It makes a change to see a 3D animated kids’ film that doesn’t poke your eyes out with fancy effects just for the sake of it. In fact, some of the 3D elements in Blue Sky’s latest prehistoric critter circus are so subtle you may not notice them. What you won’t miss are the film’s exhilarating action sequences and electrifyingly vibrant palette.
Some dramatic changes are occurring in the lives of Manny the mammoth, Sid the sloth and Diego the sabre-toothed tiger. Manny is preoccupied with a pregnant partner, Diego’s lost his mojo and is having a midlife crisis, and lisping loser Sid… well, is it any wonder he doesn’t have a family of his own? Following a minor tiff, Sid wanders off, falls through the ice and discovers three dinosaur eggs which he adopts – until big mama Rex comes trundling into the frame. In a nod to ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’, the rest unfolds in a Cretaceous underworld where Manny and Co – aided by a cocky new weasel character – attempt an audacious rescue.
Some have expressed displeasure at the design and voices of the leads. I disagree – but I do think Simon Pegg’s Artful Dodger-like weasel is a vocal cliché too far. Similarly, some of the anarchic, comical segues featuring Scrat the squirrel and a newfound love are beginning to feel overfamiliar. As with the two earlier films, it’s all a mite disorderly in tempo but often highly amusing and great fun in the main.