This ‘Ice Age’ film explores similar – and sometimes similarly dreary – family-friendly themes of friendship and loyalty as its three predecessors, but it does so with such visual and aural pizazz that you can’t help but be swept along. There’s a mild educational spin too, especially during the film’s opening gambit about how our planet’s tectonic plates shifted to create today’s continents. It’s during one of these drifts that the film’s unlikely lads, Manny the mammoth, Diego the sabre-toothed tiger and Sid the comical sloth, find themselves separated from friends and family.
As on previous occasions, Blue Sky Studios’s lust for cruel, subversive Chuck Jones-style humour and mortality-related quips is very much to the fore, and there are some fabulous incidental delights along the way, especially a scene involving a disruptive new character called Captain Gutt (the voice of Peter Dinklage), who appears to have been modelled on Tim Curry’s Frank-N-Furter. Frivolous fun.