The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild
"There was no reason for this to exist whatsoever, it provided no reason to exist outside of profit, and what ended up existing is a poorly-written, poorly-animated, poorly-acted, poorly-done everything piece of nothing!"— Isaacarthy, ["Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild"]
The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild is a 2022 American-Canadian computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It was animated at Bardel Entertainment and stars Simon Pegg reprising his role as the titular Buck alongside Utkarsh Ambudkar, Justina Machado, Vincent Tong, and Aaron Harris. This serves as a spin-off of the Ice Age franchise and is the first movie without any involvement from either Blue Sky Studios or 20th Century Studios (The former having closed down on April 10, 2021). It was released as a Disney+ exclusive on January 28, 2022, almost 20 years after the first Ice Age film was released.
Desperate for some distance from their older sister Ellie, the thrill-seeking possum brothers Crash and Eddie set out to find a place of their own, but quickly find themselves trapped in the Lost World, a massive cave underground. They are rescued by their one-eyed pal, the adventure-loving, dinosaur-hunting weasel Buck Wild, and together embark on a mission to save the Lost World from dinosaur domination.
Why It Isn't Wild
- To get the mammoth out of the room, the Ice Age franchise already overstayed its welcome starting with Continental Drift, yet it got worse with Collision Course which turned Ice Age into a cynical cash grab franchise. However with this film, Ice Age managed to make an unnecessary and absolutely nonsensical return without Blue Sky Studios for Disney+ much like Home Sweet Home Alone (though this project was announced even before Blue Sky Studios shut down as it was confirmed that the studio had no involvement due to them attempting to work on Nimona (though Netflix acquired it) as well as other projects prior to shutting down including an Ice Age series with Scrat titled Scrat Tales, the undated Foster and maybe even those in development hell like Mutts, Spore, Alienology (though Paramount Pictures also wanted to work on it), Anubis, Left Tern, The Iguana Brothers, Horton Hatches an Egg (Maybe because of Dr. Seuss), Frogkisser!, and Escape From Hat (though Netflix acquired the film)). Sure this may be a spin-off (and making a spin-off movie about Buck is a great idea as he is an incredible character and it could have been the Puss in Boots of Ice Age), but still, you can't just milk the Ice Age franchise to death.
- At the same time according to those reports, Disney had no intention of hiring the same voice actors given the poor reception of the fifth installment.
- The animation is a ridiculous downgrade from the first five films even when compared to Disney/20th Century Fox studios' other low-budget CGI-animated feature films made for direct-to-video releases in the previous years. It looks very low-quality, weird and somewhat pretty horrifying. It honestly looks more like an Unreal Engine game cutscene, or a PlayStation 3 cutscene due to its issues with the textures including the characters' fur. Some of the designs (including Sid) look hideous due to certain facial expressions.
- Not to mention, but it's not a great idea to outsource the film's animation to a Canadian studio since the production of computer-animated movies is something recent in Canada and the majority of the studios out there only use CGI for visual effects and TV shows. It should also be much if the animation was done at Walt Disney Animation Studios instead.
- In addition to that, the film has tons of animation errors, low-quality textures and low-poly 3D models. A serious example is because the film treats fur as if it were air and continually passes it through rigid bodies without making it bend or giving it physics in general (some striking examples boil down to a scene where Buck crossed his arms and his "chest hairs" pierced them and Sid falling off a cliff and his head hair had pierced the dry earth as if it were air). Even movies with bad animations like Norm of the North and Pets United didn't have such noticeable animation errors.
- It was also a missed opportunity to be animated by Reel FX Creative Studios since they made the TV special Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas in which their animation looked closer to the Blue Sky Studios Animation.
- On top of all of this, this could basically mean that this film was rushed for release. This was especially a problem since it was made into a full length movie instead of being kept as a TV Show.
- With the only exception of Simon Pegg as Buck, all of the cast from the original pentalogy have been replaced. While most of the new voice actors do sound pretty similar to the original actors, Jake Green (Sid's new voice actor) sounds nothing like John Leguizamo (who voiced him in the first five movies). He sounds a bit more feminine compared to his usual voice in the movie. This is probably due to John being busy with the well-received Encanto at the time voicing the character Bruno.
- Anachronism: During a campfire scene, Crash and Eddie are seen eating marshmallows (one somehow getting into Eddie's ear) despite the film taking place in the ice age hence the name of the franchise. Marshmallows were not known until as early as about 2000 B.C during the Ancient Egyptian period. The marshmallows also look a bit like mushrooms too.
- While not as frequent as in the previous movie, there are still a few outdated pop culture references.
- False advertising/misleading title for multiple reasons:
- Despite Buck being the title character, the film is more about Crash and Eddie trying to become independent. Because of this, the film may as well be retitled as: "The Ice Age Adventures of Crash and Eddie".
- Speaking of which, the movie feels like it's switching either Buck or the possums as the main characters indicating that it can't seem to decide who should get more focus.
- One poster shows Buck in the water and a T-Rex trying to eat Buck, something that didn't happen in the film.
- While the art style looks good and beautiful on these posters for this film just like the first five movies, the movie itself has the aforementioned very low-quality animation.
- In the trailers, it appears that Crash & Eddie went back to the Lost World by falling through a hole of ice. But in the movie, they actually go back using a cave system like in the third movie.
- Despite Buck being the title character, the film is more about Crash and Eddie trying to become independent. Because of this, the film may as well be retitled as: "The Ice Age Adventures of Crash and Eddie".
- A lot of characters from the previous films such as Shira, Peaches, Granny, Brooke, Rudy, Julian, the T-Rex babies, Gavin (his family too), and even Scrat are nowhere to be found in this film. While it's understandable in the case of Julian and Peaches as they presumably left after the events of the fifth film to roam and start their own family and also with Granny and (presumably) Brooke who stayed behind in Geotopia to stay young, the other characters have no such excuse especially when references to the movies they appeared in (i.e. the cave paintings in the beginning that recap the Ice Age franchise up to that point) are dropped. This is even more frustrating when looking at the fact that the director, John C. Donkin, is also the producer of the first, third, and fourth film; he literally produced the film where some of these characters were first introduced and play a major role in. And somehow, he completely forgot about them. There are also some other problems too:
- While Peaches' absence is understandable as she moved out with Julian after the events of Collision Course, it's very illogical that Manny and Ellie never mention their own daughter. Similarly while Granny's absence is understandable as she stayed back in Geotopia to stay young, it's also illogical that Sid never mention his own relative.
- Shira, Brooke and Scrat aren't mentioned by the characters and no in-universe reason is given as to what happened to them. Did Shira and Brooke break up with Sid and Diego? Is Scrat still stuck in space?
- The reason for Scrat's absence is supposedly due to Disney losing ownership of the character after his original designer, Ivy Supersonic, won a 20-year trademark dispute over him. That's the same thing as making a Madagascar movie without the penguins, a Hotel Transylvania movie without Johnny, a Toy Story movie without Buzz Lightyear, a Shrek movie without Donkey, a Frozen movie without Olaf, a Despicable Me movie without the Minions, a Rio movie without Nigel or a Cars movie without Mater and Lightning McQueen (not to mention that making a spin-off movie about Buck without Rudy is the same as making a movie about Tom without Jerry, or Tweety without Sylvester, or Wile E. Coyote without Road Runner, or Garfield without Odie).
- Granted the main problem with the previous movie is that there are too many characters that add nothing to the plot (especially with Brooke), but they could've at least been mentioned.
- While most of the characters are surprisingly likable, some of them are incredibly lackluster:
- Buck, who is the titular character of the film and also while likable, feels more like a plot device wherein he is just there to deliver exposition about the villain.
- Crash and Eddie, while more tolerable than in Continental Drift and Collision Course, are unlikable since they act spoiled towards Ellie because they want more freedom. Also, while they are made smarter than the last two films with their intelligence being less like Season 6-8's Patrick Star and more like Season 1-15 and 31-present's Bart Simpson, they are ignorant of their own species. To prove this to you, both of the possums think that they are not mammals until Buck told them they were. They also annoy Zee a lot for her name and even attempted to hijack Buck's bone boat and bought some poisonous fruit that they were about to see during the boat scene. Although they do become likable after Buck is captured by Orson, so they, Zee, and Momma Dino can escape as they start to have actual character development after that scene (see RQ#4).
- They also (but accidentally) destroyed Manny, Sid, and Diego's habitat while also disobeying Ellie even if she had a reason as to why she wanted to keep Crash and Eddie safe.
- Sid acts very out of character in this film showing little to no care for Crash and Eddie to the point of making uncalled-for comments about them being dead such as "I don't mean to be a negative Nancy, but they've been gone a while. Shouldn't we just be looking for bones at this point?" and "Face it, guys. Crash and Eddie have gone bye-bye. They totally disappeared without a trace"!, which he would have never said in the first three movies (and fits more to Crash and Eddie since they said something similar to those comments in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs). He also ruins all the emotional moments the movie tries to have such as Ellie's backstory about Mother Opossum and Ellie's encounter with the possums at the end by saying "You know, I lost my mama too. Well, technically, she moved away without leaving a forwarding address. But then I found Manny here. And then, when Diego came along and tried to kill us, we knew we were destined to be a family." (if this was supposed to be a joke, it failed horribly) as well as "Aw. I love family reunions. But there's no buffet, so time to head home!" (let Ellie reunite with her brothers peacefully, please). Jake Green's annoying performance and terrible attempt at impersonating John Leguizamo's voice doesn't help either.
- Manny, Diego, and Ellie, while likable (and that Manny's flanderization was surprisingly undone and Ellie isn't out of character like the previous film), are pointless and feel like they along with Sid are only in the movie to give Crash and Eddie a reason to go to the Lost World.
- Momma Dino, while likable as well and is great to see her returning (and Sid being able to understand her is a nice touch to their story in Dawn of the Dinosaurs), also feels pointless barely even helping others than giving Manny, Sid, Diego, and Ellie a ride to the Watering Hole. This is only in the movie to pander nostalgia for older fans. Her reuniting with Sid, Manny, Diego, and Ellie is also very bland as she and Sid see each other again for more than twenty years (if the movie is actually set after Collision Course) and don't even talk about the babies they raised together. Granted they had to rush to the watering hole because Buck, Zee, Crash, and Eddie were in danger, but still.
- The concept of a talking dinosaur that wants to rule the Lost World is interesting especially so that Buck can have an evil counterpart (similar to how Gutt was to Manny in the fourth film) (instead of fighting Rudy who is merely a feared predator following his natural instincts) wants to kill Momma and take over her territory so that he can become king of the lost world and wants revenge for his tooth. However, Orson is a really weak villain, only wanting to rule the lost world because of reasons. Besides, the only main reason why he wants to rule is that he said that "dinos rule, mammals drool". On top of that, he is mostly a rip-off of Dave from Penguins of Madagascar: The Movie and Koto from All Hail King Julien: Exiled, but unlike those two who are intimidating yet entertaining at the same time, Orson fails horribly at being either of them. Plus, the fact that his huge brain literally can be seen out of his head can be really disturbing for young viewers (but this is also nonsensical since protoceratops like him didn't have exposed brains in real life).
- During the scene where Crash and Eddie dream about their own home, the sequence tries way too hard to be relatable to the youths by including some rap music in the background, having one of the possums dabbing, and both Crash and Eddie dancing to the music. However, it was only for a brief moment until the post-credits scene which had the same dabbing scene.
- Heaps of continuity errors: Despite supposedly taking place after Collision Course due to Ellie recapping the events of the previous films, for some reason Sid and Diego are single, which causes the Ice Age timeline to go over the place. Here are some examples of this:
- If this were to take place before Continental Drift due to Sid and Diego being single, then how come Peaches (if she was either a baby or at least a child) is non-existent? She didn't just magically disappear.
- During the scene where Crash and Eddie went to visit Buck's cave, Buck still has his pumpkin daughter from Collision Course despite this film seemingly taking place before the fifth Ice Age Blue Sky made.
- Also, the ending is quite confusing. Crash and Eddie decide to stay with Buck when the films after Dawn of the Dinosaurs depict Crash and Eddie still living with Manny and company in the other films. However, Crash and Eddie said that they are going to visit Manny's herd, though this still doesn't really make sense, especially considering Buck's absence in Continental Drift.
- During the events of Dawn of the Dinosaurs Buck destroys a dinosaur bridge that leads to the lost world, yet when Crash and Eddie go to the Lost World, the bridge somehow does not exist.
- Buck has been a loner most of his time so having him get a "family" feels off. Crash and Eddie didn't just live with Buck forever and Zee (as well as the deceased animals who were on Buck's and Zee's side) didn't even live with Buck when he was reintroduced into Collision Course after having a brief cameo in Continental Drift.
- During the scene when Crash and Eddie find it weird seeing Orson speak because he's a dinosaur, they don't have a problem with the Dino-Birds from Collision Course talking despite also being dinos as well.
- At the end of Continental Drift, Manny and the gang move to a new land at the end, but how is the lost world connected to this land?
- It can't seem to tell if it wants to be canon to Ice Age or not overall.
- Plot hole: During a scene where Crash and Eddie go to the Lost World to see the dinosaurs, Crash said that he remembered a Brachiosaurus that is allergic to possums. While there actually was a Brachiosaurus in Dawn of the Dinosaurs (which Manny, Ellie, Diego, Crash, and Eddie used to escape an angry Ankylosaurus), when it was ever said that he had possum allergy?
- This film feels more like a back door pilot to a non-canon/different timeline Ice Age animated series or at least a direct-to-video film. It also can't seem to decide whether it wants to be a Buck spin-off movie, the sixth Ice Age movie, a reboot (which is what the movie mostly feels like), a midquel to Dawn of the Dinosaurs, or even a Crash and Eddie spin-off movie.
- This film doesn't start and end with a Scrat scene, unlike the other films and the specials due to Disney losing the rights to the character.
- The humor tends to fall flat and the attempts at humor aren't anywhere as funny as the first three Ice Age movies.
- Ellie's flashback scene, while awesome and more explored than in The Meltdown feels out of place for a movie that's supposed to be a spin-off about Buck. It would fit more in a movie from the main saga.
- It was released the day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is an inappropriate and nonsensical release date for an animated film regarding prehistoric animals.
- This film would be better released on March 25, 2022, so if it's the same day the film is going to be released in Europe and Asia why wouldn't they release it in the US, Latin America, and Canada.
- When Buck talked about his partners getting killed off by Orson, neither Buck nor Zee mentions or talks about the iguanodon, chalicotherium, or the rest of the partners that died during Buck's backstory.
- Laughably awkward dialogue like Orson saying "We're gonna have to play a little game called drop goes the weasel. It means take down Buck!".
- While the score by rookie composer Batu Sener was fine, it's easily the weakest of the franchise.
- The climax fight scene between Orson and the protagonists feels off due to the budget the animation goes for. There is nothing exciting about the fight scene since the movements are pretty bad-looking.
- Bad direction by John C. Donkin makes it seem that all his work on the production of Dawn of the Dinosaurs has been completely forgotten or non-existent.
- The film's pacing was rather poorly done for not being so big, making the pacing of any product in the franchise better than this film's.
- Zee, while a great new character and debatably the saving grace of the movie, looks nothing like a zorilla. Instead, she looks more like a ferret, a meerkat, or an otter. In fact, she looks more like a weasel than Buck himself. Although her design is admittedly cute.
- Overall, this film made the Ice Age franchise look like nothing, but being milked up to 11, to the point in a possible future just like Family Guy, the fans might start to hate the Ice Age franchise as a whole (despite the franchise being good for its first three movies).
- With the sole exception of Jake Green as Sid, the voice acting is not too bad:
- Simon Pegg got to reprise his role, and his performance as Buck is still as fantastic as ever.
- Justina Machado also did a great acting job as Zee and Utkarsh Ambudkar is okay as Orson.
- Despite being pointless recasts, Sean Kenin Elias-Reyes, Vincent Tong, Aaron Harris, Dominique Jennings, and especially Skyler Stone make great impressions of Ray Romano (Manny), Seann William Scott (Crash), Josh Peck (Eddie), Queen Latifah (Ellie), and Denis Leary (Diego), respectively.
- Though the animation is of low quality, the designs are still true to the previous films (despite some of Sid's facial expressions), due to Peter de Séve returning as the character designer. Additionally, the cave paintings from the beginning and the end are still well-drawn and also stay faithful to the art style when in 2D.
- At least the film does have a resemblance to the Blue Sky Studios films in terms of the character design and the worlds.
- Depending on your opinion, the movie can be considered a slight improvement over Collision Course (despite that movie having better animation and feeling more canon to the previous installments):
- Even with the many problems, such as the absence of characters and the confused focus between Buck and the possums, the story, while generic and boring at best, isn't as ridiculous or over-the-top as Collision Course and feels more like a movie set in pre-historic times, with no spaceships, magnetic crystals that give out eternal youth. Similarly, the first act is actually decent despite having a few hiccups and plot holes.
- Most characters of the characters are surprisingly likable:
- Thankfully, Buck has been reverted back to his fun and enjoyable Dawn of the Dinosaurs self instead of his intolerable Collision Course self, where he is a bit more competent as an adventurer, but still has a bit of a looney side where he mostly talks to vegetables and his own hand. Also, Buck actually gets some character development after encountering Zee.
- Manny's Flanderization from the last two films was surprisingly undone, reverting him back to his first three movies self (sadly, the same can't be said about Sid).
- Ellie is not out of character like she was in Collision Course and she actually gets some character development as her relationship with Crash and Eddie is more explored than before.
- Speaking of which, Crash and Eddie, despite being unlikeable at first, are a lot more tolerable here compared to Continental Drift and Collision Course and they actually do become likable after Buck is captured by Orson so they, Zee and Momma Dino can escape, as they start to think about the consequences of their stupidity and even blame themselves for Buck being captured, which is a huge improvement over their portrayal in Continental Drift and Collision Course, where they didn't even care about their friends possibly dying. They decide to train with Zee to find the bravery inside them, which is also a pretty good message. It's also interesting to see Crash and Eddie having character development after spending all the other sequels being just comic reliefs, even though they were likable and funny in The Meltdown, Dawn of the Dinosaurs, A Mammoth Christmas, and The Great Egg-Scapade. They also act less like Seasons 6-8's Patrick Star (like they did in the fourth and fifth films) and more like Seasons 1-15, 31-present's Bart Simpson (like they did in the second and third films, and the specials).
- Speaking of Zee, she is a great new character and the best thing about the movie, similar to Granny and Shira in Continental Drift, and is nicely developed as well.
- Despite being a generic villain, Orson at least shows a legit backstory as to how he came to Buck's life, unlike the Dino Birds from Collision Course. The same can be said about Zee. Also, the concept of a talking dinosaur that wants to rule the Lost World and has past business with Buck is interesting, despite the poor execution.
- It's great to see Momma Dino returning and still likable (even if, like Manny, Diego, Sid, and Ellie, is pointless).
- Despite being out of character, Sid being able to understand Momma Dino is a nice touch to their bond from Dawn of the Dinosaurs.
- To be fair, one of the biggest criticisms of Collision Course is that it had way too many characters, not to mention that there is little to no way Granny, Shira, Brooke, or Peaches would fit into the story (especially when Ellie and the original trio are already pointless, as they are only meant to give the possums a reason to go to the Lost World), especially since this is technically a spin-off film about Buck, Crash and Eddie. If it was the main saga movie with Manny, Sid, and Diego as the main protagonists like the first five films, then it would REALLY be a flaw. However, their absence should have at least been explained, like Shira in the Easter special as she was sleeping because she went all-night hunting with the girls.
- Unlike Collision Course, the humor isn't too reliant on gross-out humor or pop culture references, except for the dabbing scene, and it stays more true to the era the film is set in, similar to the first three films.
- The movie acknowledges Roshan and the humans from the first, one thing that no other sequel in the franchise did.
- Buck and Zee did not become a couple at all in the movie (because Buck was already married to a pineapple), breaking the infamous Ice Age cliché where in every movie, somebody gets a love interest (Manny in the second film, Scrat in the third film, Diego in the fourth film (despite the first three being well written) and Sid in the fifth film).
- At one point, Buck states, "that's what you do in a herd", a key line from the first film, implying that he must have got it from Manny off-screen.
- The Lost World still looks pretty most of the time despite the film's low-quality animation, and it was interesting seeing more of it.
- The flashback of Ellie, Crash, and Eddie's childhood is awesome, no doubt the best scene of the movie, despite feeling a bit out of place for a movie that's supposed to be a Buck spin-off and would fit more into a movie of the main saga.
- The film does have some nice callbacks to the previous films:
- Ellie's backstory is being explored more than The Meltdown. In this version, we got to see what happened to Crash and Eddie's mother when Ellie lived with them.
- The cave paintings of moments like Roshan.
- Momma Dino makes a return to this film (despite the return being for nostalgia pandering).
- Speaking of Roshan, this is the first time that an Ice Age film not related to the first makes a reference to the character.
- The T-Rex babies are mentioned when Zee asks Crash and Eddie if they know Momma Dino, and Crash says "Uh-huh. Our friend Sid used to babysit her kids", unlike Granny, Peaches, Shira, Brooke, Julian, Rudy, and Scrat, who are somehow non-existent here.
- Though not as good as the previous scores, the music is not a bad debut solo for Batu Sener, especially with the reuse of John Powell's themes from The Meltdown and Dawn of the Dinosaurs that would certainly delight Powell's fans.
- Sener had previously composed additional music for John Powell's scores beginning with Pan.
- Unlike what the majority of the people think, some of the original Ice Age crew did return, such as: John C. Donkin, Lori Forte, Jim Hecht, Peter de Séve, Denise L. Rottina, Micah Dahlberg, Sean England, Holly Dorf, and Jason Harris.
- The idea of a spin-off movie about Buck is awesome and could have been the Puss in Boots of Ice Age, but the fact that Crash and Eddie are the central characters instead of Buck destroys it.
- The movie would probably be better if Buck, Scrat, Scratte, and Rudy were the only characters from the first five films to appear while the rest would be new characters, like Zee, like how Puss in Boots was the only Shrek character to appear in his solo movie, while the rest were new characters, like Kitty Softpaws and Humpty Dumpty.
- It would be also better if it's greenlit as a series (along with Blue Sky Studios as a production company) because it gives more time to upgrade the animation as well as to avoid being rushed.
The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild has received enormously negative reviews from both critics and fans of the Ice Age franchise who criticized its humor, writing, animation, missing characters (notably Scrat and Rudy), recasting of voices, and lack of primary focus on the title character, though Pegg and Machado's performances were praised. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 17% of 35 reviews are positive, with an average rating of 3.70/10. Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 30 out of 100 based on 5 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
- The film was originally going to be a TV series before eventually being retooled into a movie.
- Skyler Stone, filling in for Denis Leary, had previously starred in Walking with Dinosaurs, which also starred Sid's original voice actor, John Leguizamo.
- A seventh and possibly final installment is in development.