Ice Age: Continental Drift

Ice Age: Continental Drift

Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary), Sid (John Leguizamo, Granny (Wanda Sykes) and Shira (Jennifer Lopez) in ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT. Photo credit: Blue Sky Studios. TM & © 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)

Also Known As: Ice Age 4: Continental Drift

Opened: 07/13/2012 Wide

AMC Loews Meth...07/13/2012 - 09/20/201270 days
Georgetown 1407/13/2012 - 09/13/201263 days
Showcase Cinem...07/13/2012 - 08/30/201249 days
Columbia Park ...07/13/2012 - 08/23/201242 days
AMC Deer Valley07/13/2012 - 08/23/201242 days
Arclight/Holly...07/13/2012 - 07/26/201214 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

Genre: Animated Comedy

Rated: PG for for mild rude humor and action/peril.


In ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT, Scrat's nutty pursuit of the cursed acorn, which he's been after since the dawn of time, has world-changing consequences -- a continental cataclysm that triggers the greatest adventure of all for Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary) and Sid (John Leguizamo). In the wake of these upheavals, Sid reunites with his cantankerous Granny, and the herd encounters a ragtag menagerie of seafaring pirates determined to stop them from returning home.

This all-new chapter in one of the most successful film franchises of all time brings together the visually epic and the emotionally powerful; the humorous and the heartfelt -- plus the world's most beloved prehistoric squirrel-rat and the ultimate unconventional herd of this or any Age.

Joining our familiar "Ice Age" friends and family (Romano, Leguizamo, Leary, and Queen Latifah) for the new film are some of the entertainment world's brightest talents, including hip hop sensations Nicki Minaj and Drake, and global crossover star Jennifer Lopez.

Production Notes

The magical ingredient of the franchise is its focus on family. This provides the stories' rich emotional underpinnings, as well as much of their comedy and adventure. "'Ice Age' has always been about family," says Lori Forte, who has produced the entire series and co-wrote the story for ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT. "No matter what the plot is of a given 'Ice Age' film, it still comes down to family -- and about how Manny, Diego, Sid and the now-extended clan look out for one another. That kind of storytelling and humor appeals to everyone, everywhere."

"From the very beginning this was a franchise defined by its heroes -- three animals from different species, with different experiences. They are strangers when they meet and family when we leave them," adds co-screenwriter Jason Fuchs. "Each film explores what it really means to be a family. Is it just something you're born into? I think all our characters grapple with that question. And I think it's Diego who has sort of the essential line of the film when he's asked, kind of dismissively, what's the difference between a pack and a family? Diego replies, 'We have each other's backs.' And that's what it means to be a family, and that's the heart of this movie and of this franchise."

Interwoven with these epic tales of family exploits are the continuing adventures of Scrat, whose sole purpose in life -- whose very existence -- revolves around an acorn as elusive as it is cherished. Scrat's quest for the nut has had consequences; in the first "Ice Age" Scrat's obsession triggered the Ice Age itself. In ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT, Scrat and the object of his pursuits are nothing less than the catalyst for a cataclysm. Forget what you've learned in geology about the continents forming as a result of massive tectonic turbulence and volcanic eruptions tearing land masses apart. ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT reveals that these seismic shifts came about from Scrat's misadventures.

The film reunites us with Scrat as he's going about his usual business: he has grabbed the acorn, set it down on the ground -- and suddenly a mountain is torn apart and the earth itself opens up, separating land masses into the seven continents. Scrat hurtles toward the earth's core, triggering massive earthquakes, which in turn isolates Manny, Diego and Sid from the rest of the herd.

From his introduction as a breakout character in "Ice Age" to becoming a celebrated movie icon, Scrat has brought joy to countless moviegoers -- and to the filmmakers who bring him to life. "There's no better or more enjoyable character to animate than Scrat," says director Steve Martino. "Who else can you knock around, smash around -- and he just keeps going after that nut?!" Adds supervising animator Nick Bruno: "Scrat is why I'm in animation. His adventure in this movie is like a classic tale, where he sees his goal, goes after it, and gets his butt kicked. But this time, the stakes for him and for the herd couldn't be higher."

Scrat's continental crack-up has cast adrift Manny, Diego and Sid from the rest of the herd, including Manny's beloved wife Ellie and their teenaged daughter Peaches (who was born in 2009's "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs"). Prior to the calamity, Manny and the headstrong Peaches have been quarreling, as dads and their teenaged kids tend to do. Their disagreements are relatable to any parent or teen, or everyone who knows a parent or teen. "Manny's the prototypical overprotective dad," says director Steve Martino. "He's longing to hold onto those days when Peaches was a little girl, but now she's at that age when she wants to step up and be on her own."

"The Pleistocene world is pretty tough for a dad," jokes screenwriter Michael Berg, who has also written or co-written two earlier "Ice Age" films. "There's a lot of danger out there -- and a lot of teenage boys."

Ray Romano again voices the much put-upon wooly mammoth. "Ray is the best at what he does," says Martino. "He gives a natural performance that plays to his formidable comedic strengths." For Romano, returning to Manny was like visiting an old friend, though the beloved actor-comedian has unconventional methods of getting back into character. "Before he starts recording, he repeats one of Manny's lines from the first 'Ice Age' -- 'I'm not going!'--and for some reason, that line turns him into Manny," explains director Michael Thurmeier.

Romano's reel life (as Manny) and real life (as dad to a daughter approaching adulthood) came together in unexpected ways. He explains: "Just as Manny has to deal with Peaches becoming her own person --- or mammoth, that is -- I'm kind of living the same thing, because my daughter just graduated from college. That's a big thing for me, because I still think of her as a kid with a runny nose. The good news is, I've never been stuck on an iceberg."

Manny's better half, Ellie, is an oasis of stability amid Manny's frantic parenting. (Ellie's calm remains unruffled by her two trouble-prone "brothers," possums Crash and Eddie, again voiced by Seann William Scott and Josh Peck.) "Ellie and Manny balance each other," says Queen Latifah, who returns as Ellie, having previously voiced the role in "Ice Age: The Meltdown" and "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs." "Manny is overprotective; Ellie is a little more relaxed and nurturing because she understands what Peaches is going through, especially with her crush on boys. As a teenager, everything seems like it's the end of the world, and I don't think that's ever going to change."

Despite her mom's best efforts, Peaches, voiced by actress-singer Keke Palmer, rebels against Manny's strict rules. "Peaches is going through some pretty mammoth stuff," puns Palmer. "She's ready to get out there and experience new things -- and discover boys." According to producer John C. Donkin, "Keke has her own attitude, along with some of the sass of Queen Latifah, and the warmth you find with Ray Romano."

Peaches' biggest conflict with her dad stems from the increasing amount of time she's spending with her teenage friends, especially Ethan, the Big Mammoth on Campus, voiced by hip hop sensation Drake. For Drake, working on ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT was akin to joining a new family, and, as he puts it, "being on a big emotional roller coaster ride. I am thrilled to be part of it."

No dad -- two-legged or four-legged -- will be surprised that Manny thinks Ethan isn't good enough for Peaches. "You know," says Romano, "when your daughter brings home a boy mammoth, you're only going to think bad things and not like him." Still, Romano admits that sharing the screen with Drake gives him "some major street cred," as does working with rapper Nicki Minaj, who plays Steffie, one of the mammoth "It Girls," and Peaches' romantic rival for Ethan's affections; and "Glee's" Heather Morris, who portrays another teen mammoth, Katie.

Minaj, one of today's brightest musical talents, notes that Steffie will do anything to hold on to her mammoth. "When she finds out that Peaches is after Ethan, she does what any stand-up woman would do -- be really jealous and nasty," says Minaj.

Heather Morris' Katie, another cool, Ice Age teen, has a distinctive look. "She is blond-haired and wears flowers in her hair," says the "Glee" star. "And she gets to hang out with Steffie/Nicki Minaj!"

Outside this teenage in-crowd is Peaches' closest friend, a mole hog (a kind of prehistoric meerkat) named Louis, voiced by Josh Gad, who stars in the smash Broadway hit "Book of Mormon." Louis is a loyal pal to Peaches -- he wishes it were more that friendship -- but as Gad notes, "In the hierarchy of this high school-like environment, Louis would be the one everyone bullies." Even Manny belittles the poor guy, calling him "Wiener," which, adds Gad, "I think is derogatory even in mammoth-speak." But Louis' inner courage could change everything...

As Manny deals with his parenting challenges, his best pals Diego and Sid are experiencing their own challenges. At first glance, Diego seems to be at the top of his game. He remains a confirmed bachelor and, having battled dinosaurs in the previous "Ice Age" adventure, has reaffirmed his place as the herd's tough guy. Diego scoffs at the notion that hanging out with Manny's family has softened him. "I happen to be a relentless assassin!" he roars.

But it wouldn't be an "Ice Age" film if big changes weren't in store for our three heroes, including Diego, who meets his match -- and maybe more -- in a female sabre named Shira, voiced by Jennifer Lopez, one of today's biggest cross-over stars. Given this important new figure in Diego's life, it's not surprising that when asked about the story for ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT, Denis Leary, who returns as Diego, jokes: "The story? Diego gets a love interest, played by J-Lo. I think there's a more intricate plot, but basically that's the most important thing."

Leary insists it's about time Diego found someone to share his life with. "It took only four 'Ice Age' movies for me to get a love interest. Believe me, when making the first 'Ice Age', I didn't look down the road and think, you know, Diego's going to get a girlfriend and it's going to be J-Lo. I would have put that in my contract back then if I thought I could have gotten away with it!"

Love is never simple, especially for sabre-toothed tigers. Shira is a member of a pirate crew that has taken Diego, Manny and Sid hostage, so Shira and Diego's initial encounters are as foes who go toe-to-toe -- and sabre-to-sabre -- against one another. They are equally matched. "Diego has never encountered anyone like her before," says Michael Berg. Adds Steve Martino: "Shira is a femme fatale; she's sharp, fast and intelligent. But they're more alike one another than either tiger would admit, and from their hostility and attempts at one-upmanship comes a shared point of view and ultimately a relationship."

According to Jennifer Lopez, who joins the "Ice Age" family as Shira, Diego and Shira are destined to join forces. "The two characters have a similar backstory," she explains. "Diego left his pack of sabre-toothed tigers in the first film, and Shira had left hers because she didn't like the pack mentality. Shira felt like she didn't belong anywhere until she joined the pirates. Eventually she realizes the pirates are out for themselves, and she must make a choice between staying with them or starting a new life with Diego." And as we all know, Diego can be very convincing.

Lopez was excited about joining the "Ice Age" team, especially as an empowered figure. "ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT is a poignant, fun, exciting and sweet story, and I love playing strong female characters like Shira," she explains.

The filmmakers were thrilled to get the multi-talented actress-singer-"American Idol" judge onboard. "Playing a character in an animated film is about more than just the actor's voice," says producer Lori Forte. "It's about the attitude, and Jennifer really brings it." The film also makes use of Lopez's singing talents, as she joins her fellow pirates (including Peter Dinklage, Nick Frost, Aziz Ansari, and Alain Chabat) in a sea shanty, "Master of the Seas," written by Adam Schlesinger (of Fountains of Wayne); and accompanies Nicki Minaj, Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo and Queen Latifah) in the closing song, "We Are (Theme from ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT)," written by Ester Dean.

The third member of the heroic trio, Sid the Sloth, has family problems very different from Manny's. His long-lost clan -- including his mom, dad, brother, and hygiene-challenged Uncle Fungus (the name says it all) -- have suddenly re-entered his life, and they have Sid's aged Granny in tow. But the visiting Sloths have an agenda that makes the family reunion short-lived: they leave with Sid the impossible-to-live-with Granny, and then once again desert the beleaguered sloth. "When you meet Sid's family, you understand why Sid is Sid," says Berg. "They are a very dysfunctional group. But Sid has a big heart, and he makes the relationship work with his cantankerous Granny."

"Sid's a lovable guy and always wants to do things his way, which often leads to catastrophe," says John Leguizamo, who once again brings his unique vocalizations and performance to the character. This time the catastrophe -- his Granny -- has come to him. "Sid has long wanted to be reunited with his family because everyone seems to have a family but him," adds Leguizamo. "And all of a sudden, here they are. They're with him, and then they're not -- leaving him with Granny."

As conceived by character designer Peter de Seve, whose work has unified the entire "Ice Age" universe since its inception, Granny has long, stinky fur, no teeth, wrinkly skin, and an unseen pet named Precious. In short, there's never been a figure quite like Granny, who, says Thurmeier, "provides wonderful and unexpected punctuations of comedy" throughout the herd's adventure. "You never know what she's going to say."

"Granny's comments are always a little off-target, a little off-point, but always on the funny," says actress-comedian Wanda Sykes ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"), who voices the aged sloth. "I love playing characters who speak their mind, and Granny...oh my goodness, she is just out there, you know? There are no apologies with Granny." Adds supervising animator Nick Bruno: "Granny always seems a little bit out of it, but then she can turn on a dime and be this sharp old lady."