For better and for worse the “Ice Age” franchise seems to have been around longer than the actual Ice Age. With the latest entry, “The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild,” starring the voice of Simon Pegg on Disney+, number six in the series, the movies are starting to show their age. The characters and the voice work are still fun, but the animation doesn’t have the same pop as the earlier movies.
The action begins in Snow Valley, home of unruly possum brothers Crash (Vincent Tong) and Eddie (Aaron Harris). The possums are restless, bored with life in the sleepy, icy dale. They want to experience the world, away from the over-protective eyes of their make-shift family, woolly mammoths Ellie and Manny. “It’s time for us to move out and make our mark on the world.” By fluke, they wind up in the Lost World—“We came here to live a life of adventure.”—a massive underground cave and land of danger that might be too extreme, even for them.
As Ellie and Manny fret—“If we don’t find them, I’m going to kill them,” says Manny.—an unlikely “superhero” comes to Crash and Eddie’s rescue, a one-eyed weasel named Buck Wild (Pegg). Together they form a team to defeat the dinosaurs who live in the Lost World. “It’s time to get buck wild.”
For better and for worse the Ice Age franchise seems to have been around longer than the actual Ice Age. With the latest entry, number six in the series, the movies are starting to show their age.
“The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild” has a distinctly direct-to-streaming feel about it. The above the title voice cast from the other films—Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary and Queen Latifah—are gone, replaced with soundalikes. Not that young kids will mind, or even notice. But older kids who grew up watching these movies—they’ve been around for twenty years—may feel this one isn’t a movie as much as it is an inexpensive, extended version of the television series that was spun off the films.
Like all the “Ice Age” movies, this one has good messages for kids about the importance of family—”The only thing that stays the same is the love we have for one another. That’s the thing about a herd, you’re a part of it, even when you are apart.”—and embracing change—“Change is scary but it is the way of the world. It can help us grow into the people we’re meant to be even if that takes us to new places.” Nothing ground breaking, just solid morals from a story that should appeal to kids who haven’t already heard those platitudes a hundred time over.