updated 07/12/2012 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 07/13/2012 AT 10:30 AM ET
Parents, let’s talk. I’ve noticed a lot of whimpering at kids’ movies lately, and I think we all know it isn’t the kids.
Hey, I get it. I’m childless, but like you, I see all their movies. The fact is that lately, animated films just aren’t that great. The Lorax was a lecture, Brave was disappointing, and though Madagascar 3 hit some high points, you’ve probably developed a tic triggered by the words “afro” and “circus.”
Ice Age: Continental Drift is more of the same – fine but forgettable.
The fourth Ice Age movie literally shakes things up, as hapless rodent Scrat (Chris Wedge) causes earthquakes that split Pangaea into the world we know today. Caught on separate continents are mammoth Manny (Ray Romano), his wife, Ellie (Queen Latifah), and daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer).
Drift’s real stars, though, are Wanda Sykes’s sloth, Granny, whose dottiness grows on you, and Captain Gutt, an orangutan pirate saucily voiced by Peter Dinklage. In one of the film’s best ideas, Gutt terrorizes the seas on ships made of icebergs liberated from cracking glaciers.
One caution: Gutt may be a little scary for wee ones, though they won’t notice other flaws, like the limp jokes and plot. You will, but in the end it’s really about their happiness … right?
Ice Age: Continental Drift opens Friday, July 13.