“Ice Age: The Adventures of Buckwild”: The End of an Era

The popular franchise deserved better.

Twenty years ago this year, the very first “Ice Age” hit theaters, revolutionizing the animated feature film category in more ways than one. Indeed, while “Shrek” started the trend timidly in 2001, “Ice Age” offered a constant level of reading for adults, the film then taking on a completely different meaning for parents than for children. Then, a woman, Lori Forte, was alone in the production of this first work from Blue Sky studios. Some $6 billion in five movies later, it’s time for the characters to bow out, or so the team claimed.

Knowing that dinosaurs are adored by children and that “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” was the most profitable at the box office with no less than $886.6 million in receipts worldwide, it is logical that the action of this sixth film of the franchise takes place in the famous mysterious underground world discovered at the time by Sid.

This time, Crash and Eddie, the two opossums taken in by Ellie, the wife of Manny the mammoth, want to fly on their own and get away from Ellie, their older “sister”. The two youngsters, still going crazy, fall – like Sid before them – through a patch of ice and find themselves in the underground world sheltering dinosaurs. They see Buck again, the one-eyed weasel, and are the heroes, despite themselves, of an adventure that we do not divulge.

Even with six years since the last adventure of the prehistoric animals, it is difficult to fully subscribe to the proposal that is made here. The magic seems absent, the double talk for adults is no longer as neat as before and the too often seen gags illustrate how difficult it becomes to invent something new. In addition, the long-time “fans” of this excellent franchise, including myself, regret the secondary role of Mannie, Diego, Ellie and Sid, relegated to too short appearances. On the other hand, it’s a safe bet that toddlers will see nothing but fire.

Disney, now owner of Fox, has announced that an animated series with Scrat, the famous crazy squirrel in constant search of acorns, is in development. We hope that it meets the expectations of older people.

“Ice Age: The Adventures of Buckwild” hits Disney+ on January 28.

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