Ice Age 3 offers warm laughs, lighthearted fun

The best things in life come in threes. You have the Three Musketeers, the Three Stooges, the three Marx Brothers. So when you take the dynamic trio of Manny, Sid, and Diego, and add three adorable baby dinosaurs that think Sid is their momma, you have a recipe for laughter.

Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is the continuation of the saga of wooly mammoth Manny (voiced by Ray Romano), sloth Sid (John Leguizamo), and sabre-tooth tiger Diego (Denis Leary). Manny’s mate Ellie (Queen Latifah), who joined the trio in the second movie, is now pregnant, and Manny is a nervous wreck about the impending birth. Because of this, Sid begins to feel left out of the herd and wishes for a family of his own. To solve his loneliness, he adopts three seemingly abandoned eggs that he finds underneath the ice. Sid is in for quite a surprise when he finds out that the eggs are, in fact, three baby dinosaurs that he immediately becomes attached to. The dinosaurs emulate his every move, leading him into trouble until, eventually, they run amuck in a nursery that Manny created for his new baby.

However, things don’t go too well for Sid. Trouble arrives in the form of a very angry Momma Dinosaur, who scoops up Sid and her three babies and retreats back to the underground world where dinosaurs magically exist again. Manny, Ellie, and Diego follow Momma Dinosaur into the underground world to find Sid, accompanied by Ellie’s two opossum “brothers,” Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck), who serve as the comedians of the crew.

Along the way, they also meet a one-eyed weasel named Buck (Simon Pegg), who is the Indiana Jones of the dinosaur world. The herd—with Buck’s help—treks across the foreign world to find their companion, meeting obstacles such as laughing gas, a dinosaur attack when Ellie is about to give birth, and the monstrous creature, Rudy, responsible for Buck’s lost eye.

While the herd is on this adventure, we can’t forget the ever-spazzy squirrel Scrat. He is still on the hunt for his acorn, which has continually eluded him in the previous two movies. This time, however, he has some competition for the acorn in the form of a female squirrel, Scratte, complete with long eyelashes and a dramatic side. Scrat must choose between his two loves—Scratte or his beloved acorn.

As a rule of thumb, I usually hate the last movie of a trilogy. It almost always leave something to be desired and just can’t live up to the first two. Whether it be a cast change or just the lack of a fun storyline, they just don’t usually work for me.

Ice Age, however, turned out to be an exception to this rule. The third movie provided a different storyline while keeping staples of the first two movies, like Scrat’s acorn hunt. The animation was fantastic as well. One of my favorite scenes was a tango that Scrat and Scratte perform while fighting over the acorn.

I would recommend the extra few dollars to see the movie in 3D, because there is nothing funnier than watching Scrat’s twitching eye bulge out at you or seeing Manny come flying out of the screen when sliding down a brontosaurus. The 3D is used in the right places, without being overdone. Each scene was humorous on its own, and, once all tied together to the movie, there was non-stop laughing.

There are only a few downsides to the movie. Although the plot all ties together at the end, the scenes keep switching between the three storylines of the movie (Scrat, the herd, and Sid with the dinosaurs). Though this might bother some, I found it kept things moving along and prevented my mind from wandering. There was also little character development throughout the movie, as most of the characters had been detailed in the first two films. There were also the usual lessons one could take away from the movie about friendship and the usual cliché advice for any kids that went to see the movie.

Overall, this movie was full of laugh-out-loud and “aww” moments. So, if you just want a light-hearted trip to the movies, this is your film. After all, who doesn’t like a good animated movie every now and then?