Ice Age: Collision Course (3 stars)

Ice Age: Collision Course

The gang return for a fifth instalment of animated antics, with squirrel Scrat stealing the show

The fifth and possibly final entry in the Ice Age franchise from Blue Sky Studios, Ice Age: Collision Course follows exactly the same storyline as its series predecessors: a global catastrophe threatens Sid, Manny and Diego, and they quickly embark on a perilous path that somehow leads them to safety. The formula is identical, what’s surprising is that the results are still relatively fresh.

One huge plus is the increased amount of screen-time given to Scrat (voiced by Chris Wedge), the accident-prone squirrel always looking for ways of protecting his giant acorn. Blown out into space in a series of elaborate sight gags that riff cleverly on Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, Scrat is the first to encounter the giant meteorite that’s set to destroy all life on earth.

Director Mike Thurmeier and his co-helmer Galen T Chu return regularly to Scrat’s Tex Avery-inspired antics as a comic counterpoint to the less interesting dramas which take centre stage: Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo) searches for love; Manny the mammoth (Ray Romano) seeks to bond his family together; and Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary) leads the way, with the dubious help of one-eyed weasel Buck (Simon Pegg).

Over 14 years of animations, the series has acquired some decent running gags – here we’re treated to the welcome return of Wanda Sykes as Sid’s streetwise granny. And, while the film’s attitude to science is clearly nonsense, it’s amusingly self-deprecating to rope in noted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to explain just how wide of the mark the internal logic is.

Never attempting to scale the more ambitious heights of a Pixar, Collision Course is a brisk, innocuous entry in a series that places silliness and colour before narrative drive, character or originality. The real selling point remains Scrat; the star of several shorts, it’s surely high time that this personable, lovable rodent had his own movie franchise.

General release from Fri 15 Jul.

Ice Age: Collision Course

  • 3 stars
  • 2016
  • 1h 40min
  • U
  • Directed by: Mike Thurmeier, Galen T. Chu
  • Cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Simon Pegg, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah
  • UK release: 15 July 2016

Same story as always: global catastrophe threatens Sid, Manny and Diego and they have to get to safety. It manages to be relatively fresh, thanks to the increased amount of time given to accident-prone Scrat and his Tex Avery-ish antics in defence of his giant acorn; surely the lovable rodent has earned his own franchise.