I try to avoid children’s movies because all that matters about them, most of the time, is whether they are funny and whether they may be offensive to parents, and my sense of humor does not seem to match that of thirteen-year-old boys who think nothing is as funny as gas leakages, and I do not empathize with parents who want to protect their young-uns from language they hear every day at recess. But every so often I am forced to review kiddies’ movies for lack of anything else new, and often as not I find myself thoroughly entertained from beginning to finish.
For example, Ice Age: Continental Drift is apparently regarded as a weak entry, but I loved the characterizations and most of the ice gags except the thirty-seventh time somebody slipped and slid, and found myself chuckling when I wasn’t laughing, and especially appreciating the subtleties of animation and range of expression in faces that looked like felt.
The story starts with a fairly accurate representation of what happened when the continents broke off and drifted apart, and then goes off in all directions with that same old squirrel chasing an acorn like the coyote chasing the road runner while, in a completely different story line, a bunch of creatures on an ice floe are trying are to get back home against the evil machinations of a blatantly anachronistic pirate gorilla who is trying to catch them. I enjoyed the quotation form The Last of the Mohicans and the allusions to Homer’s Odyssey, and to superproductions like Independence Day and I-would-have-thought-forgotten Jungle Jim, and epic movies like Braveheart, without caring whether there was some underlying theme or satire, which I don’t think there was, (despite a line or two about miscegenation and the stupidity of neglecting climate change.) There were even some genuinely good lines, though not much verbal wit.
Have I been missing something first-rate by neglecting cartoons? Well, don’t you.