In the opening scenes I found myself distracted by the thought that the backgrounds and creatures just didn’t seem very detailed, like it was a low-budget animation film. Wait, I take that back, low-budget animated films can turn out pretty detailed, dazzling animation too. If you think back to the brilliant colour palette and fine, intricate animation lines and strokes in Rio, you can’t help but find the animation in Ice Age 3 a bit of a let-down. Maybe it’s just the nature of a snow landscape that makes it so hard to render in detail. Still, it leaves me wondering how this would have turned out in the hands of Pixar.
I can’t say whether the animation would have been better, but the story and morals and emotions would definitely have been greater. Because, c’mon, Blue Sky is no Pixar. There are times where I felt I was being beaten over the head with a stick of sugared candy-floss, so heavy-handed and preachy and moralistic the dialogue was at some points. Subtlety is not your forte, Blue Sky. And Pixar, how I missed ye deft handling of morality themes and the lessons embedded in each story.
The scenes in the dinosaur realm are vibrant and offer some sort of proof that hey, maybe it’s just that snow is hard to render. All in all, this Ice Age outing was better than the last, but doesn’t trump the original, and isn’t as high on rewatchability as Rio.
Rating on Rotten Tomatoes: 45%
Rating on IMDb: 7.0
Viewing history: Seen 1x. Library DVD.