Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Scrat and the gang are back, and this time in stunning 3D in the new “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”. The third chapter in the popular series once again follows the adventures of the unusual mix of friends, in their frozen home.

As the film opens, Manny (Ray Romano), is a nervous wreck as Ellie (Queen Latifah), is expecting their first child. Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo), is ecstatic over the pending arrival, while Diego the tiger, (Dennis Leary), believes he has lost his edge and is no longer needed in a family environment.

As Diego prepares to set off on his own, Sid falls through a crack in the ice and discovers three eggs which he believes have been abandoned.

Sid decides to adopt the eggs and soon they hatch with three T-Rex infants. Unaware of what they are, Sid is delighted at his new family and ignores Manny’s warnings up until a gigantic T-Rex arrives looking for her children and takes them and Sid into a hole in the ice.

Despite their misgivings, Diego, Ellie, and Manny venture under the ice to rescue Sid and discover an entire world of dinosaurs that have survived and thrived under the ice. Facing numerous new dangers and having no idea where to go, the group is befriended by a weasel named Buck (Simon Pegg), who helps them track their missing friend.

Along the way the group must contend with flesh eating plants, laughing gas, dangerous dinosaurs, and hostile terrain as they attempt to save their friend and return home.

While the plot is simple and some will no doubt question how dinosaurs and mammals would be around at the same time, the film is fun, and I enjoyed it more than the previous film in the series. The creators know this is a family film that is intended for children and do not waste time with an overly complicated plot and keep character developments to the bare essentials.

Instead, we get a lively and quirky tale about friendship and family, as well as some funny moments and great animation. The technicians behind the film have wisely allowed the characters to remain the focal point of the film, but cleverly included the new 3D techniques to allow the audience a sense of immersion into the film.

The cast works well with one another and seem to be having a good time playing characters that have no doubt become familiar to them. Once again Scrat steals every scene he is appears in as he attempts time and again to capture his beloved acorn. A new character named Scratte adds a new dimension to the character as she plays not only a romantic interest in the film but also a new obstacle in his never ending quest.

The film was paced well and never overstayed its welcome, and despite some jokes that were better suited to an older audience, the film delivered a perfect summer film for the family to enjoy.

4 stars out of 5