Ice Age: © 20th Century Fox
EW Staff
February 07, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

Ice Age

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG
runtime
75 minutes
Wide Release Date
03/15/02
performer
Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Ray Romano, Jack Black, Kirsten Johnson, Goran Visnjic
director
Chris Wedge
distributor
20th Century Fox Film Corporation
author
Peter Ackerman
genre
Comedy, Animation

We gave it a B+

With Disney partner Pixar (”Monsters, Inc.”) and DreamWorks-owned Pacific Data Images (”Shrek”) doing so well, is there room for another major computer-animation player? Fox, who teamed with Blue Sky Studios, certainly hopes so. After the debacle of the hand-drawn ”Titan, A.E.,” execs are banking on the sleek CG look of ”Ice Age” to lift the studio’s ‘toon hex. After Wedge won an Oscar for the 1998 short ”Bunny,” Fox greenlit his feature debut, the story of a woolly mammoth (Romano), a sloth (Leguizamo), and a saber-toothed tiger (Leary) who partner up to return a human infant to his tribe. But getting the narrative to work required some shaping. ”A lot of scrutiny is given to this stuff because of the cost,” says Wedge, who declined to talk budget (industry estimates say it’s at least $75 million). ”The concepts are vetted exhaustively.” For instance, a subplot which found Leguizamo’s sloth cozying up to a couple of females got whittled down to just one scene. ”It was too double entendre-y,” says Leguizamo. ”It was hilarious, but kids weren’t laughing, and parents weren’t either.” Preview audiences seem universally tickled, however, by a mute little ”scrat” — part squirrel, part rat — and its acorn-burying antics.

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