'Up' and 'Ice Age 3' [Quick Review]

Although I saw these two very popular animated movies at different times, I decided I had might as a well lump them up together into just one article and write a quick review about each.


Disney and Pixar's latest animated movie to add to their prestigious collection may be their best yet. While their previous lonely robot movie, Wall-E, proved to be more artistic than typical family-friendly adventure, Up succeeds as both an emotionally powerful film as well as a charming and fun movie for all ages. The story leading up to the main character Carl Fredricksen deciding to attach thousands of balloons to his house and to fly half way around the world is truly tragic. The first ten minutes of the movie portray Carl's life from childhood until old age and prove to be the most effective moments of the film. Of course it would not be a Pixar movie without some family-friendly fun and as such the audience is treated to such amusing things like talking dogs, a "Wilderness Explorer" who accidentally joins Fredricksen on his adventure to try and get a badge for community services, and a rare tropical bird that really likes chocolate. All of this together along with the fantastic conclusion leads to a brilliant, uplifting movie that is both sophisticated and charming--something rarely seen in movies targeted towards families.

But that's what Pixar does: the impossible.

Ice Age 3: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs

Is two sequels too much? Not if the second was better than the first. And that's what Dawn of the Dinosaurs does: beats the living crap out of Ice Age 2: The Meltdown. Maybe because this one is much funnier. Or maybe it's due to the fact that there is a notable bump in animation quality. Whatever the reason, the third time is pretty much the charm here. However, this sequel still fails to live up the original movie. One big reason for this is because of the lack of meaning to the story. Ice Age 3 just functions as a typical family friendly animated movie instead of something more emotionally resonant like Up. Another problem with the third movie revolving around Manny and Co. is some truly cringe-worthy voice acting from Ray Romano. Seriously it can get pretty bad--at one point in the film after Manny slides down a dinosaur's back he says, "Don't ever yabba-dabba-do that to me again." Yes. That is a line in the movie. And it got no laughs--at all. But besides a few of the scenes, Ray delivers a mostly adequate performance. But the best new addition to the film has to be Buck who is played by one of my favorite actors: Simon Pegg. Many would assume the sharp-witted comedian would phone in a performance to get a quick paycheck but many of Ice Age 3's best moments come from the weasel with an eye patch. While Dawn of the Dinosaurs fails to live up to the original's charm and heart, it is a noticeable improvement over Ice Age 2 and still provides plenty of fun moments.

And now, the funniest line from the movie:
Manny: "When did you lose your mind?"
Buck: "Oh about three months ago. Yup, I woke up one morning married to a pineapple--an UGLY pineapple."


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