s
a welcome addition to this cornucopia of animal neuroses.
Scrat & Scratette - Ice Age 3
Ice Age 3D: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Directed by Carlos Saldanha & Mikle Thurmeier
Starring: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah,
Simon Pegg, Bill Hader, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck

“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” isn’t an ambitious, event movie
sequel in the same fashion as perhaps “Ice Age: The Meltdown”
was softly gunning for. It’s more of an agreeable installment of
television than a magnificent animated effort. This is not a criticism. In
fact, it’s perhaps the reason why “Dawn” is such a charming film. With
a relaxed mood, a playful cast, and a plot that doesn’t sweat itself into
a pointless sense of importance, “Dawn” is mild sauce but
tremendously entertaining, with an easy celebratory attitude that
extends to the picture’s lively 3-D visual scheme.

Now an improbable herd, Sid (voiced by John Leguizamo), Diego
(Denis Leary), Crash (Seann William Scott), and Eddie (Josh Peck)
are getting ready to settle down as they await the birth of Manny (Ray
Romano) and Ellie’s (Queen Latifah) first child. Feeling an uninvited
vibe, Sid wanders off, stumbling across three dinosaur eggs that he
assumes a motherly responsibility for. When the actual dinosaur
parent shows up to retrieve the now-hatched offspring, it sends Sid
and the babies to a world underneath the ice where dinosaurs and
dangerous plant life have survived. Off to retrieve their dim-witted pal,
the herd comes across Buck (Simon Pegg), a weasel who roams the
underworld on the hunt for the massive dinosaur that took his eye.
With Buck as their guide, the herd enters the dino world to rescue Sid,
hoping Ellie holds off on labor pains until they can return to their
frozen world.
“Dawn” flies high on the back of birds, swings low with
treacherous dino-bone-bridge challenges (one
involving laughing gas), and provides some more time
with everyone’s favorite punchline, the diminutive, nut-
lovin’ Scrat. “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” is
certainly a familiar cocktail of cartoon accomplishments
and luxurious CG vistas, but a cozy one, confident with
its brand of humor. The simplicity is refreshing,
opening the film up to hundreds of smaller pleasures
and laughs, keeping the franchise on solid, inviting
While Pixar certainly trail blazed a whole new way of thinking when it came to animated features, both in terms of execution
and character, others have quickly boarded the CGI train; and few more successfully than Fox with the first Ice Age film. A
huge hit was followed by a below par sequel, and while this instalment is pretty much "more of the same", there is still
enough here to keep the kids (and their accompanying parents) amused for an hour and half.
Packing in more action that the first two films combined,
this is often fun, sometimes amusing, but hardly
groundbreaking work - nor is it meant to be. There are
enough gags here to keep older audiences members
entertained for the most part, while the heavy inclusion
of a Scrat subplot, where he finds love, will also delight
many. There's a great homage to the original
stone-age cartoon, The Flintstones - which it seems
only the adults in the audience got. However I was
amazed how many prepubecents got the joke about
using a knife to turn a T-Rex into a T-Rachel. I guess it
shows the current mind set of the kids of America.