The Ice Age series began in 2002 and we’ve seen a followup hit the big screen every three to four years since. After seeing Collision Course, the fifth installment, let’s all hope an asteroid destroys the world by 2019, before a sixth can be released.

This film may be the worst major studio animated film I have ever seen. The dialogue is just embarrassing. The jokes are completely lazy. The characters are absolutely annoying. And I’m no Ice Age hater. I loved the first film. I really liked the third. But this mess barely felt connected to those. Things that made those movies so good have been tossed, ignored, or taken to extremes, without the current writers bothering to understand why they worked originally. Two of what could many examples:

ia5-1The series has taken its animal leads from the mostly realistic characters (for a cartoon) we saw in the first film and made them into goofy caricatures of their former selves. How bad has it gotten? Near the beginning of this film the three guys are sitting at an actual bar made of ice having drinks in coconut glasses being served by rodent bartenders while talking about their troubles with women. That doesn’t necessarily sound horrible as a description about some random animated movie. But remember this is a sequel to a film where one of these guys was literally trying to kill a human baby! They have veered way off from the original over the last fourteen years.

The third film introduced an adventurous, but eccentric, weasel named Buck. He was odd due to his isolation underground but he had become the ultimate survivor due to his many run-ins with dinosaurs. When the others needed a guide to get them through the jungle they trusted this guy’s abilities explicitly despite his sometimes strange behavior. And now Buck’s back in time for the fifth film. But it feels like the writers just looked at the superficial parts of his character — he’s weird and a guide — while ignoring the motivations and reasons behind his personality. Here he is nothing but an oddball who barely seems like he knows what he’s doing. And I don’t mean a lovable oddball, but a “there’s something medically wrong with person” oddball. At one point he literally believes a pumpkin is a child and decides to adopt it. Really! He carries the stupid thing around and talks to it FOR THE ENTIRE FILM!

Besides ignoring things that made the franchise popular in the first place, the film has so many more problems. There’s no way I could possibly remember them all after one viewing, and I don’t plan on a second! Here are a few other lowlights.

Besides the leads, almost all the character voices were grating. I wanted to punch the two young mammoth characters right in their trunks it was so bad!

No one expects cartoon science to be realistic, especially in a movie like this. But, oh my gosh! The writing about asteroids and the “science” behind them was so terrible that I can’t believe even a scientist as lightweight as Neil deGrasse Tyson wanted to be involved.

Remember when every kids show or movie had to have a vegetarian character in it? Apparently yoga is the new trendy thing Hollywood thinks kids should be into. Can we just nip it in the bud now? Kids don’t care and it really isn’t funny.

I don’t feel like I’m doing it justice, how bad this film is. And part of that is I’m ready to be done thinking about it! But I really could go on and on. The jokes, and the writing in general, felt aimed at preschoolers. It was an embarrassing film to watch as an adult. If I had to sum it up in one sentence I would say “Ice Age: Collision Course was a lazy money-grab”. There was no reason to make this film except to make an easy buck. I would be shocked to discover the people that worked on this film had any connection to the previous filmmakers. It may be a stale pun to make but it’s still funnier than anything (other than Scrat) in this movie: hopefully this franchise is now extinct.

Animated Classic or Back To The Drawing Board?

Ice Age: Collision Course
Fox, Blue Sky
July 22, 2016
94 minutes
Rated PG
directed by Mike Thurmeier and Galen T. Chu