Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: Movie Review
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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs has a driving plotline and two major new characters that prevent it from becoming stale or old hat.
The movie opens with the nutty squirrel Scrat falling through the ice and exposing an unknown dinosaur world below the place where Manny and his friends live. Manny the Mammoth and his mate, Ellie, are going to have a baby, and Manny has built a special playground for the expected arrival.
Meanwhile, Manny’s friend Sid the sloth finds the hole in the ice and discovers three large T-Rex dinosaur eggs in the cave below. Against Manny’s advice, Sid decides to care for them as if he’s their mommy. Sid is upset that Manny doesn’t seem to want him be a part of Manny and Ellie’s burgeoning family. The eggs hatch, but the baby dinosaurs wreck Manny’s playground. This causes further tension between Manny and Sid.
The real mommy dinosaur comes to get her babies. She grabs Sid at the same time and runs back into the dinosaur world below. Manny is reluctant to follow the dinosaur and save Sid. He figures Sid is already dead meat.
Ellie, however, convinces Manny and Diego the saber-toothed tiger to help her retrieve Sid. Her two possum companions, Crash and Eddie, go along for the ride. They find that the dinosaur world below has unique dangers that could kill them. Coming to the rescue is Buck, an Aussie-tongued, wacky weasel who has been trapped in the dinosaur world for years.
Buck informs the gang there's a male T-Rex on the loose, a monster who’s been Buck’s arch-nemesis ever since Buck lost an eye trying to escape from the beast. Suddenly, Manny is no longer king of the jungle. He has to rely on Buck and his friends to protect Ellie and save Sid.
The script to Dawn of the Dinosaurs keeps things moving along. The characters face constant jeopardy, both emotional and physical. And, the themes of family and parenthood are carried through to the end. Spicing things up is plenty of goofy, funny humor that will delight most viewers.
The heroes in Ice Age 3 risk their lives to save their friend Sid. They also risk their lives to protect the pregnant mammoth. Also, the movie itself extols family. There are even a couple of biblical allusions. These positive moral, redemptive themes are mitigated, however, by a light politically correct multicultural tone with a couple gender-bending, homosexual allusions. For example, the movie says that, in Manny and Ellie’s herd, everyone is accepted no matter who they are. Also, Sid thinks of himself as the mommy of the baby dinosaurs. Furthermore, at one point, Buck says that, when the gang encounters some giant prehistoric butterflies, he was there when they “came out.”
This political correctness may affect older children more than younger ones. The movie’s sometimes intense, scary cartoon violence and dinosaurs is a little too much for younger children, however.
That said, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is more action oriented, better plotted and more wholesome than the second movie in the series. For slightly older children through adults of any age, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is one of the best fun, funny, exciting, entertaining movies of the year.
NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at www.movieguide.org. Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at www.movieguide.org. The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers.
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