A childhood favourite that Iíve always loved, the original Ice Age is a pretty underrated movie that is somewhat forgotten by many family film fans. This is due to the fact that it came out at a time where the now iconic Shrek and Monsters, Inc. were popular, both having received much better reviews from critics and audiences. Its three sequels havenít done it any favours either. Though I admittedly do like Ice Age 2, it wasn't a big hit. The far worse Ice Age 3 and Ice Age 4 definitely damaged the franchise's reputation further, and because of this, the first movie is now sadly overlooked.
Ice Age, as a movie, works because of how it takes a straightforward premise and makes the most out of it. Thanks to its variety of interesting scenes and its good pace, this movie has an excellent sense of adventure, and the Rusted Root classic ďSend Me On My WayĒ really helps to make it a fun, engaging journey. The ice slide scene, for example, is especially fun and well-crafted. The film has plenty of witty humour as well, and although some of it can be mean-spirited, itís always in good fun, and never goes too far. The filmís unique selection of characters, unusual settings and good balance of optimism and melancholy means it rarely has any hiccups, and strong, confident voice acting holds it all together.
Another great aspect of this movie is its heart. The fact that the movie starts out with two anti-heroes Ė the bitter mammoth Manny and the menacing smilodon Diego (plus Sid, of course) and ends with the three of them a team, is wonderful, with just the right amount of relatable character development to make it happen. The toddler that the trio look after is adorable as well, and watching it being returned to its father is, to me, one of the most heart-warming moments in cinema. The final great element of this movie is its wonderful soundtrack, especially the triumphant and unforgettable opening theme.
The only obvious flaw I can find in this movie is its CGI animation. While itís certainly colourful and at times beautiful, it does look a bit dated and awkward nowadays compared to most of the Pixar and DreamWorks
movies. But thatís really the only criticism I can make. This movie was always one of my favourites as a kid, and I still enjoy it just as much today. Ice Age is thoroughly enjoyable animated adventure that, quite frankly, deserves better.