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Ice Age: Continental Drift

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Ice Age: Continental Drift
Ice Age; Continental Drift.jpg
The Ice Age franchise jumped the drift with this film...
Genre: Animated
Directed By: Steve Martino
Michael Thurmeier
Written By: Michael Berg
Jason Fuchs
Starring: Ray Romano
John Leguizamo
Denis Leary
Queen Latifah
Seann William Scott
Josh Peck
Chris Wedge
Keke Palmer
Nicki Minaj
Jennifer Lopez
Josh Gad
Patrick Stewart
Peter Dinklage
Photography: Color
Distributed By: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: June 20, 2012 (CineEurope)
July 13, 2012 (United States)
Runtime: 88 minutes
Country: United States
Prequel: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Sequel: Ice Age: Collision Course

Ice Age: Continental Drift (also called Ice Age 4: Continental Drift or simply Ice Age 4) is a 2012 American computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the sequel to the 2009 film Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and the fourth film in the Ice Age series. The film was directed by Steve Martino and Michael Thurmeier from a screenplay by Michael Berg and Jason Fuchs. In the film's ensemble voice cast, Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, and Chris Wedge reprise their previous roles alongside Keke Palmer, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Jennifer Lopez, Josh Gad, Patrick Stewart, and Peter Dinklage voicing new characters. The film had its premiere on June 20, 2012, at the CineEurope film distributors' trade fair in Barcelona. It publicly premiered on June 27, 2012, in Belgium, Egypt, France, Switzerland, and Trinidad, and was released on July 13, 2012, in the USA. A sequel, Ice Age: Collision Course, was released on July 22, 2016.


Scrat's continuous pursuit of an infernal acorn has world-changing consequences for Manny (Ray Romano), Sid (John Leguizamo), and Diego (Denis Leary) when the continents split apart. The continental crack-up separates Manny and his friends from the rest of the herd, including Manny's mate, Ellie (Queen Latifah) and rebellious daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer). The pals are desperate to return home, but a pirate (Peter Dinklage) and his ragtag crew stand in their way.

Bad Qualities

  1. The film is inferior to the first three films, and it lacks any charm or charisma of the those films, as it is completely unnecessary for various reasons and was made to cash in. The main reasons that it didn't need a sequel is because the third film had a good ending where it didn't need a sequel because Manny finally found a new family and it ended the franchise on a high note. In fact, its likely that Fox saw the box office of the previous movie and forced Blue Sky Studios to milk the series just for money.
  2. The film itself feels like a parody of 2012, Avatar, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and The Day After Tomorrow.
  3. Diego and Shira's romance sub-plot seems pointless and serves no purpose to the actual story, despite it being surprisingly well-written and natural.
  4. It recycles most of the element stories from Ice Age: The Meltdown, where the main group is separated from the other animals (Manny, Sid, and Diego are slown down by Ellie, Crash, and Eddie's antics and attempts to camouflage from predators and need to rush in order to keep up with the others - Manny, Sid, and Diego are left trapped on moving chunks of ice in the ocean, along with Granny, while a giant land shift encroaches on Ellie, Peaches, and those remaining on land) because the ground below them has broke due to the world's changing (the ice is melting, causing an enormously high ice wall holding a massive reservoir that could flood the valley to nearly a mile underwater if it fails surrounding the animals' valley on all sides to slowly fall down - continental break-up causing earthquaked), and now they have to find a way to get back to the others, and reach a safe land (the boat - the land bridge) at the same time. All while one member of the main trio (Manny - Diego) meets and falls in love with a female individual of his own species (Ellie - Shira) that follows a misfit group (possums - pirates).
    • It also recycles elements from Finding Nemo where a father (Marlin - Manny) is overprotective because he lost his family (Marlin's wife Coral was killed by a barracuda, along with Nemo's 399 unborn siblings, with Nemo as the only survivor - Manny lost his wife and child to humans before he met Sid, Diego, and Ellie, fell in love again with the latter, who gave birth to Peaches) as they don't want their children (Nemo - Peaches) to meet the same fate. While the children (Nemo - Peaches) love their fathers (Marlin - Manny), they feel suffocated by their overprotectiveness, which leads them to say a hurtful thing to them (I hate you - I wish you weren't my father). After that, the children are separated from their fathers (Nemo is kidnapped by scuba divers - Manny, Sid, Diego, and Granny are left trapped on moving chunks of ice in the ocean, while Peaches remain on land with Ellie and the rest of the animals), and the children feel sorry about what they did and said to their fathers, and the fathers must find their children while at the same thing learning to let them be independent and live life to the fullest.
  5. All of the adolescent animal characters are portrayed as cocky, popular-teenager stereotypes.
  6. Continuity error: This marks the second time Earth's continents break up and move to their current positions, after the Gone Nutty. While the short may not be canon, at least there, it was as exaggerated as here.
  7. Several of the characters never got a proper introduction of how they became a part of the characters lives.
  8. Some of the humor can seem forced and nonsensical, like one hypocritical joke about mammoths going extinct and another mammoth claiming it as a "double burn".
  9. Some of the recurring characters aren't portrayed all that great compared to the previous films:
    • Manny's character has been flanderized in this, he went from a sophisticated, grumpy yet likable leader to a typical "overprotective father" cliché with Peaches, which was copied in Hotel Transylvania, that came out later in 2012 (although, to be fair, it does make sense as he just want to prevent Peaches from having the same fate as his previous child, as mentioned in GB#5) Luckily, after this film and Collision Course, he reverted back to his original personality in Buck Wild.
    • Crash and Eddie were also flanderized, from intelligent and crafty pranksters who cared about their friends to obnoxious and pointless idiots that never take anything seriously and don't care about anyone's safety, not even their own.
    • Sid was also flanderized, from a wacky and spontaneous yet smart, optimistic and supportive best friend to Manny and Diego to a stereotypical, uncareful, and destructive lazy bum, and is dirtier than he was in the previous three films, such as vomiting out grape jelly, and also carelessness to the point that he ate a fruit that paralyzed him without knowing it, despite Diego's warning not to do it.
    • Scrat's slapstick gag of failing to get his acorn, while still hilarious, causes more conflict and chaos for our main characters; which kinda makes him the villain rather than Captain Gutt.
      • Scrat's shenanigans in the last three films may have been kind of exaggerated (getting squashed, zapped, stretched, etc.) they were still limited. But this film (especially the fifth) over exaggerates it to a million (a mountain quickly breaking in half, Scrat overstretching on the rotating earths core, Scrat causing tectonic plates to shift and forming landmarks, and him surviving impossible dangers etc.)!
      • Plus, while absurd things happening to Scrat is hilarious because he is supposed to be a Looney Tunes-type of character, Manny, Sid, Diego, and the other characters are supposed to be realistic, so when Scrat's antics impacts on the main plot, it becomes highly illogical. Scrat never caused the main plot in the first three movies to begin with.
    • Peaches' behavior and personality in this film is just a "bratty teenage daughter" stereotype. This is a shame because she was way more likeable in the franchise Christmas special, Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas, where she had her father's sarcasm and irritability and her mother's kindness, sense of humor and strength, but still had a personality of her own.
    • Although characters such as prehistoric animals do not have an important role in the film other than accompanying Ellie and Peaches, they also suffer from retrosession, becoming silly and cowardly animals who do not know how to react to this situation, contrasting with what happened in the second movie.
  10. The film can run on several amounts of mean-spirited levels most of the time, like how Sid's actual family, who is unlikable and pointless, abandon him and his granny because they're screw-ups & "dead weights" and how Peaches is bullied by the Brat Pack (except for Ethan who is likable) at the beginning of the film.
  11. While Captain Gutt and his crews are entertaining yet at the same time intimidating antagonists with interesting personalities, the concept of pirates itself is very out of place for a franchise about pre-historic animals, it's like making a movie about racing and then making a sequel where the racing aspect is turned into a subplot, and the main plot is about spies. Plus, they don't even have a purpose to why there are evil, they are not looking for gold, they not looking for power, all they say is that "they pillage, they riffle and loot, and they kidnap and ravage and they don't give a hoot". Yes, Gutt's motivation later was because Manny and his friends accidentally shrunk his first ship and stole his second one, but what about before it? It didn't change anything on his personality directly. Unlike Soto and the rest of Diego's old pack from the first film, who actually had an established motive for his actions (his desire for revenge on a human tribe for killing half of his pack by eating the chief's infant son, Roshan, alive). Regarding Cretaceous and Maelstrom from the second film, and Rudy from the third, they didn't need a reason because they were predators animals who (while persistent) were merely acting on instinct (though it's implied that Rudy also wanted to get revenge on Buck for stealing his tooth), while both Soto and Gutt were acting on personal motives.
  12. They brought Drake and Nicki Minaj in just so the film could appeal to the tween demographic and hip-hop fanbase.
  13. The film feels like it's trying to juggle too much subplots, including:
    • Manny trying to return to the Continent to reunite with his family.
    • Captain Gutt wanting revenge on Manny for destroying his ship.
    • Shira's redemption arc.
    • Sid trying to look after his grandmother.
    • Peaches' love triangle.
    • Scrat using a treasure map to find his acorn.
    • Ellie and the pack escaping from the wall.
  14. The humor in this film made the franchise lose its way as it relies on humor from the 2010s generation.
    • On that topic, while the previous Ice Age films relied on its own humor while staying true to its era to make it seem more realistic. This film goes full fantasy with some of its scenes, like the ending scene with Scratlantis.
  15. The movie completely ignores what happened in the third installment, since although we have the appearance of Rudy, Buck, Scrate, and Sid's reference to Mama Rex, the third part seems that it never existed.
  16. While the villains are generally threats to Manny and the pack, they lack depth causing you to not take them seriously.
  17. A few moments can portray as nothing, but being filler, like the one with sirens trying to attract the Herd, heck it can even be an excuse to foreshadow the villain's defeat.
  18. Once it reaches its climax, the movie almost forgets who the main character is, juggling it between Manny, Sid, and Louis.
  19. The love triangle-story with Peaches, Ethan and Louis is incredibly pointless and feels clichéd. Especially since Ethan isn't even mentioned in the following movie and Louis is reduced to a simple background character, while Peaches is now engaged with Julian, making the love triangle subplot in this film even more useless.
  20. Overuse of movie clichés which we've seen several times in other films.
  21. The scene where Sid and Diego kiss each other is childish, cringeworthy, disturbing, and unneeded.
  22. A few plot holes:
    • Before the final battle, it is implied that Captain Gutt arrived before Manny's ship, but that would be impossible in logical terms since if one ship leaves after another there is little chance that it will reach the ship they are chasing, At the same time they do not explain how the animals managed to get rid of the moving wall or that Ellie and the herd of animals knew Manny, since all he said about his family was that he was looking to get them back.
    • In the film, in a good part of the story, it is made clear that the land bridge is the place where they must escape, however, in the main climax the bridge was destroyed, from here many doubts arise, as the bridge was destroyed, or because Ellie and the pack didn't see it.
    • Several of the animals aboard Gutt's ship are carnivorous - Shira being a sabertooth tiger, Silas being a seagull and Flynn being a sea elephant, for example - yet all the "pirate booty" is fruit and vegetables. What are these characters eating?
  23. False Publicity: During the promotion of the film's trailer, the producers stated that the character of Rudy and Buck were also going to participate in the film, however, these characters did not appear in the film except at the moment when Scrat forms the continents.
    • One of the main posters shows Captain Gutt and the crew accompanied by dreadlocks implying that they will also be antagonists, these rats only appear at the beginning of Manny, Sid, and Diego are approached by Captain Gutt, being their last appearance, but they no longer appear in the movie, when Manny destroys Captain Gutt's ship, in fact in their first appearance they are not even a threat, giving more the impression that they are more comic-relief.
  24. Questionable song choices for the Ice Age era that don't fit on each scenes.
    • At Ethan's party in the beginning, the song "Chasing The Sun" by The Wanted was used, a 2012 song.
    • In one scene, Manny sings "The Candy Man" by Sammy Davis Jr., a song that was released in 1971 for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie.
    • The end credits song, "We Are", sung by the cast, while a good song, sounds too much like a 2010's pop song.

Good Qualities

  1. Amazing animation that's a big step up for the previous Ice Age films, making it look quite cinematic and beautifully detailed.
  2. The story here is actually interesting, as it provides stakes, progression, and character development, which was absent from Dawn of the Dinosaurs.
  3. Although the story becomes predictable, it becomes more striking than what can be seen with the naked eye, showing, or addressing quite serious issues such as the loss of the Family, the destruction of the home, the maturation of the children, the kidnapping, and self-esteem issues.
  4. The voice acting is great like the first three films, especially from Wanda Sykes, who was a perfect casting choice for Granny, and Peter Dinklage, who makes a entertaining yet at the same time, menacing performance for Gutt.
  5. Some characteristics are still done right and of some the new characters are neat:
    • Despite Manny's flanderization, his overprotectiveness makes sense as he is afraid Peaches will face the same fate as his previous child, although this concept could have been better executed.
    • Despite Sid's carelessness having been much more exaggerated compared to the first three films, he is still relatively funny and helpful, like when he, along with Granny and Precious, saves Manny at the climax. He also still has a few smart and wise moments, like when he says Yeah, but we survived and we still have each other. Things could be worse, right?, though not as much as in the first three films.
    • Diego and Ellie were the only characters from the previous films that were not flanderized at all, with Diego still being a sarcastic yet hardcore and selfless voice of reason as a leader in critical moments, and Ellie still being Peaches' sweet mother who accepts and supports her wish to explore and meet new people, as well as Manny's voice of reason.
    • Despite Scrat causing the main plot being illogical and feeling off, his slapstick gag of failing to get his acorn is still as hilarious as always.
    • Despite Crash and Eddie's stupidity being highly exaggerated compared to the last two films, the We're very... very... stupid scene is hilarious, especially because of Louis' reaction, which is priceless.
    • Peaches is another neat character (though not as likeable as she was in Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas) that learns about the value of friendship.
    • While the concept of pirates itself feels out of place for a franchise about pre-historic animals, Captain Gutt are his crews are very entertaining antagonists and, while not as greatly written as Soto or Rudy, are actually more memorable than Cretaceous and Maelstrom from the second movie. Gutt himself is a solid character with an interesting personality, despite his lack of motivation compared to Soto in the first movie. Actually, while Soto cared for his pack for some extent and wanted to kill the baby because the humans wiped out most of his pack, Gutt only cares for his own well being and can be considered to be even more evil.
    • Shira is a great new character and her relationship with Diego is surprisingly well-written and natural, as mentioned in BQ#3. Her redemption arc is also well-written.
    • Ethan (the leader of The Brat Pack) is alright too, as he doesn't bully Peaches unlike his friends do.
    • Granny is by far the best and funniest part of the movie and she is a surprisingly well-written comic relief here (though same can't be said for her in the following installment).
    • Louis is quite likable too, as he's an actual kind and good natured character. Plus, he shows fearlessness during the climax, which makes him even better.
    • The Hyraxes are incredibly lovable and serve as a great prop for the plot.
  6. The final battle between Manny's pack against Captain Gutt's crew in the midst of the destruction of the continent is high-paced and very impressive to watch [1].
    • In addition to that, the boat chase scene is quite dynamic and fun [2].
  7. Although the film has some filler scenes, such as the sirens, they are quite funny and entertaining.
  8. Nice soundtrack, such as Captain Gutt's villain song "Master of the Seas" and the end credits song, "We Are". John Powell's score is also incredible like in the previous two.
  9. The film again focuses on an adventure commanded by Manny, Sid, and Diego, something that has not been seen since the first or second film.
  10. There is a good moral about never leaving a friend behind.
  11. Some funny moments like when Sid got sick from eating the berries, drank saltwater, the "Holy crab" joke and basically all the scenes involving Scrat and Granny.
  12. In the case of this fourth installment, unlike Shrek the Third, which in several scenes put jokes in serious moments, this installment does not add jokes in sad or serious moments.
  13. The cameo of Buck and Rudy, while very quick, is a nice easter egg to the previous film.
  14. Like the first three films, the design of practically all the characters is incredibly beautiful and very striking.
  15. It contains a reference to the first film, with Diego mentioning his former pack while talking with Shira.
    • Peaches being roasted by the Brat Pack for behaving and sleeping like a possum is a good reference to the second film.
    • The scene where Diego chase Shira on Switchback Cove is notably inspired on the scene from the third film where he chases a gazelle and even the soundtrack is the same, making it a really nice and nostalgic reference.
  16. The relationship between Manny and his family is heartwarming.
  17. All the international dubs that were released of the film are incredibly funny.
  18. The ending is really emotional especially when Manny reconciles with Peaches.
  19. While the third movie was arguably a better to end the Ice Age franchise, this movie actually could have been a decent conclusion too (if the franchise didn't continue past that), with the herd finding a new land to live on, along with Granny and Shira being great additions to the cast, and both of Manny's families being brought together again.
  20. The final credits, unlike Shrek the Third, are quite funny and work well with the background music that accompanies them [3].


Ice Age: Continental Drift received mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. Some fans loved it for it's wit, heart, and impressive animation, while others thought it was an unnecessary sequel, due to it's recycled plot elements and an overabundance of underdeveloped characters. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 37% based on 134 reviews and an average rating of 5.09/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Ice Age: Continental Drift 3D has moments of charm and witty slapstick, but it often seems content to recycle ideas from the previous films." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 49 out of 100 based on 29 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.

At the time the, this movie was considered the worst movie in the franchise until Ice Age: Collision Course (released four years later) came out which got worse reviews and ruined the franchise's reputation, In fact, given the reception of Ice Age: Collision Course and The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild with the public, this fourth installment has a more mixed reception, being considered better than other installments released by Blue Sky, in fact there are many who consider it the best in terms of adventures or development that Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, however, it is still considered one of the most deficient in the franchise as well as in the studio in general.

Box Office

The film since its premiere was considered a great box office success, given that it grossed 161.3 million dollars in North America, which despite being the lowest in the franchise until the arrival of the fifth installment, the film set box office records. worldwide with a final profit of $715.9 million dollars being the highest both in the franchise and in the studio, its final box office was $877.2 million dollars, being 10 million less than the third installment

However, according to secret reports that Disney had access to when it bought FOX, the film had grossed $910 or $895 million at the final box office, plus this animated film has been the best-selling animated film in history in toys and merchandise during the year 2012, being a profit higher than that of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs as well as Madagascar 3 that was released in the same year.

In fact, according to those reports, the film netted almost $400 or $650 million, making it as successful as Incredibles 2, Shrek 2, Toy Story 3, or Frozen 2.



  • This movie was originally going to take place in the modern times with Manny, Sid, Diego, and Ellie being defrosted in a museum.
  • Gutt was originally conceived as a tiny rabbit (which would later be transplanted to Squint), and also as a bear, but the designers had trouble designing the character. Someone hit on the idea that a primate would be right at home swinging through the rigging of a pirate ship, and thus Gutt became an ape.
  • Jeremy Renner was originally cast as Gutt. He presumably exited the role due to scheduling conflicts with The Avengers.
  • Ray Romano's eldest daughter Ally voices Meghan one of the snobby teen girl mammoths, following suit of her younger brothers Matt and Greg (since at least one of Ray's kids have voiced a minor role in almost every sequel).
    • John Leguizamo's kids Lucas and Allegra also provide additional voices (Like Ray, at least one of John's kids have voiced minor roles in the sequels).
  • The idea for Ice Age: Continental Drift was actually partly inspired by the Odyssey, as where Manny gets separated from his family, he is stuck in the middle of the ocean, and his goal is to get back to his family.
  • Peter De Seve, the character designer, had a lot of fun designing the new pirates. When making Captain Gutt he realized he could make him have a pirate outfit just by changing up his hair to make Gutt look like he is wearing a pirate hat.
  • The team wanted to expand on Scrat, instead of him being to the side of the main plot, he would be the one to actually cause the main plot.
  • In this movie, the Blue Sky Studios team decided Diego would have more focus and a bigger character arc than he did in the last two films.
  • Ice Age: Continental Drift and Ice Age: Collision Course were not directed by Carlos Saldanha (the co-director of Ice Age and the director of Ice Age: The Meltdown and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs).
  • Steve Martino, who was a director along side Mike Thurmeier, actually went to Latin America and hiked up a glacier to see what it looked liked, and to see the textures of the glacier, for when they were making the film.
  • The film was accompanied by the short animated film The Longest Daycare featuring Maggie Simpson. Ironically, this short film was better received by than this movie and some even paid to see this movie only to see Maggie's short and then left the theater.
  • As a promotion for Ice Age: Continental Drift, Fox released two 3-minute short segments from the film, titled Scrat's Continental Crack-up and Scrat's Continental Crack-up: Part 2. The first part premiered as a theatrical release attached to Gulliver's Travels in 2010, and it was released on-line on January 6, 2011, on iTunes Movie Trailers. The second part was released on November 16, 2011, on iTunes, and debuted in theatres with Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. The first part shows how Scrat's actions lead to split of the continents, while in the second part, Scrat's underwater pursuit of acorns leads him to a pirate ship.



Blue Sky Studios
Ice Age - Robots - Ice Age: The Meltdown - Horton Hears a Who! - Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - Rio - Ice Age: Continental Drift - Epic - Rio 2 - The Peanuts Movie - Ice Age: Collision Course - Ferdinand - Spies in Disguise