Cold Hands, Warm Heart
Ice Age
Review by Ross Anthony

Here's a movie that's been promoted strongly. I'd seen the two-minute trailer at least ten times at other features or on TV (and I don't even watch that much TV). The first time it was pretty impressive, but depreciated in value Ice Agefor each subsequent play. "Ice Age" takes to the screen with this overplayed acorn-minded pre-historic rodent scene. A silly bunch of dinosaur-esque creatures migrate south quipping such throw-away jokes as "Why's it called the Ice Age? Why not the Nippy Era?" I smirk cynically and prepare for a cold chunk of amusement. And then Sid the sloth slithers onto the set, lisping like Daffy Duck and floppy like a beanie baby. He's pathetically lovable, but best off all --always entertaining. John Leguizamo, whose performance in "Moulin Rouge" was as bad as his mighty dramatic performance in "Summer of Sam" was impressive, breathes life and saliva into Sid. Excellently done, definitely a man of many voices.

Though I like Ray Romano and in fact, I'm told everybody loves Raymond, his casting here as the voice of Manny the Mammoth pales next to John and Denis Leary as Diego (whose rough throaty articulation slides perfectly through the twin fangs of his sabertooth tiger character).

As Sid says, the three make "the weirdest herd" you'll every see.

Though Manny and Sid head north for a reason that's implied later, the sun hits them in the face (which means they're really tracking south). Anyway, that's an easily forgivable ticky-tacky mistake in a film that packs a wet-snowball full of entertainment.

Much more laid-back and simpler than "Shrek," its visual and scripted humor still amuse both young and old. Sid and Manny stumble across a baby human, seeking only to return this pink thing to his tribe, the two along with Diego (who has other plans for the child) track through the snow. (I guess that makes it a road picture.)

Along the way they play football with dodo's, slide through a tunnel of ice, and my personal favorite part -- try to stop the baby from crying.

Manny: "I'm still trying to get rid of the last thing I saved."

Aside from the stale intro (due only to marketing overzealousness), and a weak rhino scene, "Ice Age" is good clean relaxing entertainment with a tender warm heart under all that snow.

Here's a fun quote from Denis about his character, "They kind of based Diego on my personality... good-looking, feared by men, adored by women. Except the teeth."

Fun bit: director Chris Wedge provides the screeches and peeps for Scrat the squirrel/rat as his acorn mission reprises three or four times throughout the picture.

  • Ice Age. Copyright © 2002. Rated PG.
  • Starring the voice talent of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Goran Visnjic, Jack Black, Tara Strong. Cedric "The Entertainer" Stephen Root.
  • Directed by Chris Wedge.
  • Screenplay by Michael Berg and Michael J. Wilson and Peter Ackerman.
  • Story by Michael J. Wilson.
  • Produced by Lori Forte at Blue Sky and 20th Century Fox.

Grade..........................A- (strong)

Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:07:39 PDT