Do you remember those terrible Disney sequels from the 1990s? They ranged from merely bad to please tear out my eyeballs so can I can unsee them awful, but the one saving grace was that they were always consigned straight to video. They were never meant for wide consumption, they were just a quick way to make a few bucks for Disney and only small children who needed occupying ever saw them. And because of that, Disney’s reputation wasn’t completely ruined. But what if you kept sending your crappy sequels to the cinema? Well, you get Ice Age: Collision Course.
Manny (Ray Romano, Everybody Loves Raymond) is starting to grow nervous of losing her daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer, Grease Live!) as she prepares to get married to Julian (Adam Devine, The Intern). However normal life is once again interrupted as meteorites that threaten to destroy the world as they know it head to Earth and only Buck (Simon Pegg, Shaun of the Dead) knows how to stop it.
The reason I love animation is because the only thing that can stop a creative mind is their own imagination because an animator can literally make anything. And it seems as if this may be the case here, as we have a load of prehistoric animals trying to save the world from a meteorite. But that’s just a driving force the plot and the reason for a mildly exciting conclusion, the real meat of the plot are a load of sitcom tropes that fit more in Home Improvement than a kids film.
Collision Course starts with a surprise party for Manny’s anniversary with Ellie (Queen Latifah, Living Single) and oh no, Manny is a dumb male so he forgets. The film doesn’t even bother with Ellie getting angry its so pointless. he also doesn’t get on with his prospective son-in-law, because we’ve never seen that before. Just because its for kids, you can’t get away with doing the same plot over and over.
And there are ton of side-plots like this which are so hackneyed its obvious that the writers literally went with their first idea and then spent the rest of the day at lunch. Diego (Denis Leary, Two If By Sea) and Shira (Jennifer Lopez, Out of Sight) are worried that they scare kids, seemingly forgetting they are sabretooth tigers, and that they may not be suitable parents if they do have kids. This is mentioned at the very start of the film and then at the very end, and never in between. Sid (John Leguizamo, Moulin Rouge!) also wants to find his true love and this is forgotten until close until the end is then wrapped up so quickly its pretty insulting.
And then we get to what is usually the saving grace of these films, Scrat (Chris Wedge, Robots) and his quest to get an acorn. These are usually amusing because they break up the tired story and give us some classic silent cinema type stuff. Unfortunately, this is just a complete drop in quality. It’s just the same sort of sketches that we’ve seen from Scrat, except they are in space because the writers really want to show us that they’ve not just jumped the shark but performed flips and kicks above them too. I will admit the final Scrat scene involving an automatic door is funny, but the rest barely raise a titter.
And to be quite frank, it just seems like Blue Sky Studios are way behind everyone else who are making animated films. When the first Ice Age was released back in 2002, it was obviously that the likes of Pixar and Dreamworks were storming ahead with the quality and depth of their work, though the first of this series was and remains a decent little flick. But 14 years later, we’ve advanced even further. Pixar have released Inside Out, Dreamworks have released How To Train Your Dragon and Disney is back in a big way with the likes of Frozen. And here is Collision Course doing the same thing as if that’s good enough. It’s not, it needs to be more with the competition on offer.
The only thing that is passable about this film is the animation and that’s not really that spectacular. Sure, there’s a nice bit of colour and I suppose it is a tough task as most of the settings are simply white snowy expanses, which is the visual equivalent of dead air. But again, it’s been surpassed by everything else in its field. Kung Fu Panda 3 wasn’t brilliant, but was absolutely stunning to look at. Pixar have finally learnt how to stun with his animation with the otherwise fairly bland The Good Dinosaur. And I hate to bring it up again, but Frozen did far more with an icy landscape and this film ever did.
I shouldn’t be talking about Ice Age: Collision Course and you shouldn’t be reading a review on it. It’s not worth your time and it’s not worth mine either and my spare time is spent lying down on my bed and wondering where my life went so desperately wrong. It’s a bland animated film that was made purely to get some more money out of a franchise that really should be left dead in the water by now. Please don’t let there be a sixth and if there is, don’t sully my cinema with a Collision Course sequel.