Review: Ice Age – Dawn of the Dinosaurs

A colourful distraction, but sorely lacks in any real substance or even peril. That… and what are dinosaurs even doing here??

The film plays out as your typical rescue story; with Manny and Ellie looking to start a family, Sid tries to adopt dinosaur eggs only to be abducted by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The gang from the previous films must venture into a world under the ice to rescue him.

I really wanted the dinosaur to simply eat Sid.

I enjoyed Ice Age, and Meltdown felt like a natural progression, but this feels like the series is swaying into mediocrity. We know the characters, we like them, and after two films you’d think the creators would give them more to do instead of just “Sid is an idiot, go rescue him”. Look at how Toy Story developed over three films.
Sure there are some new faces, and the show is thoroughly stolen by Simon Pegg as the adventurous Buck, a weasel with a captain Ahab complex. But my favourite character Diego has precious little to do here; his subplot is brushed aside for more of Sid’s mugging into the camera.

Suspension of disbelief is key here. How exactly a tropical jungle paradise can exist under ice, complete with volcanic lava freely flowing is anyone’s guess! Heck, even the dinosaurs didn’t have much to do in this movie, although there are some cute designs such as the triceratops.

Dawn of the Dinosaurs was one of the first films to enter the new 3D era, and its release was delayed substantially to shoehorn the effects in. As such the 3D conversion was shoddy, but I didn’t notice any residing issue with the 2D version. It is a very bright movie and the characters have great facial animations.
It got a giggle or two from me, I won’t lie and tell you it isn’t funny (even if it owes most of this to Pegg’s over the top performance) but I felt there could have been more substance.

I really want to hate this film more than I do for it reminding me of the Super Mario Brothers movie with including the “Walk the Dinosaur” pop song. Ugh. My ears. That, and did they really just slide down a dinosaur’s back shouting “Yabba-dabba-dooo!”?

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