A mammoth, a sloth, and a sabertooth tiger work
together to bring a human baby back to his family.
Ice Age (2002)
Directed by Chris Wedge
Written by Michael Berg, Michael J. Wilson, Peter Ackerman
Starring Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Goran Visnjic, Jack Black, Diedrich Bader, Cedric the Entertainer, Stephen Root
Oscar Nominations - Best Animated Film
Ice Age is a film that was around me a lot when I was a kid. All of my younger cousins would watch it constantly, but I never really sat down and watched it all the way through. Since it's now on Disney+, I decided to give it a whirl. Ice Age is hilarious family fun that still holds up thanks to enough in-jokes for the adults. It's in the same comedic vein as Shrek, and while the animation is a bit dated compared to later entries, the story, comedy, and surprising emotional heft all keep this movie from slipping away.
Our heroes are Manfred the woolly mammoth (Romano), Sid the sloth (Leguizamo), and Diego the tiger (Leary). Manfred saved Sid, but Sid won't go away, and when they happen across a human baby, Diego comes along and offers to lead them to the rest of the humans. Little do they know, Diego is hunting the baby for his pack leader Soto (Visnjic), and planning to kill them all the first chance he gets. But along the way, they become friends and save each other's lives, and Diego has a change of heart. It's an endearing story with likable, memorable characters that all stand out, and there are several moments that will make you cry.
Watching Ice Age for the first time in over a decade made me smile. For people my age, it's a nostalgic journey that will make you laugh, cry, and want to watch the sequels. Fair warning, though. I've heard the sequels are all pretty terrible, and come nowhere near the quality of this early 2000's animated gem.