Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs

by Howie Green

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday July 3, 2009

  (Source:Blue Sky Studios)

With brilliant use of computer generated images and animation and a group of fun characters we have come to know and love this third installment of the Ice Age saga is the best of the series.

Returning to the roles as wooly mammoths are Ray Romano as Manny and Queen Latifah as Ellie who are about to have a baby which sets up the pivot point of this story.

Hapless Sid the Sloth, again voiced by John Leguizamo, is feeling a bit left out so when he stumbles on three apparently abandoned oversized eggs in an ice cave he brings them home to show everyone that he can be a loving dad.

The eggs hatch into baby dinosaurs who wreak havoc with everything they come in contact with so Sid is sent to return them to their mother... if only he could find her.

Sid need not worry because the mother dinosaur comes looking for her missing babies and she terrorizes everything in her path.

The mammoths and the rest of the critters all assumed that dinosaurs were extinct so they are shocked to find one looming in their midst. Sid is unwilling to give up his claim on the babies so he tags along with them and follows the mother dinosaur back to the underground world from which she came. A

ll logic aside, It seems that under the ice age that has covered the surface world there is a warm jungle world inhabited by dinosaurs and millions of other missing link type creatures.

When Ellie and Manny and Diego (Denis Leary) go looking to rescue Sid they meet up with an insane mutant weasel named Buck (Simon Pegg) who is in the middle of a Peter Pan vs. Capt. Hook type ongoing duel with the last of the great white dinosaurs.

The film looks great, the characters are fun and the story, although totally illogical, is an engaging and sweet adventure.

Buck leads the rescue party through the maze of the underground world to find Sid and joins the adventure when his nemesis shows up to threaten the rescue.

Of course it all works out in the end, Ellie has her baby, named Peaches, and the odd group of friends return to the ice world while Buck stays behind to continue is never-ending battle with the white dinosaur.

On the down side of things Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs often looks and feels like an elaborate video game and its contains a bunch of annoying hip jokes to show how relevant the creators are even if they don't make any kind of sense at all.

The worst example is when Buck has a cell-phone conversation using a rock. The joke is stupid and total nonsense and the movie doesn't need to stoop to such levels to prove it's creators are hip.

Looking back at all three of the Ice Age films it becomes clear the limitations placed on the creators when using giant woolly mammoths as the lead characters. Mammoths don't do much except walk, so all the film's stories all revolve around great journeys that require the characters to walk and walk and walk.

Luckily in this installment the movie's creator's Carlos Saldanha and Mike Thermeier pull out all the stops and keep things moving with lots of action, breathtaking 3D scenery and great acting from the all-star cast.

The film looks great, the characters are fun and the story, although totally illogical, is an engaging and sweet adventure.

While the kids are having fun watching all the over-the-top action you can have fun being amazed at the state of the art visuals that are as beautiful and amazing as anything being put on film today.

Howie Green is a Boston-based artist and painter whose portrait of rapper Biggie Smalls appears on the album "Incredible". He is winner of Absolut Vodka's 25th Anniversary art competition and he painted 3 of the cows in the Boston Cow Parade. He recently painted a series of Pop Art Murals at the Dimock Center in Boston, MA and completed large art and mural installations in Delray Beach and Jacksonville, FL. He also recently painted the front entrance to Boston City Hall. His a multi-media designer and author of several books including "Jazz Fish Zen: Adventures in Mamboland" - and he once sang back-up for the opening act at a Shaun Cassidy concert in Madison Square Garden.