CAST (voices): John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Simon Pegg, Ray Romano, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Wanda Sykes, Jessie J, Stephanie Beatriz, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Adam Devine, Robert Cardone, Keke Palmer
Directors: Michael Thumeier and Galen T. Chu
It’s been a very good year for animated films and fantasy adventure Ice Age: Collision Course is all set to emulate box office hits, The Secret Life of Pets and Finding Dory. Embedding evolution, science and glorious music composed by John Debney (The Passion of the Christ, Jungle Book ) the fifth sequel on the adventures of an unlikely herd of pre-historic creatures provides both manic laughs and intellectual fodder for viewers of all ages, especially little ones.
Indeed, the scriptwriters will find this exhilarating tale following the prehistoric survivors of the planet’s early natural calamities will find it hard to beat in the next chapter of the flagship franchise which first hit screens in 2002.
In Ice Age: Collision Course, Scrat pursues the Object of his Desire (you know what) out of Earth’s orbit, inadvertently unleashing a series of catastrophes that threaten to destroy Earth and its inhabitants. Doomsday looms in the shape of an asteroid and all the much loved characters from chapters one to four, Manny (voiced by Ray Romano), Ellie (Queen Latifah) Sid (John Leguizamo), Diego (Denis Leary), and assorted pals unite to make the long arduos journey to safety. En route, the herd encounters several new characters, who either befriend them instantly a la Brooke (Jessie J) who falls for Sid (John Leguizamo) or convert into friends from foes.
Eye-patched character Buck (Simon Pegg) who saved the lives of the mammals in the previous chapter, now displays encyclopaedic knowledge and amazing cerebral powers, aided and abetted by Neil deBuck Weasel, an astronomy expert who exists inside his imagination (voiced by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson who also helped the film-makers enrich the script with his science background) In secular life, voices in the head would be considered as a mental health issue, but in the film, Buck’s hallucination is both auditory and visual, and proves be key in helping the herd save themselves.
True to form, Buck displays characteristic bravery to which is now added, an (unexpected) ardour for fatherhood, lavished on a pumpkin (I kid you not) Parenting is important. While the woolly mammoth parents are preoccupied with the prospect of losing their daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) to her newly betrothed, loads of laughs are elicited by Granny (Wanda Sykes) and the denizens of the garden of eternal youth, which is based on Shangri La, the fictional Tibetan Utopia immortalised by British author James Hilton in his 1933 novel Lost Horizon.
Your reviewer loved the foe turned friend subplot involving the predatory dinos and John Debney’s grand music score which is mainly classical, and delves into pop only at the end credits which are enlivened by none other than Scrat and his elusive Acorn.