‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’ over-uses 3D, over-sells familiar theme

Diego, Sid and Manny in ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift.’ Rated PG, 94 min. Twentieth Century Fox, 2012.

Ten years and four movies into this series, Blue Sky Studios appears to be re-hashing the same themes over and over. “Ice Age: Continental Drift” again hits the messages of sticking together and supporting family and friends. That’s not a bad thought to be over-sold to kids, of course – parents just might feel like they’ve already seen this.

Like “Finding Nemo,” this is a classic quest tale with plenty of adventure. Manny the mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano), Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo) and Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary) are separated from their herd when the continents begin to split, and Manny leads the journey back home to his family. Along for the ride is Wanda Sykes as Sid’s Granny, adding some funny new zip to the familiar trio. Taking away from the story is the  aggressive over-use of in-your-face 3D effects.

Peter Dinklage provides a threatening throatiness to Captain Gutt, the chimp pirate who sails an iceberg with a misfit crew, and Jennifer Lopez plays opposite Leary as another tiger, Shira.

The perpetually unlucky, long-suffering acorn-hunter Scrat also has a few shining moments, especially when he lands in the utopia of “Scratlantis.”

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