The idea of reviving a past franchise and bringing in new characters while also acknowledging the legacy characters is something that is happening quite frequently these days. Now, it’s time to dethaw the “Ice Age” franchise five and a half years after the last installment.
While we do see the return of the familiar ragtag herd consisting of Manny and Ellie the mammoths, Sid the sloth, Diego the saber tooth tiger, and possum brothers Crash and Eddie, each of these characters is given a new voice. For a split second it’s fun to reunite with these characters, but the welcome reunion is diminished due to the absence of original actors Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Josh Peck, and Seann William Scott.
The latest adventure centers around Crash and Eddie (now voiced by Vincent Tong, and Aaron Harris) as they venture back into the Lost World. There, they run into the scrappy, adventurer, Buck (Voiced once again by Simon Pegg).
None of the “Ice Age” films have really gone down as classics, there’s no denying that the 2002 original holds a special place in a lot of people’s hearts. The follow up installments never hit the highs of the 2002 flick but up until the fourth movie, ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’ there was a very enjoyable dynamic between the clan, and a fun adventure element that made the first three quite enjoyable.
When rebooting a franchise one key element that needs to be present is the spark established by the previous movies. It’s imperative to not only draw in newcomers to the franchise but also give longtime fans a reason to return to this world.
Unfortunately, ‘The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild’ fails to recapture the spark from the original and struggles to justify its own existence.
As the story progresses it becomes clear that the animated flick is struggling with an identity crisis. Two storylines are set up throughout the runtime. One that expands upon the prehistoric world that first appeared in 2009’s ‘Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs’ and one that sets a handful of the legacy characters out in search of the rambunctious possum brothers.
There comes a point though where the search party subplot gets sidelined for a VERY long time. So long that you almost forget about what’s going on outside of the Lost World. What makes this situation worse is that neither plot will interest audiences over the age of 10.
With the right animation style, the Lost World had the potential to really pop off the screen with several colorful creatures roaming around. Unfortunately, the world and the creatures within it feel shallow. From the fur on several characters to the scenery around them it was nearly impossible to take an interest in this world when the animation felt so surface level.
‘The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild’ had the potential to be a fun re-introduction into this world that started back in 2002. Instead, it is never quite clear what this film wants to be and offers nothing for fans of the franchise or anyone over the age of 10.