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Movie Review

Ice Age: Continental Drift also known as “Ice Age 4”

MPAA Rating: PG for mild rude humor and action/peril.

Reviewed by: Laura Busch

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family Teens
Animation Comedy Adventure Kids Family Sequel
1 hr. 34 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
July 13, 2012 (wide—3,800+ theaters)
DVD: December 11, 2012
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

not succumbing to the bad temptations

RIGHT AND WRONG—How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer

How can I decide whether a particular activity is wrong? Answer




loyal friendship

dangers of peer pressure

Teen Qs—Christian Answers for teenagers
Teens—Have questions? Find answers in our popular TeenQs section. Get answers to your questions about life, dating and much more.
Family Answers HOME page
Parenting and family Q&As
Teen dating

DATING—Why won’t my parents allow me to single-date? Answer

DATING GUIDELINES—What are the biblical guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

INCREDIBLE SLOTH—What can a sloth teach me about life? Answer

CONTINENTAL DRIFT—Have Earth’s continents drifted? Answer

Answers about the Ice Age
from Christian Answers team member Answers In Genesis

ice and snow in the Bible

Information about Noah’s Ark and the biblical flood

Top choice for accurate, in-depth information on Creation/Evolution. The SuperLibrary is provided by a top team of experts from various respected creationist organizations who answer your questions on a wide variety of topics. Multilingual.
Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
Featuring: Queen LatifahEllie (voice)
Jennifer LopezShira (voice)
Simon PeggBuck (voice)
Ray RomanoManny (voice)
Seann William ScottCrash (voice)
Denis Leary … Diego (voice)
Nick FrostFlynn (voice)
more »
Director: Steve Martino
Michael Thurmeier
Producer: Blue Sky Studios
John C. Donkin … producer
Lori Forte … producer
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

In this latest installment of “Ice Age,” the always entertaining, Scrat is still in pursuit of the all too elusive acorn. This time the prehistoric squirrel’s pursuit of his beloved acorn causes bigger trouble than it ever has before. Scrat accidentally causes the Earth’s masses of land to break apart, causing a continental drift. This drift separates Manny the mammoth (Ray Romano), Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo), and Diego the sabre-tooth tiger (Denis Leary—“Rescue Me”) from the rest of their herd. While adrift on the iceberg that has carried them off to sea, Manny and the gang must battle a band of ruthless pirates led by Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage), who is out for revenge against Manny and the gang.

Like its predecessors, this latest installment in the “Ice Age” franchise holds the importance of family loyalty in the highest regard. When Manny drifts away on the iceberg, he vows to his wife and daughter, Ellie (Queen Latifah) and Peaches (Keke Palmer—“Akeelah and the Bee”), “No matter what, I’ll find you.” Throughout the course of the movie, Manny’s primary concern is getting back to his wife and daughter. After the drift occurs, Ellie directs all of the animals in their herd to safety, making sure no one is left behind. All of the animals in the herd regard one another as family. Manny and the gang stick together as a family in the face of adversity, and they have each other’s backs, as they battle the pirates.

Manny’s daughter, Peaches is now a teenager, who is beginning to face peer pressures and is also starting to like boys. The character of Peaches really grows up a lot over the course of the movie. We see her act disrespectfully toward her parents and make some bad choices, by succumbing to peer pressure. But for every bad choice Peaches makes, we see her character acknowledge her wrong behavior, apologize, and correct it, by not making the same mistake again. For example, Peaches angrily tells her dad, “I wish you weren’t my father!”, but she immediately regrets what she says, after her dad begins to drift away on the iceberg. Peaches confides in her mom that she is worried that her angry words will be the last thing her dad will ever hear her say.

The issues of popularity, peer pressure, and loyalty in friendship are dealt with in a positive way. Peaches really cares about her friend Lewis (Josh Gad), a sweet but unpopular molehog. She tells him that “friends don’t leave friends behind.” Later, Peaches also learns the importance of loyalty in friendship and forgiveness, after she betrays Lewis, in order to become more popular. Later, Lewis forgives her without hesitation.

The entire storyline with Peaches can serve as a wonderful conversation starter for parents to talk to their children about peer pressure, loyalty in friendship, and not succumbing to the temptations that young people face on a daily basis. This particular plotline about peer pressure brings to mind Romans 12:2,

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

The power struggles between parents and their teen children are also addressed in this movie and dealt with in a positive manner. Peaches grows to understand why her parents have certain rules for her. The characters of Manny, Ellie, and Peaches also provide a positive portrayal of the traditional two-parent family with both a mom and a dad. Manny and Ellie are loving parents, who are protective of their daughter and want the best for her. They do their best to give her guidance and teach her to make right choices in life. As Christian parents, God calls us to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it” —Proverbs 22:6.

The issue of teenage dating is also addressed in this film. For the most part, this issue is dealt with in an appropriate manner. Peaches likes Ethan, a popular boy mammoth, but her parents do not want her to hang out with him or date him.

From a cinematic standpoint, “Ice Age 4” is a beautifully animated and well-acted film. The lovable and often goofy characters are brought to life in a colorful and vividly animated, feel-good family comedy, whose fast pace never leaves its viewers bored.

Negative elements

There are bits of mildly crude humor, here and there. For example, Sid chews up some food and spits it out. There is a joke about pirate “booty” that is played as a double entendre, a mention of boogers, etc. One scene that may be of concern to parents, involves sea monsters, who can magically transform their appearance to fool Manny, Diego, and Sid. The sea monsters take the form of a beautiful female sloth and a beautiful tiger named, Shira. This causes Diego and Sid to become confused and accidentally kiss each other. The shape-shifting sea monsters also take the form of an old man sloth, who flirts with Sid’s Grandma. Sid’s biological family, who abandoned him long ago, reappears only to abandon Sid’s cantankerous old Grandmother (Wanda Sykes), because they are tired of putting up with her eccentricities. Even though Sid’s family does not want to deal with his Grandma, Sid gladly welcomes her as family and takes care of her.

There is a lot of comedic, slapstick-style, cartoon violence, throughout the film. There are many fast paced action sequences. We see lots of characters flying through the air, heads conking, slapping, characters dangling from high places, and the like. Weapons (knives) are drawn in several battle scenes with the pirates. Captain Gutt explains that he got his name because of his sharp claws that he uses to gut other animals. Sid is told that Captain Gutt can make “your innards become your outards.” Other elements of concern include several uses of the word, “stupid,” one use of the term, “oh jeez,” and one character yells, “holy crab” upon seeing a giant crab. The pirates also mention a number of times that they want to get revenge on Manny.

Thematically, this film may be most appropriate for slightly older children, since it does deal with the issues of peer pressure and dating.

While “Ice Age 4” is not a perfect movie, as a Christian movie reviewer, I see a lot of positive elements that make it a good choice for families, especially families with pre-teens and teens. This is a movie full of lovable, yet imperfect, characters, who make mistakes, but, most importantly, they learn from these mistakes and, like any loving family, forgive one another.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—This movie is HILARIOUS! I don’t ever remember laughing this much in any movie. It was the best “Ice Age” of all of them and didn’t have that “depressing feel” like the other two, because the environment was different. It truly was adorable and had some great family messages about love, friends and being there for each other. It was awesome and great for the whole family. I am so glad I saw it and would see it again tomorrow, it was that good!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Samantha Taylor, age 37 (USA)
Positive—Blue Sky has done it again! I was quite impressed with “Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” and I doubted that it could be topped. I was very skeptical of “Continental Drift.” From the trailers and posters, it appeared to be “Pirates of the Caribbean” meets “The Melt Down.” I was quite upset that the script writers abandoned the original script that had Manny, Sid, and Diego frozen in ice and then thawing in contemporary times. The prospect of Scrat chasing after his acorn all over Manhattan was sure to be hilarious. However, I must say after having seen “Continental Drift,” I am convinced the screen writers made the right choice.

The story line is very character driven. I loved Captain Gut and his crew of Buccaneers. Shire, who is voiced by Jennifer Lopez was a nice addition. I especially liked teenage Peaches. Her life lessons are great opportunities to teach adolescents about what really matters in life. I agree with the other reviewer that this film felt more uplifting and more positive than the last two installments. Despite all the perils, our beloved herd stays true to each other and shows us what it means to be a family. I hope that Blue Sky continues to create more stories with our favorite characters. I foresee at least two more installments. Hopefully, the last one will feature the original plot for “Continental Drift”.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Sir Godfrey, age 23 (USA)
Positive—‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’ was a good movie. I had seen the previous movies, so I figured, “Eh, why not see the fourth movie right?.” I must say, I was quite impressed with this film. It was funny, cute, and had a good story to it, as well. The performances were good, the music was good in some areas. This is a safe, fun movie that parents will not have to be afraid of taking their kids to (there is some inappropriate humor in some areas, but nothing that many parents, in my opinion, will find offensive). Thank you Blue Sky for doing the right thing and making the Ice Age movies family-friendly again. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Alexander Malsan, age 22 (USA)


Comments from young people
Positive—I really think “Ice Age…” is a great movie. The reviewer spoke of “almost unevolved animals”. Now, I have done some research, and it turns out that almost all the animals can be found in the fossil record. The only animal that isn’t in the fossil record is Scrat, the sabertoothed squirrel. This is because he was created for the purpose of the movie. However, an extinct mammal resembling Scrat has recently been discovered, and it is called Cronopio. If you don’t believe me, you can look it up.

Also, a lot of reviewers thought the two “rhinos” in the movie are gay. The movie gives absolutely no indication of this. I have many reasons why it is actually rather a silly idea (no offense to anyone who wrote that in their review). One, they aren’t even the same species! As a matter of fact, they aren’t even rhinos. After doing my research, I learned they are actually brontotheres, a kind of extinct mammal. There are different species of brontotheres, and each one in the movie is a different species, so it seems quite silly to me that they are gay, since normally, animals of different species don’t normally do that kind of thing. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Ryan, age 14 (USA)
Positive—This movie was amazing. This is probably my favorite movie. I do recommend this to everyone, and if anyone is thinking oh advice from a 12 year old well this is good advice!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Payton, age 12 (USA)
Positive—The movie “Ice Age” was very good, my favorite character had to be Granny, she was the most exciting person. The parts of showing family will always be there, for you made me happy when Manny said, “Whatever it takes, I will find you!” And then there were some bad parts, as to Sid’s family taking Granny to where he lived and ditching BOTH of them there, which I believe should not be in a three year old’s mind. And when Sid asked, “Or face your furry what?” to Captain Gut, when he said “Or face my fury.” Also, I didn’t enjoy how Granny hit Sid all the time with her cane, don’t you think that would scare little ones? I also didn’t enjoy how the two possum brothers did dangerous stuff, and calling themselves stupid.

The movie was fine beside all of the nonsense, and I do encourage you to see it, if this stuff won’t bother your younger ones.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Hannah, age 11 (USA)

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