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Ice Age (2002)

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 77 minutes

UK Certificate: pg


If Ice Age is anything to go by, life on earth twenty thousand years ago was none too rosy – and not just because the weather was a tad on the nippy side. It's not that we don't all like to live dangerously here in the 21st century – after all, we've got cellular phones, cigarettes and . . erm . . cholesterol to contend with. But hey, at least we don't have to put up with massive avalanches, exploding lava pits and vicious packs of sabre-toothed tigers. Well, I don't at least.

So spare a thought for the three intrepid heroes of this latest computer-generated animation spectacular, brought to us by the little-known 20th Century Fox sub-division Blue Sky Studios. A woolly mammoth, a sloth and a sabre-toothed tiger (voiced by Ray Romano, John Leguizamo and Denis Leary respectively) form an unlikely alliance to go against the migration-grain and head north to re-unite a human baby with its knuckle-dragging family.

The animation has a distinct Looney Toons feel to it and, while Sid the sloth gets all of the best lines, it's Scrat who steals the show in his all too rare appearances. Half-squirrel half-rat (hence the name, I suppose), he pops up as a hilarious side issue making forlorn attempts to bury his last acorn.

It's Got: A brilliant scene involving football-playing dodos – for my money a bird not appearing nearly enough in movies these days.

It Needs: The bravery to be less formulaic in its plotline.

DVD Extras Scrats new "Gone Nutty" adventure, directors commentaries, deleted scenes, character development of Sid, design galleries and trailers, Behind the Scenes featurette, Making of documentary, 6 new featurettes from Blue Sky. DVD Extras Rating: 6/10


Top evolutionary mirth, totally predictable, but loads of fun.