Written by Joel Courtney and Katherine McNamara July 15, 2012
Hilarious & Appropriate
Compared to previous installments, ICE AGE 4 is 4 times funnier, has 4 times more characters, and is 4 times more intense if seen in 3D. In No.4, Manny, Diego, and Sid experience the continents breaking apart and are on one iceberg while Manny's family is still on land that is cracking apart. While trying to find a way back to them, the trio (plus Sid's grandma) encounter a band of pirates. I didn't see the film in 3D and felt it wasn't too scary for any child, but could tell that the 3D would greatly intensify the peril: tsunamis, ice craters, falling off cliffs, etc. Also, the pirate leader Capt. Gut is called such because he slices up his victims belly to throat - that's a little much for some younger ones.
The ICE AGE movies are consistent for one thing: they're never too historically accurate. The opening scene is a wealth of misinformation -- in fact, it's so funny because it's so wrong. However, watching ICE AGE 4 on DVD will be a great way to go through with children what really happened.
A lot of jokes will go over kids heads -- not dirty jokes, just jokes they won't get. Parents, however, will laugh really hard and, you know, not getting some of the humor doesn't really take away from the experience of a child. Kids will like that some of their favorite stars (Keke Palmer, Nicki Minaj and Drake) have roles in the film.
Overall, though, the movie is truly funny. I did think about taking my 2 year old to the movie -- my recollection was that the ICE AGE films are a little slower than, say, the MADAGASCAR or SHREK films, but I'm glad I didn't. The script is too heady for toddlers and the 2 year olds in my theater were bored most of the time. However, everyone 4 and up seemed to really enjoy the film -- including the teens who grew up with the franchise.