Critics have given the fourth Ice Age movie, Continental Drift , a mostly cool-to-cold reception. Sean O'Connell in the Washington Post , suggests that viewers are nonetheless likely to overlook its faults. "Logic [in the plot] may be extinct, but, boy, do these movies whiz by like ice cubes zipping across a linoleum floor." Moreover, he writes, "What Continental Drift lacks in character development ... it makes up for in visual wizardry. The animation is spectacular, and the 3D is some of the best I've seen this year." And Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times points out that the movie is "all geared to be easily consumed by little ones" and concludes, "The dialogue is sometimes too sluggish and definitely too preachy, The Ending is a little too sappy, yet somehow this strange collection of prehistoric critters and their completely illogical life are consistently likable, if not quite lovable." Most other critics are not so generous. A.O. Scott in The New York Times , while remarking that Continental Drift "is much too friendly to dislike," Nevertheless expresses his dislike for the film's preachiness, which, he suspects, could inspire "a new theory of prehistoric extinction All those species clearly died from the hot air that gathered in the atmosphere as a result of their inability to shut up for even a minute." Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times notes that the kids in the theater where he saw the film seemed delighted. However, he continues, "Watching this film was a cheerless exercise for me. The characters are manic and idiotic, the dialogue is rat-a-tat chatter, the action is entirely at the service of the 3D, and the movie depends on bright colors, lots of noise and a few songs in between the whiplash moments." Several critics comment that Ice Age 4 is pretty much a reworking of each of the other Ice Age films. "You know what I feel like doing right now?" asks Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. "I feel like digging out an old review of an earlier Ice Age movie and 're-purposing' it." Claudia Puig in USA Today echoes that sentiment. "There's far too little here that's fresh," she writes. Several critics observe that the real star of the show is not the feature but the short that precedes it, featuring The Simpsons. "Don't be late," advises Kyle Smith in the New York Post. "The best part of Ice Age 4 happens before it begins." Amy Biancolli in the San Francisco Chronicle notes that the cartoon is "only a few minutes long, but those few minutes boast more imagination, pathos and suspense than the entire film that follows." Scott in the New York Times comments that the short should audiences "cause to rejoice" -- calling it "witty and touching and marvelously concise, part of a series that has managed to stay fresh and inventive after many years in the pop-culture spotlight." Unfortunately, he remarks, you have to buy a ticket for Ice Age Continental Drift if you want to see it.
Ed Helms has spoken about his initial reluctance to follow up the 80's cult classics.
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