'Ice Age' sequel holds up

Ice Age: Continental Drift. (Handout)

Ice Age: Continental Drift. (Handout)

Liz Braun, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:55 AM ET

You don't go to the fourth installment of a kiddie movie with great expectations, but Ice Age: Continental Drift is bound to amuse the smallfry for whom it's intended.

The franchise continues with the familiar gang of animals -- Manny and his woolly mammoth family, Diego the sabre tooth, Sid the ridiculous sloth et al -- involved in big adventures when the continents divide.

Manny (Ray Romano) the woolly mammoth is sorting out family issues when the catastrophic division of large land masses separates him from his wife and daughter. With Manny on a chunk of ice, floating out to sea, are Diego (Denis Leary), Sid (John Leguizamo) and Sid's grandma (Wanda Sykes), and they're adrift. They live through terrible storms, a tidal wave, evil sirens and a water spout, only to encounter pirates!

Led by the terrible Captain Gut (Peter Dinklage), the pirate ship is full of hungry, disgruntled animals, including the fierce cat Shira (Jennifer Lopez). Mind you, their desperado status does not preclude Captain Gut from singing an inspired sort of Gilbert and Sullivan song about himself, but maybe that's more for the grown ups in the audience.

With the help of a gang of fierce chipmunks, our heroes eventually give the pirates the slip and then find their way back to their families.

While the lost bunch fights pirates and struggles to get home, those at home have their own set of problems. Manny's teenage daughter Peaches wants to hang out with the cool kids, especially one mammoth in particular named Ethan (Drake). She has to learn that loyalty to friends is far more important than admission to the fickle in-crowd.

For kids, Ice Age: Continental Drift is exciting and action-packed. The story rarely drags and the characters, especially Sid, are goofy and kid-friendly. For parents, there's 90 minutes worth of your children being amused enough to remain seated in the same place. That could be worth the price of admission.


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