As we all know, Ice Age has become a huge cash cow that has been milked dry by Fox and Blue Sky. If that's a good or bad thing is completely up to debate, but I have my whole own seperate view on that subject. To keep it simple though, let's just focus on the film that started it all. This, in my opinion, is one of the definitive early CGI animated films that still holds up today. It might borrow a few elements from other films at the time like Shrek for example, but it ends up being it's own thing with it's own charme and likeability. The Story is very well written and put together with a nice blend of comedy, suspense and a lot of heart. I do feel that this is where the movies shortcomings come in aswell, seeing as the story on it's own sounds pretty generic: A group of unlikely heroes go on a journey to reach a goal while needing to overcome various obstacles and learn more about each other. Mix in a bit of a liar type story with Diego and you got yourself a copy paste plot right? Well, the reason I like it here more than in other films is because they actually add things to make it original like the inclusion of Roshan to make the end goal a bit more interesting or the fact that the characters are so damn likeable. Manny, Sid, Diego, Scrat, just all of these dudes are lovable and you root for them to reach their goals. The voice talents are also very good. Ray Romano's voice sounds very Elephant-like but also is able to be funny and charming yet sarcastic, making it a perfect fit for Manny. John Leguizamo's performance might annoy some people with his constant lisp and just an overall dumb tone in the voice. I like Sid though because he actually is funny and is redeemable as stupid as he is. I personally found some of the characters in the sequels more annoying than him, but I'll get to those when I get to them. Denis Leary is really perfect for Diego. I can't think of anyone who could've handled the menacing yet charming demeanor of him better. Also, I want to mention Chris Wedge here aswell. He might only voice Scrat here for whenever he is onscreen, but I gotta say, for the fact that this is his first real voice over role, he is hilarious. I do wonder if this dude has experience or if he is just good at squealling into a mic. Either way, good job to all the actors here. Another thing that has really held up is the animation. Some of the characters do look a little strange seeing as the rendering wasn't as advanced, but as a whole the film looks really good and has a lot of detail. The fur, the varied background animation and just all the little touches all around make this a very nice looking film. This could also be considered as one of the first films to try cartoony CGI like we know it today and it really does work well. Overall, I love this film and think it's easily the best film in the series. All I can say is: Check dat stuff out.
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